June 10, 2020

Purdue University Global launches professional flight program

INDIANAPOLIS — Purdue University Global has officially launched its professional flight program and will begin training students through its flight training affiliate, Sterling Flight Training LLC, this fall. Students may apply to enroll in the online Bachelor of Science in Professional Flight program beginning Wednesday (June 10).

Those accepted into the School of Aviation program will complete their Bachelor of Science degree courses online through Purdue Global, which includes aviation and general education classes, while completing professional flight training at Sterling Flight Training in Jacksonville, Florida.

The program is a collaboration between Purdue Global and Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology – announced in June 2019 – and a partnership between Purdue Global and Sterling – announced in February 2020.

“We are excited to see this program take off,” said Frank Dooley, Purdue Global chancellor. “It is a wonderful association among Purdue Global, Purdue West Lafayette and Sterling, utilizing the strengths of each entity, all with students’ best interests in mind and aimed at addressing an anticipated pilot shortfall in the coming years.”

Purdue’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology, one of six departments and schools in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, is recognized worldwide as a leader in aviation education and has provided its expertise in curriculum development, faculty hiring and accreditation by the Aviation Accreditation Board International.

“This collaboration represents a significant step in the expansion of Purdue’s world-class professional flight program and an exciting new opportunity as we persist in addressing challenges in the aviation industry,” said Gary R. Bertoline, dean of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and a Distinguished Professor of Computer Graphics Technology and Computer and Information Technology at Purdue University.

 “This has been a rewarding process,” said Tom Frooninckx, interim head of the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. “Our faculty have enjoyed collaborating with Purdue Global colleagues to develop the coursework. They’re ready for program launch.”

This program is designed to get students flying immediately, shortening the timeline to becoming a professional pilot in order to meet an anticipated industry demand. As United States airline pilots approach the federally mandated retirement age of 65, the industry faces a shortage of pilots. Reports forecast a need for more than 800,000 pilots over the next 20 years.

Progressing from private pilot to certified flight instructor, graduates will have the foundation essential to serve as flight instructors and accrue additional flight experience required by airlines to get hired as an airline pilot. Upon reaching CFI status, participants enrolled in the program can begin teaching fellow students and earn compensation for their work in addition to flight hours, which can help with education costs and living expenses.

Those wishing to be part of the initial class should apply quickly, as space is limited. More information is available at purdueglobal.edu.

About Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global is the extreme personalization online university, providing students the competitive edge to advance in their chosen careers. It offers a hyper-tailored path for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global serves more than 31,000 students (as of March 2020), most of whom earn their degree online. It also operates several regional locations nationwide. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University’s flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest, Indiana, as well as serving close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. For more information, please visit purdueglobal.edu.

About Sterling Flight Training

Sterling Flight Training LLC, a portfolio company of Wexford Capital LP, is Jacksonville’s premiere flight school, offering programs from private pilot to professional pilot. Backed by a team of airline industry veterans with more than 100 years of combined aviation experience, the Sterling team has led the training initiatives for thousands of airline pilots across the United States. Students receive training they can trust with safety top of mind. The school is FAA and VA approved, and offers degrees through both in-house training programs and university affiliations. For more information, visit sterlingflight.com.

Media Contact, Purdue: Tom Schott, 765-494-9318, tschott@purdue.edu

Media Contact, Sterling: Ashley Roy, 904-639-4898, aroy@sterlingflight.com

Sources: Frank Dooley, frank.dooley@purdueglobal.edu

Gary Bertoline, bertoline@purdue.edu

Tom Frooninckx, tfroonin@purdue.edu 

Related Releases:

Purdue Global, Sterling Flight Training partner on aviation degree program

Purdue Global, West Lafayette partner on new programs to meet market needs

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