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Aviation department receives accreditation renewal

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Delta State University’s Department of Commercial Aviation recently received news that the Aviation Accreditation Board International voted to approve the department’s AABI accreditation until 2020.

The next self-study is due in 2018, followed by a AABI visit in 2019.

“AABI accreditation standards cover a variety of areas ensuring the highest standards in faculty, staff, curriculum, facilities and services, institutional support, and assessment,” said Dr. Julie Speaks, chair of the department. “There are over 100 institutions across the country that offer aviation degree programs, and DSU is one of 38 institutions with AABI accreditation.

“We are glad to have the validation of a job well done, not only from AABI, but also from constituencies, alumni and in the industry.”

For more information about Aviation Accreditation Board International, visit http://www.aabi.aero.

Delta State’s aviation curriculum provides the state university system’s only undergraduate and graduate aviation programs.

“Our students are prepared for a variety of opportunities in the aviation industry, including the airlines, aircraft manufacturing, airport management, air traffic control and military aviation,” added Speakes.

Graduates can serve as members of flight crews, air traffic control specialists, and executives with supervisory and managerial responsibilities at all levels. The department offers a Bachelor of Commercial Aviation, with concentrations in aviation management and flight operations, and a Master of Commercial Aviation.

“Delta State University is one of the premier choices for students who desire a career as a professional pilot,” said Speakes. “Industry professionals agree that our graduates display the highest levels of proficiency and professionalism, which make them prime candidates for positions in today’s aviation marketplace. Virtually all of our graduates advance to excellent positions with professional, corporate, charter, regional, and major airlines, as well as the military.”

For more information on the department, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business/commercial-aviation/, call 662-846-4205, or email cavinfo@deltastate.edu.

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Aviation granted AABI accreditation

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Delta State University’s Department of Commercial Aviation recently received news of initial accreditation for its bachelors programs in Aviation Management and Flight Operations.

The Board of Trustees of the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) granted approval at the International Winter meeting Feb. 23-27. Delta State submitted its application March 6.

The board action grants initial accreditation for the programs for a period of five years.

Dr. Julie Speakes, chair of the Department of Commercial Aviation, said she was pleased with the results of the initial accreditation efforts.

“The behind the scenes work took several years and cooperation from across campus to purchase aircraft, upgrade equipment, document student learning outcome and validate the state’s only four-year aviation program,” said Speakes. “The AABI accreditation confirms the quality program that Delta State has offered. With this designation, more opportunities will be available to students and graduates, such as direct hire programs and bridge programs.”

Dr. Billy C. Moore, dean of Delta State’s College of Business, echoed Speakes’s praise.

“Achieving national accreditation is further validation of the quality education our commercial aviation students receive when they matriculate through our program,” said Moore. “I congratulate Dr. Speakes and all of our commercial aviation faculty and staff on this great accomplishment.”

Delta State University’s Department of Commercial Aviation provides the state university system’s only undergraduate and graduate aviation programs.

“Our students are prepared for a variety of opportunities in the aviation industry, including the airlines, aircraft manufacturing, airport management, air traffic control and military aviation,” added Speakes.

Program graduates serve as members of flight crews, air traffic control specialists and executives with supervisory and managerial responsibilities at all levels.

The department offers a Bachelor of Commercial Aviation with concentrations in Aviation Management and Flight Operations. Graduate level includes a Master of Commercial Aviation.

“Delta State University is one of the premier choices for students who desire a career as a professional pilot,” said Speakes. “Industry professionals agree that Delta State graduates display the highest levels of proficiency and professionalism — which make them prime candidates for positions in today’s aviation marketplace.”

Virtually all graduates of the Delta State’s programs advance to excellent positions with professional corporate, charter, regional and major airlines, as well as the military.

The Flight Operations degree provides students with the knowledge and skills to pursue a professional pilot career. Through a combination of both classroom and flight training, students will acquire the following certificates and ratings: Private Pilot In­strument Multi-engine, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor and Certified Instrument Flight Instructor. Training culminates in a Bachelor of Commercial Aviation degree within 4 years.

The Aviation Management degree prepares students for supervisory and managerial responsibilities at all levels in the aviation field, including the airlines, air traffic control and military aviation.

In the Fall 2014 semester, the department began a new Aviation Management Logistics track. This track is designed to prepare aviation management students in complex operations of transportation and distribution of goods.

The Master of Commercial Aviation program provides students with a focused understanding of aviation concepts and operations. This 30-hour program is geared toward aviation management and aviation education and is taught 100 percent online.

For more information on Delta State’s aviation programs, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business/commercial-aviation/ or contact the department at:

Phone:       662-846-4205
Fax:            662-846-4214
Email:        cavinfo@deltastate.edu
Location:  Gibson-Gunn, Delta State University Campus

Learn more about Aviation Accreditation Board International at http://www.aabi.aero.

The Delta State University Department of Commercial Aviation held its Aviation Safety Meeting Aug. 21.

