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A new Professional Pilot Concentration in Clarion University's Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Technology degree program will be offered by the Department of Applied Technology at Venango College of Clarion University. The program will provide the foundation that students need in order to begin their path to becoming a professional commercial pilot.

Public information sessions and open houses for all interested students will be held at three training sites: North Coast Flight School, 1605 Asbury Rd., Erie, PA 16505 on Wednesday, March 6, 3-5pm; Venango Regional Airport, Hangar Dr. off 15th Street, Franklin, PA 16323 on Thursday, March 7, 3-5pm; Clarion County Airport, 295 Airport Rd., Shippenville, PA 16254 on Friday, March 8, 3-5pm.

Students who earn the associate degree can continue on in Clarion's fully on-line Bachelor of Applied Science in Technology Leadership program to achieve leadership and management training while working as a professional pilot accruing flight time. Students who attain a bachelor's degree and accrue a minimum of 250 flight hours are eligible to seek a commercial pilot's license including multi-engine flying for larger commercial aircraft companies.

The program is offered as a partnership of the Department of Applied Technology at Venango College of Clarion University and Clarion State Aeronautics.

"Students will complete their flight training at one of the Venango, Clarion, or Erie airports, where they will complete their Private Pilot License, instrument rating, and commercial pilot's license. Students who already have obtained flight credentials can receive credit towards the degree," said Dr. Bill Hallock, chair of the Department of Applied Technology.

Jeremy Ravotti, Clarion State Aeronautics Instructor, noted, "the program is flexible and dynamic, allowing students to take their technical training before, during, or after their Clarion University coursework. Students may complete the program on a full- or part-time basis. Flexible class schedules, including evening courses, make it easier for working students to obtain their degree."

The career opportunity for graduates is remarkable in that they will be trained by industry operators as pilots in air carrier operations, on-demand charter, aerial application (crop dusting), aerial photography, survey work, flight instructing, and others. Students will be trained to fly various types of aircraft, including single engine, multi-engine, piston engine, turbine engine, float planes, or any combination of these depending on certification levels earned.

Students will earn a Clarion University Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Technology degree, with a Professional Pilot Concentration. General education courses will be taught at Venango College or online, and the technical component of the degree will be taught by Clarion State Aeronautics at one of three regional airport partners. Students can continue to earn their Clarion University bachelor's degree with courses fully on-line in the junior and senior years, allowing them to earn the degree while working and/or raising families.

For more information, contact the office of Dr. Bill Hallock, chair of the Department of Applied Technology, at 814-676-6591, ext. 1275 or

Venango College of Clarion University, located in Oil City, is the oldest regional campus in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. The college provides high-quality educational programs and personalized services to help students succeed. Students can begin any of Clarion University's 90 plus degrees, earn an associate degree, a bachelor's or master's degree in select areas, obtain a one-year certificate or participate in a variety of professional development and personal enrichment courses. The college is home to Clarion University's School of Nursing and Allied Health, and School of Humanities, Sciences and Technology. Venango College is committed to serving the needs of the community.

3/7/2013 8:00 AM

Venango College to offer new Professional Pilot program