July 14, 2023

Pilotsmith partners with Purdue Global to address projected demand for aviation professionals over next 20 years

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Pilotsmith and Purdue Global, Purdue’s online school for working adults, have formed a partnership to address the projected global and regional demand for aviation professionals over the next 20 years.

Beginning May 23, students accepted into the Purdue Global professional flight degree program will complete their Bachelor of Science degree courses online through Purdue Global, while completing professional flight training at Pilotsmith, Purdue Global’s newest flight training partner.

Additional information:

“Pilotsmith is very excited to join Purdue Global in this partnership. Providing more educational options for students is always a winning formula,” said Trent VandenHeuvel, vice president of Pilotsmith.

Students who complete all five flight certifications/ratings – private pilot certification, instrument rating, commercial pilot certification, certified flight instructor and multiengine flight rating – will receive 45 college credits from Purdue Global toward their bachelor’s degree in professional flight, equivalent to one year of college credits. Students who have college credits from previous schools may also receive additional transfer credits, thereby saving them more money and allowing them to graduate faster.

“We are pleased to join forces with an established flight training center like Pilotsmith to bolster our popular professional flight program,” said Sara Sander, Purdue Global vice president and dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and interim dean of the School of Aviation. “The benefits to our students training under Pilotsmith are the significant cost savings and speed to obtaining the five flight certificates and ratings required within our professional flight program. Students can realistically accelerate their path to the airlines by one or two years.”

Pilotsmith students, employees and immediate family members (spouse, domestic partner, children, siblings and parents) are eligible for a tuition incentive package for undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates.

Purdue Global’s professional flight degree program is a collaboration between Purdue Global and Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. The collaboration, which was announced in 2019, combines the quality of Purdue’s legendary aviation program with the flexibility and affordability that Purdue Global offers.

As U.S. airline pilots approach the federally mandated retirement age of 65, the industry faces a shortage of pilots. Reports forecast a need for around 130,000 pilots over the next 20 years in North America, and airlines are already finding it hard to fill open positions. The Purdue Global and Pilotsmith partnership is designed to get students flying immediately, shortening the timeline to professional pilot to meet this demand.

About Purdue Global

Purdue Global is Purdue’s online university for working adults who have life experience and often some college credits. It offers flexible paths for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, military service and previous college credits, no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and backed by Purdue University. For more information, visit stories.purdue.edu/purdue-global.

About Pilotsmith

Pilotsmith is a professional pilot academy with various locations in Wisconsin. It focuses on quality of training, safety, information sharing and an honest, upfront approach that has led to continued and steady growth. In addition, Pilotsmith embraces employee advancement opportunities, development of staff and high-end customer service. For more information, visit pilotsmith.com.

Writer/Media contact: Matthew Oates, 765-496-6160, oatesw@purdue.edu; @mo_oates

Sources: Andrew Rachmell

Trent VandenHeuvel

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