College of DuPage aviation management program takes flight

Be one of the first to take advantage of College of DuPage's new Aviation Management program launching this fall.

COD's Associate in Applied Science degree in Aviation Management offers students two academic tracks to follow: a flight track to obtain Federal Aviation Administration pilot certifications to prepare students for a career flying airplanes, and an aviation management track that introduces students to a variety of ground-based jobs in aviation.

During the 64/65-credit degree program, students will receive hands-on training both in and outside of the classroom from seasoned FAA flight instructors and learn about aircraft operations, flight instruction, federal aviation regulations, aviation safety principles, aviation meteorology and more.

According to the Bureau of Labor Market Statistics, the expected job outlook for airline and commercial pilots is on track to grow 13 percent in the next decade. And with that growth comes a need for more aviation support personnel, said COD Aviation Management Instructor Tim Genc.

"Nationally, the need for pilots and aviation management professionals is at a historic high," Genc said. "With the launch of COD's Aviation Management program, it allows us to provide the skilled talent that the aviation industry needs, and it gives students another pathway toward a fulfilling, high-wage career."

For students following the flight track, the first semester is spent receiving hands-on training inside a Redbird Flight Simulator, a fully enclosed, wrap around visual system that allows students to train in a realistic cockpit environment.

"Using the simulator, we can replicate different types of aircraft and many different weather scenarios" Genc said. "The whole purpose of the simulator is to teach students procedures before actually getting in an airplane."

After the first semester, in partnership with the Illinois Aviation Academy, students are exposed to an extensive amount of flight training out of the DuPage Airport in West Chicago. Through the program, students can earn their professional pilot certificates and rating in just two years.

"Training out of a busy airport like the DuPage Airport does a really good job of preparing students for what they will encounter once they get to the professional pilot's stage of their training," Genc said.

Students on the Aviation Management track complete an aviation internship and learn from seasoned aviation industry experts about protocols, procedures and more.

For those interested in learning more about the Aviation Management program, attend the Aviation program Open House from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 10, at the DuPage Airport, 2700 International Drive in West Chicago.

Learn more and register at

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