During its regular monthly meeting today, the Alabama State Board of Education granted approval to a site request by Enterprise State Community College to partner with Calhoun Community College in offering aviation courses at Calhoun’s Decatur campus.
The new program in Aviation Airframe Maintenance Technology is being offered through a partnership with the Alabama Aviation Center, a unit of Enterprise State Community College. The Alabama Aviation Center currently offers programs at sites in Andalusia, Albertville, Mobile and Ozark.
The decision to add Calhoun’s Decatur campus as a site for the program was based on input from local community leaders in the aerospace/aviation industry, representatives of area chambers of commerce, and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development to meet the need for aviation training in north Alabama.
“This training will enhance the current and potential economic development opportunities in aviation and related fields in Calhoun’s service area,” commented Mary Scott Hunter, Alabama State Board member (District VIII). “As the daughter and wife of two pilots and as a former Air Force officer, I am excited and proud to support this endeavor.”
"Science and Engineering Services (SES) is pleased to hear of the start of an Aviation program of study at Calhoun Community College. This undertaking is clearly a recognition and commitment to establish local education programs and reflects the positive effort to institutionalize formalized training for an ever increasing requirement for aviation occupations and skill sets in the Tennessee Valley" said Steve Dwyer, VP of Human Resources, Science and Engineering Services Inc.
“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to add this much-needed and high demand aviation program to our course offerings and to be able to work closely with Enterprise President Nancy Chandler and her very qualified team,” said Calhoun President Marilyn Beck.
According to Bethany Clem, dean for Business, Technologies and Workforce Development at Calhoun, the college will offer the new aviation classes during the 2011 Fall semester which begins in August. The program is to be housed in an existing building on the campus located adjacent to Pryor Field.
“The addition of this new aviation program at Calhoun is a logical enhancement for our existing Aerospace Technology program,” said Clem. “The Alabama Aviation Center already carries the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) certification and by partnering with them, this will allow our students to also work toward this highly-regarded and very marketable certification,” Clem said.
Clem added that based on industry demand, Calhoun is also exploring the possibility of adding a program in Powerplant Maintenance Technology.
This initiative will be considered by the Alabama Commission for Higher Education (ACHE) at its March 2011 meeting.
For more information on the new Aviation Airframe Maintenance Technology program at Calhoun, call 256/306-2666.
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