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Aviation program takes off with new approval for veteran’s education benefits

There was some wonderful news for APSU’s aviation science program when it was announced that they had received approval for veterans’ education benefits. This means that a veteran may earn a degree at “little or no cost.”

APSU now offers the only rotary-wing flight program attached to a degree program and makes Tennessee one of three surrounding states that now offer the program.

The program will be the first in Tennessee to offer a bachelor’s degree alongside training in a rotorcraft flight school. It will be hosted in Fort Campbell and prepare students to explore careers in flight instruction, aerial photography, charter, sightseeing and aerial tourism.

“GI Bill education programs are among the most effective educational programs offered by the U.S. Government,” Charles Weigandt, the director of the program, said.

He explained that the educational benefits providedby  funding veterans’ education allows them to focus more on academics and less on financials.

According to www.govinfo.gov, additions to the GI Bill have helped to make it a powerful, cost-effective recruitment and retention tool which has assisted in discovering higher quality personnel and helped them to better adjust to military life.

This means that the GI Bill is essential to the military in the United States. Small things on the state level mean big things for the wellbeing of the country.

“There has already been a large amount of interest shown in the program, and that is without any large-scale marketing effort,” he said later on in the interview when asked about intrigue for the program. Around 20 students are expected to participate in the fall portion of the program, though now more are anticipated to be joining.

Along with usual benefits, the program will have a flight training device room with a cockpit area and screens to help simulate one sitting in the pilot’s seat. There are also student and office areas nearing completion that are expected to be finished by next semester.

According to Weigandt, “Successful graduates of the program will be immediately employable as flight instructors, or commercial pilots in many rotary-wing operations.”

It is a great time to be investing in the program because the industry of rotor-wing aviation is expected to continue expanding.The program is said to provide a well-rounded undergraduate education with the opportunity to explore the world from the sky and is expected to attract more prospective students. It is a new and dynamic program taking off which promises greater academic diversity here at Austin Peay.

“We are excited about this program and believe it will bring much positive visibility to the University,” Weigandt said.

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