Taxi to Takeoff!! Aviation Academy to launch with Dublin City Schools

Posted: April 6, 2021

A new partnership between The Ohio State University and nearby Dublin City Schools will take flight in autumn 2021. Focused on education and outreach, the Taxi to Takeoff!! Aviation Academy collaboration will facilitate high school students’ participation in aviation courses at Ohio State.

“It’s our objective that this program will help diversify learning opportunities for DCS students,” said Stephanie Morgan, executive director of the university’s Air Transportation and Aerospace Campus.

Image of an airport classroom with students
Photo taken pre-pandemic

In March a memorandum of understanding was signed by the organizations, formalizing plans to launch the program at the start of next school year. Central to the agreement is assisting students in the exploration of future career paths in aviation.

“Not only do we want to meet increasing demand for personalized education, but also create a pipeline of students enthusiastic to work in a variety of positions across the aviation industry,” shared Morgan. Boeing predicts that by 2039, North America alone will need 208,000 new pilots, 192,000 new technicians and 169,000 new cabin crew members to satisfy the industry’s growing demand.

To achieve these goals, the program will allow a cohort of up to 25 DCS students – aged 16 and up – to participate in academic courses at Ohio State during the autumn and spring semesters. Application will take place through the Ohio State Academy College Credit Plus Program.

"This generation of students is eager for hands-on experiences in authentic learning environments,” said Kristy Venne, K-12 education coordinator from Dublin City Schools. “This opportunity is the perfect blend of those elements. We predict meaningful outcomes in store for participants and expect this program to grow rapidly!"

Courses will be taught by faculty and staff of the university’s Center for Aviation Studies and The Ohio State University Airport. The mode of instruction is planned to be both in-person at the airport and via online delivery.

“Aviation is an exciting field with many opportunities,” said Professor John Horack, College of Engineering senior associate dean and director of the Center for Aviation Studies. “Taxi to Takeoff!! course content will focus on an introduction to the aviation industry and private pilot fundamentals.”

With completion of the program’s coursework, students shall be awarded eight class credit hours, receive a graduation certificate and achieve eligibility to take the Federal Aviation Administration CFR 14 Part 107 Knowledge Test for drone pilots.

Image of a teen flying a  drone with a field of yellow flowers in the background

“These courses aim to provide high school students the opportunity to learn about aviation. Whether they know nothing about aviation or have already chosen that as a career path – our classes are welcoming and inclusive,” said Horack.

Although the Taxi to Takeoff!! program is beginning as a pilot program for exploration and evaluation, if all goes well the intention is to expand the program to other districts.

“We’re starting locally with DCS, which already has experience with 11 other academy programs, and we hope to develop a scalable program that can be utilized for other districts,” Morgan said.

Dublin City Schools students interested in participating should reach out to Mrs. Lori Mesi at mesi_lori@dublinschools.net.

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Media contact: Holly Henley, airport communications specialist, henley.53@osu.edu