KSU aeronautics partnership provides prospective jobs

Breyanna Tripp

Kent State’s aeronautics graduates will be able to soar the skies professionally before they graduate.

The aeronautics program has partnered with CommutAir, an airline that operates as United Airlines in the Northeast and Midwest, to provide select students a chance to intern to expand their flight training and job opportunities. About 10 percent of CommutAir’s current pilots are Kent State graduates.

The requirements to apply for the program are below:

1. A KSU sophomore, junior, or senior and have a letter of recommendation from a University Chief or Assistant Chief Flight Instructor.

2. FAA Private Pilot Certificate with Airplane Instrument Rating.

3. Maintains a 1st Class Medical Certificate.

4. Maintains a 3.0 Cumulative GPA or higher.

5. Maintains good attendance in academic and flight courses (if applicable).

6. Commendable training record considering stage check/check ride performance and/or written knowledge testing.

7. Has participated in extracurricular activities (flying clubs, sports, interest groups, etc.) within the past four (4) years.

8. Initial “Dispatcher” applicants may waive #2 and #3 above.

“CommutAir can rely on Kent State graduates for their level of expertise, professionalism and preparedness,” said Maureen McFarland, Academic Program Director of Aeronautics. “Also because it provides students with invaluable real-world experience that they can’t get inside the classroom – this is experiential learning at its finest.”

The agreement entails a bridge program to provide students with aviation experience before they graduate. Students have to complete 200 hours of observation to learn all of the company’s operations and then they can apply for an internship.

“The value of CommutAir establishing a bridging agreement with a quality aviation program such as that at Kent State provides us with a more robust pool of qualified applicants,” said CommutAir Executive Vice President Joel Raymond in a press release. “We view this relationship as one very important piece of a very complex puzzle in assuring our operation is staffed with the highest qualified aviators.”

McFarland says CommutAir has committed to two internships in each of the fall, spring and summer semesters for a total of six each year. Students will receive a $2000 stipend at the end of the internship and they will receive full travel benefits with United Airlines as employees of CommutAir during their internship, which means they can fly for free.

Students who do not receive the internship can interview for a contingent job offer. This allows students to be offered a job before they graduate.

“We definitely consider this a long-term relationship with Kent State,” Nick DeLotell, director of training for United Express operated by CommutAir, said in a press release.

Kent State’s aeronautics program is launching an aircraft dispatch minor in Fall 2014 and Mcfarland says CommutAir has already agreed to hire graduates.    

“I feel it’s a good way to transition into a career,” said Joshua Moyer, senior airport management major.

Currently, there are five students in the program completing their observation hours.

Contact Breyanna Tripp at [email protected].