The Texas Southern University (TSU) Department of Aviation is partnering with the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) to host a seven-week flight training program for AFJROTC cadets on the TSU campus.
The cadets, comprised of high school students from across the nation, are training for a Federal Aviation Administration Private Pilot’s License and will reside in the TSU dorms for the entirety of the seven-week program. TSU officials said that candidates will experience instruction similar to Air Force Academy flight training, including Ground School and flight lessons.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the Air Force JROTC. Our aviation program is one of the best in the nation and the only program in a major metropolitan area in Texas,” said TSU Interim President Dr. Ken Huewitt. “This joint venture enhances and elevates the brand of the Aviation Program and will encourage others to look to TSU to provide first-class aviation training that leads to meaningful careers.”
TSU—a historically Black college and university (HBCU) in Houston—was selected as a host after an Air Force personnel visit last year determined that TSU was the right fit for an Air Force JROTC program, said college officials.
“With the need for over 400,000 commercial pilots by 2035, TSU is playing an integral role in training America’s future aviators,” said Dr. Terence H. Fontaine, director of the university’s Aviation Program. “We are the only public institution of higher learning in Texas that offers both a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Science Management and Aviation Science Management with a Professional Pilot Concentration.”
University officials note that TSU is one of 25 universities throughout the nation that has partnered with the U.S. Air Force to provide opportunities to JROTC cadets while also expediting flight training for future airmen and is one of only eight HBCUs in the country to offer a degree in aviation.
In July, Texas Southern will launch its Naval Cadet Flight Academy program in partnership with the United States Navy. Texas Southern University is an FAA-certified Part 141 Aviation Program.
Last year, The College of Science, Engineering and Technology (COSET) received the Part 141 program designation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), enabling TSU’s Aviation school to continue its mission of training pilots along a specific career path. The FAA sets regular reviews of programs with a Part 141 curriculum for consistency, continuity, and acceptable flight training practices.
TSU’s Aviation Science Management degree is accredited by the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE). The program has four aircraft and two full-motion Redbird flight simulators. Plus, veterans who enroll in the program can use their benefits to pay for coursework and flight fees.
“The FAA Part 141 designation gives TSU flight students a special approved training program while attending classes toward obtaining their Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Science Management,” said Fontaine. “We have the title for a two-year period in which we must accomplish key metrics in order to maintain the FAA accreditation. We are excited that the hard work by our staff and leadership over the past few years has paid off.”