The Coastal Drone Academy, a program at Career Tech High School in Lincoln City Oregon, is a STEM extension program which teaches students to use drones to make a positive impact in the ocean and coastal communities that rely on a healthy marine environment. Already in its second year, The Coastal Drone Academy has registered more than a dozen new student pilots, all of whom have hours of commercial flight time logged. Facilitating the curriculum will be Dr. Chuck Getter, a licensed remote pilot, high school teacher, and coastal researcher.
“At USI, our mission is clear: to prepare students for high-skill and high-wage jobs in the burgeoning drone industry,” said Aaron Greenwald, President of USI. “The Coastal Drone Academy is a model example of how high schools across America can implement successful career and technical education program with successful student outcomes, and USI is honored to be a part of their story,” remarked Greenwald.
The Small UAS Safety Certification™ is comprised of four courses totaling over 180 hours of instruction. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to take USI’s credentialing exam leading to the Small UAS Safety Certification, an industry certification demonstrating expertise in the safe and professional application of remotely piloted aircraft making them highly qualified for careers in the burgeoning industry of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, commonly referred to as “drones.” Students are then enrolled in USI’s Career Pathways Initiative, providing them with a direct link to employers that are looking for professional remote pilots. To date, more than 2,000 students have successfully completed the program which has already been approved by several State Departments of Education. USI’s program is currently being taught in more than 150 schools across 11 states. USI is in the process of expanding the program into other states across the country and are currently training teachers to facilitate the curriculum for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year.
Courses in the curriculum, each earning students three credits, include:
• Unmanned Aircraft – six units of study including robotic aircraft and data links.
• UAS Applications – five units of study including applications, regulations, and operating in the NAS.
• UAS Personnel – three units of study including human factors and aeronautical decision making.
• Safety Management – four units of study including safety policy and safety risk management.
“Not a small issue is student and equipment safety.” Since incorporating USI’s safety curriculum, we have a perfect track record with no injuries nor have we had any significant property damage. The USI curriculum’s emphasis on FAA regulations, and especially the heavy emphasis on using checklists, inspections, and the focus on situational awareness all get credit for this happening in my opinion” said Dr.Getter.
The Unmanned Safety Institute offers a total of four courses that have been recommended for 12 college credits by the American Council on Education (ACE). For a complete listing of these courses, please visit the Unmanned Safety Institute’s page on ACE CREDIT National Guide website.
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