The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

May 13, 2013

Auburn to phase out flight degree program


Associated Press

— AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn University's professional flight degree program will be phased out, authorities say.

That means that students who hoped to become pilots with degrees from Auburn University will now have to earn their professional flight degrees through another flight school.

The program is being phased out in order to put more emphasis on its counterpart, the aviation management program, The Opelika-Auburn News reported (http://bit.ly/YM9qla).

Auburn College of Business Dean Bill Hardgrave said that by having a major in aviation management, the school's aviation legacy will be preserved.

"It also helps promote the aviation industries in the state by providing graduates who are well-prepared to work in the field," he added.

The professional flight degree major includes flight training and evaluations, while aviation management prepares students for careers in managing airports or other aviation positions.

Dwindling numbers of students in the aviation programs was the primary reason for the changes, Hardgrave said.

According to numbers from the Department of Communications and Marketing, 78 students enrolled in aviation degree programs in 2012, while 168 were enrolled in the programs a decade earlier.

Of the 78 enrolled this past year, 33 were in the professional flight program and 45 were in the aviation management program.