Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology and Cherokee Nation Form Historic Partnership

Aug. 20, 2021
The educational agreement provides Cherokee Nation citizens access to educational opportunities for aspiring pilots and aviation technicians.

Officials from Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology and the Cherokee Nation have formed an educational partnership. A signing of the formal agreement took place Aug. 19 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the capital of the Cherokee Nation.

For the Cherokee Nation, education and career opportunities for tribal citizens remain a strategic priority. A focus on STEM, which empowers individuals with the skills to succeed and adapt to this increasingly complex, changing, technological world is critical to the success of its citizens and necessary to sustain the economy. Through this partnership, the Cherokee Nation and Spartan College are committed to ensuring educational opportunities for students who aspire to be pilots or aviation technicians.

“The COVID-19 crisis has magnified the need for robust collaboration, and with their main campus in Tulsa, we feel this partnership will be a great benefit to Cherokee citizens looking at a career in aviation,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.. “Spartan College is a well-recognized educational institution in the field of aviation that continues to invest in their student experience and will help the Cherokee Nation provide yet another career-oriented training opportunity for our citizens in an exciting field.”

“We are honored to become an educational partner for the Cherokee Nation. Serving the Cherokee Nation in this way supports our social mission by providing career-oriented education to high school graduates who may not have had this opportunity,” said Rob Polston, chief executive officer at Spartan College. “We are delighted with the enthusiasm of both the prospective students and the tribal leadership. We have exciting plans to work directly with Sequoyah High School, introducing the Cherokee youth to the possibility of aviation careers and helping prepare them to succeed personally and contribute back to the tribe.”

Established in 1928, Spartan College has trained over 100,000 pilots and aviation technicians and currently offers diploma and associate degree programs in Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT), Aviation Electronics Technology, Nondestructive Testing Technology/Quality Control Management and Aviation Flight. Additionally, Spartan College has developed a hybrid AMT option that maximizes student flexibility while minimizing time away from home, along with an online Bachelor of Science degree program in Technology Management.

The Cherokee Nation is among the largest tribes in the United States and has more than 390,000 citizens worldwide. More than 141,000 Cherokee Nation citizens reside within the 14-county tribal reservation that covers most of northeastern Oklahoma. With approximately 11,000 employees, Cherokee Nation and its subsidiary component units are, collectively, one of the largest employers in northeastern Oklahoma. The tribe has a more than $2.16 billion impact annually on the Oklahoma economy.