Ohio State aviation hits enrollment milestone in autumn 2020
Housed in the College of Engineering, the Center for Aviation Studies (CAS) is the hub of the university’s aviation programs. Students with majors in engineering, as well as from the College of Arts & Sciences and Fisher College of Business funnel through the center. Some earn pilot licenses, while others focus on administrative aspects of the aviation industry.
Recently, program enrollment has been increasing.
CAS students typically major in one of three areas: aviation (Engineering), air transportation (Arts & Sciences) and aviation management (Business). Students may also elect to take the aviation minor.
CAS Assistant Director Brian Stzempkowski said there has been a steady increase across all programs.
“Five years ago we only had about 250 students and were one of the smallest programs in the College of Engineering,” he said. “We are excited to see the growth happen year over year, and with our rapid increase we are now the fastest-growing program in the college.”
The overall enrollment increase comes as many programs in higher education face declines in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite the downturn in the travel industry due to COVID, the aviation industry is still a vital component of our daily lives,” Strzempkowski said. “These increased enrollments show that there is still interest in working in the industry, and hope for increased travel demand in the future.”
Along with an increase in students taking aviation coursework, the university’s Flight Education program has, not surprisingly, seen a bump in those earning pilot certificates. There were 125 flight students in autumn 2019, and the ranks filled out to 170 in autumn 2020.
This semester Flight Education also enhanced its training for pilots earning a multiengine rating with the acquisition of a 2005 Piper Seminole.
What’s next on the horizon for Ohio State’s aviation programs?
“With increasing enrollments we are taking a hard look at our curriculum to make sure we have the appropriate courses and educational staff. We are anticipating changes to the curriculum in the near future to prepare these students for the evolving aviation industry,” shared Strzempkowski.