Do you want to fly airplanes? Studies suggest almost 500,000 pilots are going to be needed over the next 20 years.

An Ashland Community and Technical College partnership with Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) makes the nations first FAA-approved 1,000-hour power 2+2 degree pathway to aviation careers available to area students. The partnership leads from an AA degree at ACTC to a Bachelor of Science Degree at EKU in Aviation Aerospace Technology Concentration.

Graduates of the aviation program are prepared for jobs with all major airlines, all regional airlines, many foreign airlines, aviation charter companies, all five US military services with aviation elements, and corporations that own their own airplanes

ACTC was one of four Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges selected for the EKU program partnership because of its proximity to an airport and the colleges interest in adding aviation coursework opportunities for students.

In 2013, the FAA granted special authority for EKU Aviation-Professional Flight baccalaureate graduates to take the Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) check ride at 1,000 total flight hours, instead of 1,500 hours.

The FAA recently added EKUs Aviation-Aerospace Technology (AT) degree to its federal register of approved 1,000-hour power degrees. With this most recent FAA approval, ACTC students in the EKU transfer agreement can complete their FAA private pilot through instructor pilot certificates and ratings, their associate degree, their bachelors degree, and simultaneously earn their 1,000-hour power certificate.

Students in the 2+2 aviation partnership will earn an associate degree at ACTC where they complete their lower-division college courses taught by community college faculty. Simultaneously, they will take lower-division aviation courses taught by local instructors hired through EKU. Ultimately, they will complete the upper-division baccalaureate degree courses by taking entirely online courses through Eastern.

The bottom line is that ACTC students now have a clear path through the EKU aviation program to careers as licensed pilots, with a four-year college degree to further enhance their career opportunities.

Students will be dually enrolled at ACTC and EKU and can start on their general education classes this fall. August 3 is the fall application deadline for ACTC and admissions forms are on the web at: For information on enrolling at ACTC, contact ACTC advisor James Jagielo,

Come to the Ashland Regional Airport in Worthington on Thursday, July 23, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. to talk with Ralph Gibbs, EKU Director of Aviation. Or for more information on the Aviation program, email, call 859-622-1014 or