College to begin offering aviation training
By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
Beginning this fall, Douglas College will be offering a new program for students looking to become commercial pilots. The Associate of Arts Degree for Future Professional Pilots couples a study focus on geography and psychology, with flight training on weekends. By the end of the 60-credit program, students will be accredited with not only half of their undergraduate degree, but an Airline Transport Pilot License—a Transport Canada license that’s valuable for employment worldwide.
“There is a huge demand for pilots developing so this is an exciting career option. Also, this is not a dead end academically—students can finish a B.A. or do postgraduate degrees anywhere because these are all University transfer courses,” explained John Higenbottam, associate dean of social sciences and humanities.
Along with psychology and geographical climatology requirements, the program also has a few business studies requirements relevant to international careers often taken by professional pilots. Human resource management, principles of international business, and two third-year business courses are also on the requirement list.
While students can use their Associate of Arts Degree to transfer to research universities, administration hopes to have an applied degree in place by the time the first wave of program graduates finish in two years time.
“[Students] can also finish [the degree] at Douglas if we have our applied degree in place by then. They can complete when they are working with online courses,” said Higenbottam.
Flight training will occur alongside of academic study in the latter half of the program, which can be completed at a student’s own pace, full-time, or part-time in New Westminster. Students wanting to apply for the program in September are urged to do so immediately.
The flight training is done at the Professional Pilot Centre in Delta, a renowned flight facility.
“Professional Flight Centre is one of the top flying schools in Canada. They were looking for an appropriate academic partner because the airlines want pilots who have university degrees,” Higenbottam explained.
The Associate of Arts Degree for Future Professional Pilots can be started in any semester. Students looking to study this degree are urged to visit them online.