MOSES LAKE — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently selected Big Bend Community College’s Unmanned Systems program for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI), a new program that recognizes universities, colleges and technical schools that prepare students for careers in UAS or drones.
The UAS-CTI program officially launched this Spring.
In order to qualify for the initiative, schools must offer a bachelor’s or associates degree in UAS or a degree with a minor, concentration, or certificate in UAS. Schools must provide curriculum covering various aspects of UAS training, including hands-on flight practice, maintenance, uses, applications, privacy concerns, safety, and federal policies concerning UAS.
Big Bend now joins dozens of other higher-education institutions from around the country who are now designated as members of the Consortium for Small Unmanned Aircraft System Technology Training. The FAA will invite members of this consortium to participate in annual meetings and other events with the agency, and will facilitate the development sharing of best practices through this consortium.
“As a member of the UAS-CTI consortium, BBCC will be at the table with industry and government stakeholders in order to address labor needs and keep abreast of best practices,” said BBCC Dean of Workforce Education Daneen Berry-Guerin. “The collaboration identifies BBCC as an FAA recognized UAS trainer and helps ensure that our students will have the skills needed to be successful in UAS-related endeavors.”
Big Bend has been offering unmanned aerial systems classes since 2016.
Drones are becoming an increasingly common tool in the workplace, and employers are now looking for people with traditional industry skills who can also utilize drones. Learning to use this new tool can be beneficial to graduates in many industries, including agriculture, law enforcement, manufacturing and construction.
The UAS Remote Pilot certificate offered through Big Bend covers all the critical aspects of UAS law, safety, and operations and was designed with the working professional in mind. The certificate is offered through hybrid instruction, with a mix of online and in person classes.
Classes are also offered outside of regular business hours.
Students at Yakima Valley College and Wenatchee Valley College are also able to take classes and pursue the one-year certificate in unmanned aerial systems through a partnership between Big Bend’s Unmanned Systems program and the two colleges.
Visit the BBCC Unmanned Systems program website for more information.