For almost five years, the Jasper County Airport Authority (JCAA) has worked alongside Indian Trails Career Cooperative, Ivy Tech Community College, and area school guidance counselors to bring high school aviation curriculum to Jasper County. Though many challenges were faced along the way, the airport is excited to announce that three high school aviation courses are slated for the 2023-24 school year!

In 2020, JCAA entered into a memorandum of understanding to teach aviation courses in partnership with Rensselaer Central School Corporation (RCSC), facilitated by Indian Trails Career Cooperative. After classes slated for 2021-22 were cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, airport management continued to meet with school administrators and counselors, visit students at school, and work with Ivy Tech to develop a working curriculum for high school courses. With students enrolled from Rensselaer Central High School, Kankakee Valley High School, and West Central high school, the airport will achieve its goal of bringing high school aviation education to Jasper County this fall.

Aviation Curriculum 

Recently, the Indiana Department of Education transitioned to a new course format aimed at streamlining education for Next Level Jobs, coined the Next Level Programs of Study (NLPS). The airport’s High School Aviation Education curriculum aligns with the NLPS format and will include the following three courses available Fall 2023: 

Principles of Aviation Management- Introduction to various aspects of the aviation industry. Students will explore different career opportunities, historic & current events, regulations, airspace, and more.

Private Pilot Theory– Ground school knowledge required for certification as a private pilot with ASEL (airplane single engine land) rating and preparation needed to pass the FAA private pilot knowledge test.

Aviation Safety and Operations- Overview of general aviation operations including the operation and management of a fixed base operation (FBO). This course introduces aviation security challenges, financial and operational considerations, and regulatory requirements and constraints. 

All three courses are eligible for high school credit and dual credit through Ivy Tech, and two of three courses offer college credits that are transferrable to other major universities. Each course will last one class period and run for two semesters. Enrolled students will take all three courses at the same time to minimize the impact of travel and time zone change where applicable.

Courses will be taught at the Jasper County Airport, providing a fully immersive classroom experience and capitalizing on a dynamic learning environment within a working airport. With an on-field aircraft maintenance shop, a flight training operation, and brand new flight simulators, the airport has plenty of valuable learning tools and resources to help students succeed.

Courses are currently available to students enrolled at Rensselaer Central HS, Kankakee Valley HS, West Central HS, Tri-County HS, North Newton HS, South Newton HS, and North White HS. Courses may be available to students attending home-school and faith-based schools in the future. Students interested in enrolling in high school aviation courses during the 2024-25 school year should contact their guidance counselors as soon as possible.