Department of Commercial Aviation hosts seminar

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The Delta State University Department of Commercial Aviation held its Aviation Safety Meeting Aug. 21. The event, held each semester, provided both Aviation Management and Flight Operations majors the opportunity to interact with each other, faculty and staff.

Students were also introduced to leading members of the aviation professional fraternity Alpha Eta Rho (AHP), Flight Team and Civil Air Patrol. AHP provided attendees with a pizza luncheon.

A major focus of the meeting was a Federal Aviation Administration Safety Team Seminar (FAAST), which was open to both the students and the surrounding aviation community.

The seminar’s topic was “Runway Incursions, Ethics, and Creating a Positive Safety Culture with Aircraft Maintenance.” Former Delta State staff member Trey McClure spoke about the importance of situational awareness to prevent runway incursions. McClure is now an FAA representative with the Jackson office.

Delta State’s Brett Oleis also spoke about runway incursions and the best methods for avoiding them. In addition, Oleis spoke about ethics required by members of the aviation community.

Finally, the presentation was handed to Mike Wilson, another FAA representative. Wilson shared a story of an aircraft accident and repair that was mishandled, and inevitably led to another accident.

Students responded well to the meeting and seemed excited to begin the semester in both their flying and classroom courses. Seminar participants also received credit for the FAA’s WINGS program, which was designed to address the primary accident causal factors that continue to plague the general aviation community.

Dr. Julie Speakes, chair of the Department of Commercial Aviation, was thrilled to host another successful meeting.

“It was nice to combine the Delta State Aviation Safety Meeting with the Federal FAAST Seminar,” said Speakes. “This allows students to learn the importance of safety at the beginning of the semester.”

For more information regarding the WINGS – Pilot Proficiency Program, visit http://faasafety.gov/WINGS/pub/learn_more.aspx/.

The Delta State University Flight Operations degree provides stu­dents with the knowledge and skills to pursue a professional pilot career. Through a combination of both classroom and flight training, students will acquire the fol­lowing certificates and ratings: Private Pilot In­strument Multi-engine, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor and Certified Instrument Flight Instructor. Training culminates in a Bachelor of Commercial Aviation degree within four years.

Similarly, the Aviation Management degree prepares students for supervisory and managerial responsi­bilities at all levels in the aviation field — including the airlines, air traffic control and military avia­tion.

This semester, the department is offering a new Aviation Management Logistics track. This program is designed to prepare aviation management students in complex operations of transportation and distribution of goods.

The Master of Commercial Aviation program provides students with a focused understanding of aviation concepts and operations. This 30-hour program is oriented towards aviation management and aviation education. It is taught completely online.

For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business/commercial-aviation/, or contact the department at 662-846-4205 or cavinfo@deltastate.edu.

Bob Ryder (center), founding chair of the Department of Commercial Aviation at Delta State, recently visited Chip Cooper, director of Flight Operations and chief flight instructor, and Julie Speakes, department chair.

Founding aviation chairman visits campus

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Robert “Bob” Ryder, founding chair of the Department of Commercial Aviation at Delta State University, and past president of the University Aviation Association, recently paid a visit to his old stomping grounds.

Current chair and current UAA president Julie Speakes, along with Chip Cooper, director of Flight Operations and chief flight instructor, enjoyed their visit with the program’s original leader. Cooper and Speakes were thankful to rekindle with one of their former instructors.

“I think it’s fascinating that Bob comes back as often as he does,” said Speakes. “He still actively recruits for our program even though he stepped down in 1990. He comes by about once a year to pick up new recruiting material.”

On his visits, he often brings pictures, planning books and documents from the beginning of the aviation department and the Cleveland airport.

In 1982, Delta State developed a Bachelor in Commercial Aviation with majors in aviation management and flight operations. Ryder served as the first department chair. He also developed aviation programs at Parsons College and the University of Dubuque in Iowa, and served as department chairman at both institutions.

Also in 1982, Ryder was elected president of the UAA, an international organization representing collegiate aviation programs. He also served as the chairman of UAA’s Airway Science Curriculum Committee, Simulation Committee, and was a member of its board of trustees.

As a member of the organization’s Accreditation Task Force, he helped draft the first standards for collegiate aviation degree programs. This work led to the establishment of the Council on Aviation Accreditation, known today as Aviation Accreditation Board International.

Prior to entering the educational field, Ryder spent several years in the aerospace industry as the manager of training and flight test engineer for Aero Spacelines, Inc. and North American Rockwell International in California. He also served with NASA and the U.S. Marine Corps.

Ryder holds a bachelor’s in aviation from Western Michigan University and a master’s from Miami University. He is rated as a control tower operator and a commercial pilot with single, multiengine and instrument ratings. Additionally, he is a single engine seaplane pilot.

Today, Ryder lives in Branson, Mo. with his wife, where he provides seaplane flight instruction.

To learn more about the Department of Commercial Aviation at Delta State, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business/commercial-aviation/.