Southern Illinois University, Delta Provide Accelerated Path to Pilot Careers

Chancellor Austin Lane (second from left) and representatives from Delta welcome the Propel Collegiate Pilot Career Path Program to Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Southern Illinois University

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and Delta Air Lines have agreed to provide an accelerated professional pilot program to students of the school’s aviation program, it was announced Tuesday

The pact makes SIU the 13th university to join Delta’s Propel Collegiate Pilot Career Path Program since it was launched in 2018. This also marks SIU’s first agreement with a major airline to work with and hire students.

How it Works

This five-year pact will create a pipeline of pilots to Delta’s fleet. Student candidates will undergo a competitive interview and evaluation process, then qualified students will receive a conditional job offer contingent on completing the accelerated program and obtaining 1,000 flight hours.

After graduation, the additional hours to meet the 1,000-hour threshold can be met by one of two paths:

  • Flight instructing
  • A military path for national guard or reserve pilots

Delta has also stipulated that students who graduated in 2020 and met all of the program requirements at the time of graduation will be eligible to join the program.

“[The year] 2020 had an unprecedented impact, not only with the airline industry, but also with careers,” the airline said in a release. “We’re excited to announce that for the fall 2021 College Path window, eligibility will be expanded to include 2020 graduates who met all program eligibility requirements at the time of graduation.”

Based in Texas, Ashley is the former Marketing Manager at FLYING and focuses deeply on training and education. She graduated from the Baylor Institute for Air Science with a Bachelor's in Aviation Science and holds an MBA specializing in Marketing. She is an also instrument rated private pilot and licensed FAA dispatcher.

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