Imagine a cockpit as your classroom, and the adrenaline rush you’ll feel during that very first ascent. Think of how exciting it will be to rise and soar across the sky, piloting an actual airplane. At Lakeland College, you don’t have to imagine flying, because you can actually do it. Yes, with our innovative aviation-as-a-minor strategy, you can earn full certification while completing a four-year degree. “So when you leave Lakeland,” says Joe McGeorge, instructor of aviation, “you are leaving with two potential career paths, including becoming a professional pilot.”
Take to the sky
Lakeland, the only four-year college in Wisconsin with a professional flight training program, offers private pilot certification all the way up to multi-engine commercial pilot certification.
Most of the 31 credit hours will be earned in the air, as Lakeland has convenient access to nearby Sheboygan County Memorial Airport (just seven miles from campus) and the partnering Jet Air Group charter company; as well as the Aviation Heritage Center located at the Sheboygan Memorial Airport.
You will begin learning visual flight skills in Cessna 152s and 172s before advancing to more complex airplanes. You will also hone your skills on the full-motion flight simulator at Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin.
Lakeland’s aviation program is the only college program in Wisconsin based on well-structured Part 141 training regulations, which are certified and monitored by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Aviation Minor (31 semester hours)
- AVN 101 Introduction to Aviation
- AVN 102 Private Pilot Flight I (2 semester hours)
- AVN 103 Private Pilot Flight II (2 semester hours)
- AVN 200 Introduction to Weather/Instrument Flight
- AVN 201 Private Pilot Instrument Flight I (2 semester hours)
- AVN 202 Private Pilot Instrument Flight II (2 semester hours)
- AVN 203 Introduction to Crew Concept (4 semester hours)
- AVN 300 Advanced Aviation Science
- AVN 301 Commercial/multi-Engine Pilot Flight I (2 semester hours)
- AVN 302 Commercial/multi-Engine Pilot Flight II (2 semester hours)
- AVN 100 History of Aviation
- AVN 204 Flight Physiology (4 semester hours)
- AVN 280 Special Topics in Aviation (2–3 semester hours)
- AVN 400 Internship (1–4 semester hours)
- AVN 480 Special Topics in Aviation (2–3 semester hours)
Six semester hours from the following:
Name: Ryan Graves
Hometown: Munising, Mich.
Title: 2nd Lt.
Business: U.S. Marine Corps
When he was a little boy, Ryan boarded a Cessna 172 aircraft for a family tour of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan. He was immediately captivated, not by the brilliant display of nature unspooling below him, but by this amazing new sensation of dashing across the sky.
Ryan’s love affair with flying never waned. And now, nearly two decades after that maiden flight and less than a year after graduating from Lakeland with a criminal justice major and an aviation minor, he’s about to take that love to a new level.
Following six months of school in Virginia for newly commissioned officers, Ryan will enter the U.S. Marine Corps flight school, after which he’ll begin a career built on flying.
Ryan initially enrolled in Michigan Tech, but didn’t like how big the school was.
“And I wanted to fly,” he recalls. “Lakeland’s (aviation program) was a great way to earn credits, learn about aviation and fly. It worked out great for me. I’m close to 100 hours of flight time and almost have my instrument rating.”
Ryan holds a private license, and needless to say, he’ll have an edge over his fellow marines when he gets to flight school.
“It’s a great program,” Ryan says of Lakeland’s aviation minor. “People with an interest in aviation will really enjoy it. It’s one thing to be in the back of a plane learning about flying. But to actually fly is a unique experience.”
Aviation at Lakeland
Industry experts are predicting pilots will be in high demand in coming years:
- USA Today recently reported that aircraft maker Boeing forecasts a need for 466,660 pilots by 2029 – an average of 23,300 new pilots a year.
- From the USA Today article: “The demand for pilots will be so great that the industry could ultimately face a shortage, sparking fierce competition among airlines across the globe vying for candidates qualified to fill their cockpits.”
- Quoted was Sherry Carbary, vice president of flight services for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle, who said: “It’s a global marketplace for pilots, and … we’ll not have enough if that growth trend continues over the next few years … Where is our pipeline of new pilots going to come from, and how are we going to finance them?”
- Experts say thousands of existing pilots will soon hit the mandatory retirement age of 65.
- Kelly Murphy, a spokesperson for the Regional Airline Association, said during an interview that regional airports will have the greatest need for pilots, because larger airlines will hire qualified pilots away from the regional airlines.
To view specific costs associated with this program click here