Purdue offers flight degree in three years

A new program is working its way into Purdue's Polytechnic Institute.

Posted: Mar 26, 2019 11:41 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A new program is working its way into Purdue's Polytechnic Institute.

Students can now complete their bachelor's degree in professional flight technology in three years opposed to the traditional four.

Current flight students and professors said this "Degree in 3" program saves both time and money.

"There's a lot of people who are just looking for a get in and get out type program where you still get a fantastic education like we have here at Purdue," said current professional flight student David Tippmann.

Purdue is the only collegiate aviation program that offers students a chance to gather their flight degree, grab their pilot certificate and gain the chance to get a job a year earlier than most.

Three years is all it takes to be job ready and with less student debt.

Associate professor of flight technology Brian Dillman says this track is a tremendous benefit to incoming students.

"We wanted to create a track that would allow students to get into the industry as quickly as possible as well as minimizing the footprint that would be necessary for them to have to expend in their training," said associate professor of flight technology Brian Dillman.

The training is reserved for a maximum of 30 incoming first-year flight student. Dillman says the process is selective so the cohort has to be willing to put in the hard work.

"It's a tall order to do flight training year-round so we are trying to head off any issues we may identify during the process and can ensure the kids are not biting off more than they can chew and that they are going to be successful in the program," said Dillman.

Tippmann, one of 11 children is successful in the current four-year program. Saving money is essential to his future.

"It's definitely taken it's toll," said Tippmann. "If I could have done the 'Degree in 3' program, that's being in state, that's that much money I don't have to pay in tuition being here a year less."

Students will not have summers off as the program is year round. 

Tippmann says the feeling of flight is unforgettable.

"You're away from the rest of the world when you're up there flying," said Tippmann. "It's really fantastic. It's different than driving a car and being held in by lines on the road. You just you're just one with the birds."

Tippman said after he graduates he will be around $100 thousand in debt.

Being in state, from Fort Wayne the "Degree in 3" program could reduced that number by $30 thousand.

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