Purdue, LIFT Academy Partner to Tackle Commercial Pilot Need

Under the agreement, students who complete all five flight certifications/ratings will receive a year of credits toward their bachelor’s degree in professional flight.

Under the Purdue Global and Leadership in Flight Training (LIFT) Academy partnership, students who complete all five certifications/ratings will also receive college credit. [Credit: Derek Eckenroth]

If you are looking for a way to balance flight training with the pursuit of a college degree, check out the partnership between Purdue Global, Purdue University's online arm and Indianapolis-based Leadership in Flight Training (LIFT) Academy.

LIFT Academy is a U.S.-based commercial aviation pilot training school owned by Republic Airways. LIFT Academy utilizes a fleet of Diamond Aircraft, including the DA40 and DA20 single-engine and DA42 twin-engine aircraft, along with aviation advanced training devices (AATDs) from Diamond Simulation and Frasca International to prepare applicants for careers in commercial aviation.

Purdue Global is the West Lafayette, Indiana, university’s online arm created for working adults who have life experience and often some college credits and need the flexibility of e-learning to achieve a college degree.

Under the partnership, students who complete all five flight certifications/ratings (private pilot, commercial pilot, certificated flight instructor, and instrument and multiengine ratings) will receive 45 college credits from Purdue Global toward their bachelor’s degree in professional flight. This is equivalent to one year of college credits.

Students who have previous college credits from other schools may receive additional transfer credits, thereby saving money and allowing them to graduate faster.

LIFT Academy students, along with Republic Airways employees and immediate family members, are eligible for a tuition incentive package for undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates.

“The need for more commercial and regional pilots is great right now," said Sara Sander, Purdue Global vice president and dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and interim dean of the School of Aviation. "By working together with LIFT Academy, we hope to address this workforce and economic development issue.”

Purdue Global’s professional flight degree program is a collaboration between it and Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. Purdue boasts one of the oldest aviation programs in the nation, tracing its roots to 1910 with the creation of an aero club on campus. The aviation interest continued to grow over the decades and included adding aviatrix Amelia Earhart as a visiting faculty member between 1935 and 1937.

According to Scott Hornback, LIFT Academy CEO, the partnership "makes state-of-the-art flight training accessible and affordable. Students train with cutting-edge technology for an in-demand career as a commercial airline pilot beginning day one."

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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