Aviation program establishes connection with younger crowd

Lindsay Ridinger

High school students can earn college credit

Kent State’s aviation program is taking flight in its education prospects and reaching out to high school students this fall.

The university and Stow-Munroe Falls High School have established an agreement to allow high school students from the area to take aviation courses in Stow, said Maureen McFarland, aeronautics program director.

High school sophomores, juniors and seniors can be elected to join the program, called the Aviation Careers Academy, to earn both high school and college credit.

“When (the students) graduate from high school they already have credit hours here at Kent State to come right into our program.” McFarland said.

This is the first academic year the schools have initiated the academy, and this fall 14 students are enrolled. These students’ home schools include Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls, Woodridge, Tallmadge, Kent Roosevelt and Stow-Munroe Falls, said Ed Borsuk, the aviation instructor at Stow.

Borsuk is the only aviation course instructor at Stow so far, but Chris Dimaura teaches English to the aviation students, and Aaron Morris teaches math.

Borsuk said the students take aeronautics, English and math courses from 7:30 to 11:10 a.m. at Stow, then leave to finish their daily class schedule up at their home schools in the afternoon.

The aviation classes the students take are Introduction to Aeronautics, Airport Management and Air Traffic Control, Borsuk said.

“(The students) can potentially earn 11 credit hours,” Borsuk said.

The students, however, must earn a C letter grade or better in the aviation classes in order to receive college credit.

Borsuk also said he brings the students to the university for visits, one of which took place Sept. 24.

Ray Weber, introduction to aeronautics professor at Kent State, said the high school students sat in on one of his classes while he lectured and presented a general review of aviation history.

“I have worked with (Borsuk) to prepare him for teaching the classes,” Weber said.

Some students also gained aviation experience during the summer at ACE academy, a one-week camp program sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration. Students visited sites such as the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, and on the last day, they received a ground lesson by flight instructors at the Kent State University Airport, Borsuk said.

“For 20 minutes (the students) took over the controls,” he said.

Borsuk said he hopes all his students will be involved with ACE Academy eventually, and he said he wants his classes to participate in similar visitation or flight experiences throughout the school year.

The Aviation Careers Academy at Stow is a versatile program. Borsuk said there are other avenues the students can take.

“Flying is not necessarily part of the program,” Borsuk said. “It is an option they can take on their own.”

Now that the high school aviation program is in working progress, Borsuk said an after-school project involving the simulators in Van Deusen Hall is in the works.

Contact College of Technology reporter Lindsay Ridinger at [email protected]