Aeronautics becomes only accredited program in Ohio

Holly Mueller

The Kent State Aeronautics program has become the only accredited aviation program in Ohio, Isaac Richmond Nettey said.

Nettey, senior academic program director of aeronautics, said the Council on Aviation Accreditation informed him in March about the new accreditation. The council examines and evaluates several areas of the program such as the curriculum, faculty and administration.

“Being accredited really speaks to the integrity of the program,” Nettey said.

Edward John Overchuk, assistant professor in the College of Technology, said being accredited makes graduates more marketable.

“It adds so much more to your resume seeing that you attended an accredited school. It tells other universities we have a very rigorous program,” he said.

Although the program offers a challenging curriculum, it also offers a “smaller, more personal environment for students,” said Dawn Ricciardi, senior aeronautical studies major.

Ricciardi transferred to Kent more than two years ago from the nation’s No. 1 flight school, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. She said she likes Kent so much more because of its good support system, and because “the teachers are more in tune with the students.”

The aeronautics program applied for candidate status in December 2004 and was granted it by the Council on Aviation and Accreditation, Nettey said.

“We were given until January 2006 to complete our self-study report, but we finished early in July 2005,” Nettey added.

Nettey said a team of four executive directors from the Council on Aviation and Accreditation visited Kent State in October.

The team evaluated the school and interviewed some of the aeronautics students, one of them being Ricciardi.

“They asked us about our classes, our flight courses and the airport,” Ricciardi said.

Nettey said the council did not find one weakness in the program and proposed only one recommendation.

This was the first time the program tried to become accredited, and the accreditation will last for five years, Nettey said.

“Now it’s time to take a breather and start all over again in 2010,” Nettey added.

Contact College of Technology reporter Holly Mueller at [email protected].