Frequently Asked Questions about the Aviation minor at Lakeland College.
There is a definite need for new pilots. A recent study by the International Civil Aviation Organization reported that between 2010 and 2030, airlines around the world will need an average of 49,900 pilots per year, and current training is not keeping pace with that need.
“The pilot population is aging and heading towards retirement, and the economy has resulted in less people learning to fly,” said Bruce Bressler, president of Jet Air Group, the parent company of Lakeland’s partner - Frontline Aviation. “The industry faces a fairly substantial deficit of pilots to work for commercial airlines and private flying in the future.”
“Research suggests the airline industry needs more pilots, but they want pilots with four-year college degrees,” said Kathy Rath Marr, chair of Lakeland’s natural science division. “Graduates from Lakeland’s program will have the technical skills needed to fly, along with the critical thinking and other academic skills that come with a four-year liberal arts education.”
Lakeland’s program has two added advantages — access to the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport (SBM), and Wisconsin’s diverse weather.
Sheboygan County has a long aviation history. The airport has been a base for flight instruction, air charter, aircraft sales and service and fuel sales since 1960. SBM is ranked as one of Wisconsin’s top 10 busiest airports and connects several of the state’s largest manufacturers to global markets. Burrows Aviation, Frontline Aviation and Airworthy Aviation are all based at SBM.
The airport’s Aviation Heritage Center is a hands-on learning facility offering educational and community programs and events, including an aviation museum, library and laboratory.
In addition, while you might think Wisconsin’s always-changing weather would be too challenging for a flight school, flight training professionals say it makes for an ideal location for flight training.
Lakeland’s aviation curriculum will mirror an industry shift in flight training that is leading to changes in curriculum and equipment used to teach student pilots.
“For the last 50-60 years, very little had changed in the way we taught people to fly,” said John Dorcey, operations manager at Winnebago County’s Wittman Regional Airport, a flight instructor for 35 years and a 2009 Lakeland graduate. “We’re being forward thinking in the way we will present the ground school and integrating it with the flight portion using a variety of Frontline’s equipment. It will mirror the Student as Practitioner focus of Lakeland’s curriculum.”
Previous flight experience is not necessary. Lakeland’s aviation minor is 31 credits of coursework, which includes ground school courses at Lakeland’s main Sheboygan County campus, and flight training at the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport, located just south of the college. If you already have prior training, you may receive transfer credit for the level of your experience. Please contact Joe McGeorge to determine what level you may enter the flight program.
The first step is to enroll at Lakeland College. Shortly after enrollment you will have a personal meeting with Joe McGeorge so that the program can be explained to you in more detail. Lakeland makes every effort to serve the student’s needs and we will customize a flight training schedule that works for you.
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