PCC to offer more in aviation courses: Students in program are urged to also explore health care and law enforcement programs.

Jun. 25--Pueblo Community College's aviation program is soaring to new destinations by offering its popular courses at the Fremont County campus this fall.

PCC started the aviation technology program last fall in conjunction with Steel City Aviation at the Pueblo Memorial Airport. The program offers students the opportunity to take flight training as well as aviation maintenance courses.

The success of the program prompted the college to expand its offerings to Fremont County where the college will team up with Pro Av Flight Services to offer the program, according to Jim Torres, chairman of the aviation program.

"We had some interest from students in Fremont County and we wanted to be able to make it more convenient for the students -- so we decided to offer a program there," Torres said.

In addition to the new program at Fremont County, PCC also is adding a helicopter flight program in Pueblo this fall. Silver State Helicopters will offer the program in conjunction with PCC.

Both aviation programs are available to high school students through the Advanced Vocational Education Partnership program.

The helicopter program is similar to the aviation program in that students will take their ground school courses through PCC and their flight courses through Silver State. All courses will be taught by instructors from Silver State.

The helicopter program has two semesters of courses.

Torres said PCC officials will work with the students in the program to try to get them involved in other programs that would complement their helicopter pilot license, such as fire science, criminal justice or health-care courses.

With the Fremont County aviation program, the college will partner with Pro Av Flight Services and the Florence school district to offer the program to adults as well as students at the high school.

High school juniors and seniors may enroll in the flight program through the Post-Secondary Options program, which allows them to earn college credit.

Ground school courses, which will include aviation meteorology, ground school and mountain flying, will be offered through PCC and the flight training through Pro Av.

Students may receive private and commercial pilot training.

PCC's Pueblo campus will continue to offer the aviation maintenance program as well. The program teaches about aircraft systems, corrosion control and fluid line maintenance, electronics and ground handling.

Education in the aviation programs can lead to a variety of careers.

"Any background you have in aviation can lead to other jobs. That's why we started these programs," said Torres.

Torres said more businesses might relocate here now that PCC offers courses in the aviation field.

"One thing that (late PCC President) Mike Davis realized was that if PEDCo wanted to attract businesses here in Pueblo, we needed to start these kinds of programs," he said. "When companies see that we have classes in aviation, then they won't go elsewhere. Now, they will want to stay in our community."

For more information about the programs, contact Torres at 549-3249 or jim.torres@pueblocc.edu



Pueblo Community College: http://www.pueblocc.edu/

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