This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Hesston College Aviation establishes first industry partnership

Photo: Hesston College Aviation student Gracie Hochstetler of Leesburg, Indiana, goes through pre-flight checks on one of the college’s planes. Photo by Larry Bartel/Hesston College.

In an effort to provide a variety of continuing education and career opportunities to students, Hesston (Kansas) College Aviation has established a partnership with SkyWest Airlines, a passenger airline company that operates in partnership with Delta Airlines, United Airlines American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

As an official SkyWest Airlines partner school, students from Hesston’s aviation program will gain a more streamlined and efficient pathway to transition into a flying career at SkyWest through the Pilot Pathway Program.

“Hesston College Aviation’s partnership with SkyWest Airlines, an established, formidable industry leader with the regional airline market, affords its current and future students with a myriad of professional development and career opportunities,” says Mike Baker, director of Hesston College Aviation. “Through this new partnership, SkyWest Airlines’ Pilot Pathway Program will provide qualified and accepted Hesston College Aviation graduates with essential mentoring and career development opportunities, positioning them well for a future in commercial aviation.”

SkyWest describes the Pilot Pathway Program as providing “a direct path for exceptional pilots with a desire to take control of their aviation careers.” As part of the program, pilots can gain enhanced seniority, guaranteed final interviews and have access to pilot mentors.

Hesston College student pilots have long benefited from networking with Hesston College Aviation alumni and industry professionals, and the SkyWest partnership is the first of several Baker hopes to put in place for students in the program.

“Hesston College Aviation recognizes the [importance] of preparing each student for their future aviation endeavors,” says Baker. “Through the establishment of substantive industry partnerships such as that with SkyWest, Hesston College Aviation will be better positioned to facilitate the successful placement of its graduates.”

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