Avionics News July 2019 - 67

today, our primary focus is to grow enrollment so that
our classes are as close to the 75-student capacity as
possible. Our classes are running right at 51% average
enrollment, which is about the national average.
The classes that begin in August are always full, and
some even have a waiting list. Our January class is
about half full, and our classes that begin in May are
the lightest.

Avionics News: How are you preparing
students to become technicians and satisfying the
increasing demand of these advanced technology fields
in avionics, unmanned aircraft systems and aircraft
electronics?
Howell: Along with our standard 14 CFR
147 curriculum, we offer a Bachelor of Science in
maintenance, which builds on that curriculum.
In addition, our School of Aeronautics as a whole has
a lot going on right now. For example, we are moving
into a lot of unmanned aerial system related training.
It's moving forward a lot faster than we expected.
That's exciting for our program and our students.
We have also introduced a UAS maintainers program
in a partnership with Textron. It's also popular with our
students. Our degree program now offers a Bachelor of
Science in unmanned aerial systems.
Avionics News: How are you doing
things differently to keep up with technological
advancements? What's new and exciting in your
curriculum?
Howell: We are always trying to keep up with
industry needs. For example, we recently updated all
our NIDA 130E electronics system trainers. These
updated systems have enabled us to beef up our aircraft
electrical systems training. We are going to use these in
our upcoming avionics technician program.
We are also working to increase the offerings of our
online courses. Most of that is for continuing education
needs.
As I mentioned, the UAS maintainers program is
brand new. We partner with Textron out of Fort Pickett
in Blackstone, Virginia. They have been taking the

Instructor Nathan Rohrer with students

cream of our UAS piloting crop for their UAS flight
training program.
These are the large UAS aircraft, and our students
get an opportunity to actually fly them as part of the
training. It's turned out to be an excellent connection
for us. Textron has recently donated a UAS to use as
the cornerstone of our new UAS maintenance program.
This past semester was the first time we offered
the UAS maintenance program, which also features a
dedicated UAS avionics component in the curriculum.
Another poplar program is the bachelor's degree in
aviation maintenance management offered as an online
add-on for people who are working as A&Ps but have
hit the glass ceiling in their career. They can now work
to earn an advanced degree whenever they have time.
While the online offering is getting a lot of use, we
found that it's become popular with our resident students,
especially the international attendees. We recently
expanded the Bachelor of Science in aviation maintenance
management to our resident programs here at Liberty.

Avionics News: How is your program set up?
Part 147 with avionics, stand-alone avionics, degree
program, certificate program?
Howell: Ours is currently a one-year, Part 147
certificate program. Students can turn the certificate
program into an associate degree with an additional
semester of courses. They also have the option to
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Avionics News July 2019

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