KSU’s aeronautics on its way toward accreditation

Rebekah Mosora

Kent State’s aeronautics program is on its way to becoming the first accredited aeronautics program at an Ohio public university.

The Council of Aviation Accreditation gave Kent State positive feedback after a campus visit this week, said Raj Chowdhury, the dean of the School of Technology. The site visit is one step of the process of Kent State’s aeronautics program gaining accreditation.

“Their four-member team came and gave a three-day visit to Kent State where they evaluated our program, interviewed all of the faculty, talked to students, saw our facility and evaluated our curriculum,” Chowdhury said.

“The preliminary report is very positive, however, we are waiting for the official word from the board,” Chowdhury said.

There are still many steps in the accreditation process, said Isaac Nettey, senior academic program director of aeronautics. Formal reports will be presented and evaluated within the upcoming months. The board will not officially decide on accreditation until February.

The group conducting the evaluation included professors and industry professionals. University officials welcomed the group at a reception last Sunday.

On Monday, the group took tours of the university and met with various university officials, faculty members and students. Nettey said they wanted to gauge institutional support for the program and to evaluate it.

“They looked at flight records, interviewed students and interviewed faculty to make sure the program is a high standards program and that it is meeting students’ needs,” Nettey said.

Nettey said the site visit followed a self-study report that was previously submitted in the process for accreditation. The self-study report, which includes three large volumes, discusses university and program history, program curriculum and enrollment and retention data among other things.

Chowdhury said the accreditation process is very complex and the aviation school has been pursuing accreditation for five years.

“People have no idea what it really takes to get up for accreditation,” Chowdhury said.

Everyone at the university was involved in the process, from the president to the students, Nettey said. He said he credits the successful site visit to everyone who was involved.

All four areas of degree concentration in the aeronautics program are up for accreditation. They include aeronautical studies, aeronautical systems engineering technology, aviation management and flight technology.

“Accreditation is very important for the university,” Nettey said. “It benchmarks Kent State’s program with the best programs in the world. It is an important step up for Kent State aviation. The step up is beneficial for the university and very important for the students.”

Chowdhury describes the aeronautics program accreditation as a “win-win situation” for the students.

“Students will find better jobs, and they will be much more competitive in the job market,” Chowdhury said.

Nettey said there are only 20 universities in the country with full accreditation in aeronautics.

“Kent State will become the first and only accredited aviation program at any state institution in Ohio,” Nettey said. “This is historic because Kent State airport was established in 1917. Aviation education has been at Kent State in one form or another for a very long time.”

Contact regional campus reporter Rebekah Mosora at [email protected].