Aviation internship to include class, dual credits

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Dual credits and classroom learning with an instructor will be added to the aviation internship program students can take at the Huntingburg Airport.

The aviation operations program offered through the Patoka Valley & Perry County Career & Technical Cooperative will be enhanced to offer the class and dual credits.

“Students can actually get Vincennes [University] college credit or dual credit while they’re taking the program,” said Jarred Howard, director of the Patoka Valley & Perry County Career & Technical Cooperative. “The high school credit that they get now is just for work-based learning internship. That will change over and become an aviation high school credit, and they get VU credits for aviation as well.”

The partnership for the program is with the co-op, the airport, Vincennes University Jasper and VU’s aviation sector in Indianapolis. An instructor is being hired; that job has been posted, Howard said.

The new program will start this fall.

Airport Manager Travis McQueen said the new program will be more formalized than the current internship program.

“We don’t have a formalized classroom setting or environment,” he said. “I have the location for the kids to come to. I got the functions for the kids to do. But I don’t have the classroom. I don’t have the curriculum.”

With this change, “there will be a teacher involved that will walk the students through a curriculum,” McQueen said. “Bringing all this together will be something even more valuable to that student.”

The aviation operations program will be a two-year program. The final details of the program are being worked out by the co-op and VU, but it will include students completing the basic ground school program, which McQueen suggests to all airport interns.

“We know that we’re doing, that’s for sure,” Howard said. “They’re going to do the coursework two or three days a week. And the other two or three days a week will be spent working around the airport completing an internship.”

The aviation operations program is available to students at Dubois County and Perry County high schools, as well as at Heritage Hills, Pike Central and Wood Memorial high schools. Howard is going to the different schools to explain the enhanced program.

“It’s going to be a win for the students because they get to take the dual credit from Vincennes that they can carry on if they want to go into aviation at Vincennes or other places,” Howard said. “It’s a win for the airport because they have access to some of our students, the best kids we have that are interested in aviation.”

Students who are interested can contact their high school counselor or the co-op.

“It will be great to have a dedicated instructor to take that group of students and walk them into aviation, in understanding the basic concepts in aviation,” McQueen said. “And then students will be able to apply to aviation programs at Purdue, Indiana State University, Ivy Tech, Vincennes University, and to bring college credits behind them and have a baseline. That’s great for the students, and for mom and dad.”

The Patoka Valley & Perry County Career & Technical Cooperative has collaborated with Vincennes University Jasper to enhance several of its programs: EMT, construction trades, automation and robotics, and health science. Along with aviation operations, the co-op’s CNA program will also become a collaboration program at the local university.

“Last year, we had five kids on campus,” Howard said. “Next year, we expect to have 170.”

The co-op can be reached at 812-482-7662.




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