Dozens of students are registered, but a few spots are still available in the popular ACE (Aviation Career Education) Academy Camp, hosted by the University of North Texas and Tarrant County College for high school students and new graduates across the state.
Participants will practice with flight simulators, learn about the science of flight and aviation history, take field trips to nearby aviation companies and airports and co-pilot a small plane with an FAA-certified instructor. The camp—open to incoming high school juniors and seniors as well as 2019 graduates—runs June 10-14 and is based at TCC’s Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation and Logistics at Alliance Airport (2301 Horizon Dr., Fort Worth). At 163,500 square feet, the Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence is the largest aviation education facility in Texas.
According to a report from Texas Workforce Solutions, seven in 10 aerospace jobs and six in 10 air transport jobs in the state are located in the North Texas region.
“This is a high-demand field, with ample opportunities for pilots, maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, inspectors and other aviation and aerospace professionals,” said Rahsaan Dawson, coordinator of the Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence. “TCC and UNT provide accessible pathways into these careers, beginning with the ACE Camp.”
Samuel Spurgeon, who is home-schooled, participated in the 2018 ACE Camp— which inspired him to dual enroll in TCC’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program. He is now on track to graduate with an Associate of Applied Science as well as his airframe and powerplant mechanic license in 2022. Spurgeon will join the ACE Camp this summer as a student mentor.
“The camp covered many topics and gave me a good understanding of all the career paths in aviation and aerospace,” said Spurgeon. “There are a lot more career options than I thought. The camp showed me other opportunities.”
This is the sixth summer that TCC and UNT have partnered to host the camp, which also is sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration and US Aviation Academy.
“This is a great way for students to really get a feel for the industry, see if they’re interested in pursuing aviation and aerospace as a career and ultimately understand the education pathway they’ll need to follow to achieve that goal,” said Steve Joiner, a senior lecturer in UNT’s Department of Marketing, Logistics & Operations Management and one of the camp’s founders.
In 2010, UNT became the first Texas public college or university to offer a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Logistics. The program, housed in UNT’s G. Brint Ryan College of Business, gives students the education and experience needed to pursue career opportunities in all facets of aviation. Curriculum focuses on the value of integrating aviation and aerospace activities to move people and cargo. Students also benefit from the strengths of the nationally ranked logistics program at UNT.
Meanwhile TCC’s Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence trains students for careers as pilots, aircraft maintenance specialists and logistics professionals, offering associate degrees and certificates. Aviation students learn with professional training equipment, including a fuselage mockup of a G-280 Gulfstream aircraft donated by Gulf Aerospace and aircraft windows donated by Southwest Airlines, and are well prepared to directly enter the workforce or continue their education at a university.
The ACE Camp runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The cost is $350. For more information and to register, visit the UNT website.