LENA NAMNUN GUIDES
AVIATION ACADEMY STUDENTS NAVIGATE
How is the Aviation Academy preparing students for aviation careers? What kind of careers are they being trained for?
AVIATION CAREER PREPARATION
The Aviation Academy (AA) is preparing students in various ways. Our first cohort of students are in the pilot program as sophomores. The Pilot students that will be 17 next school year will be taking their ground school and flying lessons in preparation for their Private Pilot test.
If they are successful in that, they will have the opportunity to get their instrument rating in their senior year. The other students in the pilot program that aren't old enough next year will be taking their lessons senior year.
As part of the coursework for all students in the AA, they will be taking courses like Meteorology, Aviation Law/FAA Regulations, Physiology and Psychology of Flight, etc.
As each cohort grows further into their individualized path, they will have more specialized classes based on their path.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL
In the next 4 years we will be phasing in Unmanned Aircraft (19/20 school year), Aviation Management (19/20 school year), Air Traffic Control (20/21 school year), and Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management (21/22 school year).
We are also speaking with the Aviation Institute for Maintenance (AIM) about having some of our students dual-enrolled in their senior year so that they can study to be air craft mechanics.
The curriculum varies by program. All students at Frankford are taking an Intro to Aviation course in their 9th grade year.
At the end of 9th grade, they are permitted to apply for the AA. If accepted, in their 10th grade year they will take generic AA courses like FAA Law, etc.
At the end of 10th grade the students in the AA may apply for their individual tracks of choice (Pilot, ATC, UA, GL, or AM).
The teachers currently involved are Ms. Feuillet (Meteorology), Mr. Maroulis and Ms. Barkley (9th Grade Intro class), Mr. Malloy and 1st Sgt. Fraioli (10th grade Pilot course).
As fluctuations in staffing occur, this group may change. Also, we will need to add to this group as more courses are offered in the next few years.
However, these are our core teachers at the moment and they are doing a phenomenal job!!
Most are trained on the AOPA’s (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) curriculum that we have received and all are embracing the challenges of starting a new program head on!
What were the entrance or curriculum requirements?
For students who want to enter there is a form that requires basic information, three letters of recommendation, and an essay.
Once the entire packet is complete, students will have an interview to complete the process.
Our Pilot and ATC (Air Traffic Control) students have more restrictions as the FAA regulations are tighter in these areas.
They will need to pass a medical exam and have citizenship requirements that may exclude some students. However, these students are encouraged to apply to other programs in the AA.
Is there access to an airplane simulator?
We are in the process of purchasing two simulators now. For the number of students we have, two will suffice. However, as our program grows to capacity, we will need to purchase more in the future.
Are there any videos of students learning, or performing projects in a class environment?
The students are using the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) curriculum. It has been offered to us for free. It includes videos, labs, and hands on lessons.
As the program develops there will be more opportunity for growth including internships, shadowing, and work experiences.
The first photo above is from the Induction of the 1st cohort of students. The 2nd one is from those students in class.
We will continue to document more as more experiences arise.
Describe a typical day for an Aviation Academy student.
A TYPICAL DAY
At this point, a typical day isn't far removed from other Frankford students. In 10th grade, students still have a great deal of PA state mandated courses to complete.
The idea is that students take as many of their mandated courses as possible in their 9th and 10th grade years. This way, in 11th and 12th there is enough time in their schedules to take the more specialized courses as well as internships and flying lessons.
Again, the program is still in the infancy stage, but the plan is to prepare students by meeting the industry’s preparation requirements.
We have been consulting with industry experts as to how to best prepare students for their individual paths. As each program takes shape, the typical day for each group will look different.
The goal is that, upon graduation, students will be prepared to go directly into industry or breeze through additional training necessary (ie- TSA workers, ATCs, etc) to fulfill a career in their chosen field.
How is Frankford searching for sustainable funding sources?
SUSTAINABLE FUNDING SOURCES
Currently we are being funded by the Philadelphia School District, but we realize that is not a sustainable source of funding.
So, we have created partnerships with Philadelphia and Northeast Airports that have connected us to other potential partners including AIM, Tailwinds LLC, Atlantic Aviation, Delta Airlines, etc.
These partners could provide services and internships for our students in the future. We are still looking at continual funding sources and are open to any and all options.
We’re optimistic that once people see the program’s success, we will have no problems getting people to pledge support for our students.
What is your title and role?
My current title is Aviation Academy Coordinator. It was only funded for one year by the Philadelphia School District. We’re hoping to be able to sustain it for at least one more year, and continue developing the program.
My role has been to develop our program plan, courses, work with industry experts to determine their needs, and how we can prepare our students to fulfill those needs.
I also work with companies to provide services (including flight school) to our students, coordinate activities and trips, order materials and manage our budget, and anything else needed to get this program off the ground. (pun intended-lol!)
Name some successes upon completion of the first term?
Currently our 10th grade students are preparing to take their first ground school classes next fall. They are meeting with various directors at Philadelphia International Airport in April to get a behind-the-scenes look at operations.
WOMEN IN AVIATION DAY
And our female students will be attending the Women in Aviation day at Philadelphia International Airport later this week.
What are the plans for year two?
PLANS FOR SECOND YEAR
For next year, we will likely have the newest AOPA curriculum for Unmanned Aircraft to roll out to students in that track. As well as, our first cohort will be PIONEERING their first flights!!!! Woohoo!!!
Keep an eye out for the class of 2020 & 2021 in the nation's cockpits, ten years…from now!