Press Release: SFU launches new Aviation program with Nulton Aviation

Marie Young, University Communications & Marketing | 05/19/2018

PRESS RELEASE: May 10, 2018


SFU launches new Aviation program with Nulton Aviation

(Loretto, PA) A new Saint Francis University program offered in partnership with Nulton Aviation Services of Johnstown will allow students to earn a bachelor's degree and a private/commercial pilot's license at the same time.

The Aviation Concentration (private/commercial pilot certification) at SFU, which begins in Fall 2018, is only the third program of its type in Pennsylvania to combine bachelor’s degree credits with pilot licensing.

The 21-credit concentration is designed to be taken as part of a bachelor’s degree program of the student’s choice. It combines theory courses on the SFU campus taught by certified flight instructors from Nulton with scheduled time flight time at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown.

According to Saint Francis University President Fr. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., Ph.D., one of the emerging trends in higher education over the past several years is the formation of strategic partnerships in order to meet the demands of the rapidly changing labor market. “Collaboration is a focal point of the Saint Francis University Strategic Plan 2020, and these kinds of cooperative ventures enable the University to better connect with the needs of the regional marketplace and beyond,” Van Tassell said of the joint program with Nulton Aviation.

The focused curriculum prepares the aspiring career pilot for immediate entry-level employment in the aviation industry. Coursework covers commercial level aerodynamics, aircraft systems, federal aviation regulations, aircraft performance, aeronautical decision making/human factors, flight physiology, and navigation.

The concentration pairs well with SFU’s online Bachelor of Organizational Leadership degree, but students have the flexibility to incorporate it into other majors. Students should consult with their advisers to see if adding the concentration would impact their graduation timeframe.

Fields that may find this of particular interest are engineering, law enforcement, healthcare, and management. Upon successful completion, pilots would be licensed to fly in setting such as corporate/private aviation, tourism operations, powerline and pipeline industries, law enforcement, and air ambulance operations. Opportunities after additional flight hours include careers as regional and major commercial airline pilots. Those with proper certification may also teach flight instruction.

The creation this program is made possible through start-up funds from state Multimodal Fund Grant awarded to the Johnstown-Cambria County Airport Authority. The funding is part of a workforce development initiative to stem a shortage of pilots nationwide as the Baby Boomer generation retires.