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U-M-Dearborn, Schoolcraft offer program that leads to careers in aviation

U-M-Dearborn has partnered with Schoolcraft College to offer a new bachelor's degree program that prepares students for key staff, operations and executive positions in the aviation industry.

"This venture is unique in that it pairs not only U-M-Dearborn with the business/government sectors and a community college, but it also illustrates the strength of the partnership between two different units on our campus," says Paul Wong, dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL).

Students can combine CASL's bachelor's degree in general studies with an emphasis in aviation business management, developed in cooperation with the School of Management, to help them gain skills in a variety of areas in the aviation industry, including leadership, administration, customer service, operations, technology, and research and development.

"We have been working with Schoolcraft College, Detroit Metropolitan Airport administrators and airline human resources personnel for nearly a year to create a series of courses," says Gary Waissi, School of Management dean. "This group of courses will become an area of focus for the bachelor of general studies program in CASL.

"For those students already holding an undergraduate degree, these courses can lead to a specialized certificate in aviation business management through the School of Management's Center for Emerging Business Issues."

The partnership between U-M-Dearborn and Schoolcraft College will allow students to earn an associate's degree in general studies with an aviation business management concentration at Schoolcraft and then transfer credits to U-M-Dearborn toward a bachelor's degree in general studies.

"Upon earning an associate's degree in aviation business management at Schoolcraft, students can apply for entry-level employment in the aviation industry, pursue promotional opportunities if they are currently employed in the field and continue studying toward a bachelor's degree at U-M-Dearborn," says Susan Cushnier, director of academic outreach in CASL. "Students who choose to continue their studies will be able to transfer up to 62 credit hours accumulated while earning the associate degree, and can graduate with a bachelor's degree in general studies after a minimum of 58 additional credit hours."

Students also may customize a curriculum path, pairing aviation business management with two additional areas of focus (12 to 15 hours each of upper-division coursework) that complement their professional goals.

Because the program will interest both traditional students and current airport or aviation industry employees, classes will be scheduled to coincide with work schedules at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Some classes will be campus-based, others offered at the airport and some will be available online as Internet-only courses.

"The three-way collaboration has allowed us to host several open houses already at the airport, our target market, so the entire program has a particular audience in mind," Cushnier says. "The response so far has been very positive."

For more information about the project, contact Cushnier at (313) 593-5659 or scushnie@umd.umich.edu.

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