New Aviation Degree Takes Flight at Walsh University to Address Pilot Shortage

Partnership Puts Educated Pilots in the Cockpit in Less Time at Less Cost

Amid an international pilot shortage, Walsh University is excited to announce the launch of a new Bachelor of Science in Professional Aviation in partnership with FAA-approved American Winds Aviation.  The program is a 2+2 degree program where students would earn their certified pilot license and associate degree through American Winds and finish their Bachelor of Science in Professional Aviation degree from Walsh. Many employers, including commercial airlines, now require or prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Walsh to meet the growing need for producing skilled professional pilots, and we are very excited for the growth opportunity of this program,” said Dr. Michael Dunphy, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We hope to recruit students from across the United States and even internationally. There’s huge potential.”

aviation-2.JPGAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the airline industry is projected to grow 13 percent over the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations.  With that, there will be on average 14,500 openings for airline and commercial pilots each year. Many of those openings are the result of pilots who retired or will retire in the near future.  The Bureau also reports that the median pay for airline and commercial pilots is $130,440.

“Our goal at American Winds Aviation is to train students to become professional pilots,” said President Denise Hobart.  “There’s a shortage of approximately 760,000 aviation positions needed over the next 20 years.  As it stands, we don’t have the infrastructure in our country to train that many people.  This partnership with Walsh has the potential to fast track a student’s training with less required flight hours and less out-of-pocket costs.”

Students can complete their academic coursework face-to-face or online and obtain their flight instruction through American Winds, which offers 24/7 access to flight training, full-time instructors and online scheduling. Walsh will also offer 21 credits of general education for the aviation associate degree. In addition, it may be possible for existing Walsh students to acquire an aviation rating while at Walsh.

Read the news coverage in the Canton Repository

Listen to the WHBC radio interview with Dante Williams, Walsh's first pilot student.