FedEx Praises New UofM Commercial Aviation Degree Program

August 16, 2018 - University College at the University of Memphis is partnering with Crew Training International (CTI) Professional Flight Training to launch a new Commercial Aviation program this fall.

"The Commercial Aviation Degree program is one of many steps the University of Memphis is taking to better prepare students for 21st century jobs," said UofM President M. David Rudd. "The opportunity to collaborate with Millington's Crew Training International Professional Flight Training will not only build a superior education program for our students, it will also better position our aviation graduates for future opportunities with FedEx, ranked No. 11 on FORTUNE magazine's world's most admired companies list.

"There will be ample demand for qualified, well-trained pilots in the coming decades, and this program and partnership will help UofM students become top candidates for these careers."

The new Commercial Aviation program is uniquely positioned to support the needs of the local community and address a looming pilot shortage. More than 42 percent (22,000) of active U.S. airline pilots at the biggest carriers will retire over the next 10 years. Boeing estimates that in the next 20 years, airlines in North America will need 117,000 new pilots.

"University College is excited to partner with CTI Flight Training to offer the Commercial Aviation program," said Dr. Joanne Gikas, interim dean. "CTI is an FAA Part 141-approved flight school located just minutes from the University's Millington campus. With the CTI partnership, students will have seamless access to both flight training and curriculum support. A number of students have already inquired about this program, and we look forward to working with them."

"I'm excited that the University of Memphis is now part of the path to a successful career in the aviation industry, and I congratulate the University's leadership for having the foresight to create this program," said Jim Bowman, senior vice president of Flight Operations for FedEx Express. "As the aviation industry continues to evolve, the next generation of aviators need to be even more tech savvy and better prepared academically than ever before.

"With this program, the University of Memphis now provides an enhanced career option for students in the Mid-South, including veterans. The program offers a unique opportunity for veterans through their post-9/11 benefits package. Additionally, Memphis students in the Aviation Study program at East TSTEM Academy or in STEM programs can now naturally and locally progress into the UofM's Bachelor of Science in Commercial Aviation. This creates an exciting local path that has a global impact."

The 120-credit hour bachelor's degree in Commercial Aviation includes 61 credit hours in professional aviation instruction. The degree also incorporates management and business operations courses, and will prepare students for careers in corporate aviation, general aviation, aviation-related business, airport operations and governmental regulation of aviation.

By earning a bachelor's degree in aviation, pilots reduce the required number of flight hours needed to become commercial pilots by 500 hours. Personnel in University College, including a dedicated academic adviser, will work with students pursuing the degree. In addition, the University College will work closely with CTI personnel to handle administration of student attendance, billing and course selection.

For more information on the program, call 901.678.2716 or visit https://www.memphis.edu/cpls/aviation/index.php.