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University Offers Type Ratings

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The Florida Institute of Technology says it's the first post-secondary institution to graduate students with type ratings in modern jet airliners. Juan Villa-Navarro and Sidney Callaghan completed the Jet Transition and Commercial Type Rating course as part of their bachelor's degree program at the Melbourne campus. They both earned type ratings in the A320. Type ratings are also available in Boeing 737NG. "The courses will prepare them well and provide all the ratings necessary to go directly to a major airline. This represents the gold standard in collegiate flight training," said Ken Stackpoole, vice president for Aviation Programs and dean of the College of Aeronautics.

The type rating course, which is available as an elective for junior, senior and grad students planning airline careers, is offered in partnership with Aerostar Training Services in Orlando. There are six more students in the pipeline. Most graduates of university-level aviation courses obtain multi-IFR endorsements, but a type rating is required to fly jets. Peter Dunn, the program manager, said the courses were designed specifically in response to what appears to be a looming pilot shortage and new airline pilot standards mandated by Congress. "We are responding to what the new law intends," Dunn said. "We want to give our graduates the ability to compete for major airline jobs."

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