Program Number: AS-26140

Overview

It is a safe and accurate statement that the pilot-in-command of an aircraft is the crewmember responsible for guiding and directing the course of that aircraft. It is equally safe to say that the aviation maintenance technician is the crewmember who provides the pilot the opportunity to do so. The Wright brothers knew this all too well, partnering with an extremely gifted technician, Charlie Taylor, to create their first aircraft engine. Taylor worked with the Wrights for many years and is an outstanding example of the great importance of aviation maintenance technicians in our National Airspace System. Polk State College respects the legacy of Taylor and many other notable men and women who have pioneered new technologies and maintained the global fleet of aircraft to ensure occupant safety for over a hundred years. As such, our degree program focuses on the technical aspects of aviation maintenance and the skills and theories necessary to supervise and manage aviation maintenance organizations. From airline maintenance to private shops specializing in fabric structures restoration to engine overhaul and service, the aviation maintenance field is extremely diverse, as are the opportunities within it. Polk State Aerospace prepares men and women to enter that workforce and to elevate their position within it.

Structure

Like all commercial (and many private) aviation operators in today’s aerospace environment, the Aerospace Program at Polk State College embraces the concept of a Safety Management System (SMS) as a quality management approach to controlling risk. Therefore, all curricula and aviation activities follow the guidance put forth in the Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular 120-92, “Introduction to Safety Management Systems for Air Operators,” and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Document 9859, “Safety Management Manual (SMM).” The policies and procedures in these documents provide the organizational framework to support a sound safety culture. Students in the program train under the same operational requirements that apply to the companies they will one day work for.

Training Methodology

The Aviation Maintenance Administration degree program consists of two interdependent training opportunities. In order to graduate from the program, students must obtain their FAA Airframe and Powerplant certificates. This training can be accomplished at any FAA-approved Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technician School, provided that the certifications are earned not more than three years prior to program enrollment at the College. Students may also elect to enroll in a Part 147 school while enrolled in this degree program. That is allowed and encouraged, but students must hold the FAA credentials in order to graduate from this degree program. This technical training makes up 50% of the total degree completion requirement and is awarded as articulated credit upon completion of the appropriate FAA practical tests. The second component of the degree program is the collegiate, academic, content. This consists of 18 credits of college level general education courses and 12 credits of Aerospace program core courses applicable to this degree. Students who complete this degree program will also have met the prerequisite requirements to enter the Polk State College Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Sciences, if they so choose.