College of Aeronautics celebrates new partnership with Delta Airlines

Chief flight instructor Brian Neff, Aeronautics senior Jack Warren, and Dean of Aeronautics and Engineering Christina Bloebaum look for a spot to put the Delta banner on Sept. 13, 2019. The new partnership with Delta is a “huge opportunity,” said Neff. Warren plans on working for Delta after he graduates. 

Kent State’s aeronautics program announced a new partnership with Delta Airlines that will provide flight students with a pathway to a career with the company.

Interim University Provost Melody Tankersley spoke at the kickoff of the partnership, praising Kent’s aeronautics program and Delta Airlines.  

“It is an opportunity of a lifetime for our students in a nationally ranked flight technology program, it is amazing,” Tankersley said. “We’re so proud that Kent State is one of only three universities in the nation selected this year to become a Delta Propel Partner.”

The Propel Pilot Career Path Program is offered at less than 20 colleges throughout the country, and gives aeronautics students clear paths to a multitude of careers with Delta following graduation. 

Nick Gallaway, an alumni of Kent’s aeronautics program and current flight instructor, said that because he graduated within the last six months, he is still able to apply for the Propel program. 

“It basically gives you a flow into Delta Airlines … all you have to do is 42 months in one of the paths and then you can be hired as a pilot with Delta,” Gallaway said.  

Through the program, there are different options students can pick from.

“You can choose one of three routes,” said senior aeronautics major Clare Willette. “You can do Delta’s corporate branch, you can do a Delta connection flight which is the regional airlines … or you can go military. I’m really, really excited about it … No other airline has done something like this with us, it’s only Delta.”

Brent Knoblauch, a First Officer with Delta on the Boeing 717, said that it is an exciting time to be an aspiring pilot due to the global pilot shortage. 

“Over the next decade, half of Delta’s current pilot workforce will reach mandatory retirement age. We expect a need to hire over 8,000 pilots over the next ten years to staff our daily flights across the globe,”  Knoblauch said.

Tankersley said that due to this shortage, Kent aeronautics graduates are becoming more valuable than ever. 

The partnership is sure to be both lasting and profitable for Delta and Kent State, Tankersley said. 

“Delta is a company that shares our desire for student successful transition into the industry, and our passion for education. We couldn’t be more grateful,” Tanekrsley said.

“The Delta Propel Partnership means that the sky truly is the limit for our flight technology students.”

Contact Katie Null 

at [email protected]