ECSU Signs Aviation Science Articulation Agreement with Three NC Community Colleges

Published on: February 15, 2019
Officials from Elizabeth City State University and three North Carolina community colleges sign an articulation agreement that will allow community college students to transfer to ECSU’s aviation science program. Pictured L to R: Dr. Rebecca Roush, president of Sandhills Community College, Dr. Rusty Hunt, president of Lenoir Community College, Karrie Dixon, chancellor of Elizabeth City State University and Nick Yale, director of aviation programs at Guilford Technical Community College.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. -- Three North Carolina community colleges have joined forces with Elizabeth City State University to educate the next generation of aviators. 

During an articulation agreement ceremony Friday, Feb. 15, ECSU officials signed agreements with officials from three North Carolina community colleges: Guilford Technical Community College, Lenoir Community College, and Sandhills Community College. The agreement with the colleges will bring community college transfer students to ECSU’s signature aviation science program in Elizabeth City. 

“This is an important partnership with three very exciting community colleges,” said ECSU Chancellor Dixon. “Aviation Science is our signature program that makes us unique from any other university in North Carolina.” 

ECSU is the only four-year university in North Carolina offering a bachelor’s degree in aviation science. The university currently operates a 10-fleet airplane flight program and fall 2019 will launch a bachelor program in unmanned aerial systems, or drones. 

The three community colleges currently offer aviation programs and according to school officials, have not been able to transfer students to a public North Carolina university to advance their aviation degree work, until now. 

Dr. Rusty Hunt, president of Lenoir Community College, said his program has been in operation for 49 years, educating students in aviation management and flight instruction. 

“But what we have not had in the past is the ability to partner with a North Carolina four-year program,” he said. “We have had to send students elsewhere.”

Nicholas Yale, the aviation director at Guilford Technical Community College, said this agreement is providing a “pathway that wasn’t there before.” He noted that students who wish to move up the aviation career ladder require a bachelor degree and this agreement will give them that opportunity.

“This is a historic event,” Yale said. “It is key to the development of the industry and of the students.”

Currently, the aviation industry is experiencing a shortage of pilots and more pilots are due to retire over the next decade, making aviation one of the fastest growing career fields in the country. Drone technology, according to ECSU Aviation Science Program Director, Dr. Kuldeep Rawat, offers more than 400 areas for career advancement, including agriculture, homeland security, and emergency management. 

Community college students who earn an Associates in Applied Science degree can transfer to ECSU to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science degree. These students can minor in flight education, aviation management, air traffic control, or avionics.

“Thank you for what you’ll be doing for our students in the years to come,” said Sandhills Community College vice president of academic affairs, Dr. Rebecca Roush. 

ECSU is a constituent university of the University of North Carolina System, located in Northeastern North Carolina. 


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