WARRENSBURG, MO (Jan. 28, 2014) – The University of Central Missouri and American Eagle Airlines announced a partnership Monday that will benefit UCM’s aviation program and its students as it provides American Eagle with qualified pilots for the future.
Under provisions of a partnership agreement signed by Deborah Curtis, UCM provost and chief learning officer, and Nick Brice, director of pilot recruitment for American Eagle, qualified UCM aviation students may participate in the American Eagle Pilot Pipeline Program. They will be assured of a job in the airline industry upon graduation, while American Eagle will be assured of a steady flow of highly qualified pilots during an era of critical pilot shortages.
Upon completion of requirements as a certificated flight instructor through their studies at UCM and acceptance into the Pilot Pipeline program, UCM aviation students will become employees of American Eagle with company benefits and travel privileges while completing degree requirements at UCM. As employees of American Eagle, they will continue to work as flight instructors for UCM. Upon graduation and completion of the Federal Aviation Administration required pilot certificates, they will be hired as a pilot for American Eagle, a subsidiary of American Airlines, with a guaranteed opportunity for a future interview as a pilot with American Airlines.
In addition to the guaranteed employment opportunity, the students in the Pilot Pipeline program may qualify for a $10,000 scholarship to help defray the cost of their studies.
“This is a remarkable opportunity for UCM aviation students, and it also fills an urgent need for American Eagle,” said Tony Monetti, assistant dean and chair of the UCM Department of Aviation and executive director of Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport. “The assistance provided through the scholarship is a great help in defraying the cost of obtaining a degree in aviation. It also assists students in successfully completing their degrees in four years.”
“American Eagle is excited to collaborate with an excellent aviation program like UCM’s,” Brice said. “The Pilot Pipeline program allows us to recruit future pilots early in their college careers, partnering with aviation programs that will assure us of the quality of instruction and the caliber of pilots we need.”
Monetti noted that enrollment in UCM’s aviation program has increased by 30 percent during the past year, but the need for trained pilots will continue to grow as veteran pilots retire from the industry.
“UCM’s aviation program is one of only a handful in the country that have collaborated with programs like the Pilot Pipeline,” he said. “We began discussions with American Eagle last summer, and after a visit to campus in August, they were anxious to develop this partnership with us. Programs like this can be the future of modern aviation.”
“We are very excited about the long term potential of a partnership with American Eagle,” Curtis said. “Our aviation students are among the best in the nation, and this provides an opportunity to smooth their transition from classroom to cockpit. UCM is proud to be a part of creating a pipeline for pilots that will assure the high quality professional preparation and placement of our outstanding students.”
UCM’s Department of Aviation offers undergraduate programs in professional pilot, airport management, flight operations management, and aviation maintenance, and a graduate program in aviation safety. The department is an FAA Part 141 school and home to one of fewer than 30 Aviation Accreditation Board International accredited programs. The university’s Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport is the only university-owned airport in Missouri, maintaining a fleet of Cessna single-engine and Piper multi-engine aircraft. Aviation majors are trained using Redbird and 737 simulators.
American Eagle Airlines is a member of the American Airlines Group. Founded in 1984, the company provides regional passenger air services from hubs in Dallas/ForthWorth, Chicago O’Hare, Miami, Los Angeles and New York John F. Kennedy airports. The company operates 230 aircraft with 14,000 employees, including 3,000 pilots.
For more information about UCM’s aviation programs and Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport, contact the UCM Department of Aviation at (660) 543-4969, or online at ucmo.edu/aviation.
In the photo: Deborah Curtis, right, UCM provost and chief learning officer, and Nick Brice, center, director of pilot recruitment for American Eagle Airlines, signed a partnership agreement that establishes the cooperative Pilot Pipeline program at UCM. Also present was Tony Monetti, left, assistant dean of aviation and executive director of Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport at UCM. Photo submitted.