The Parkland College Board of Trustees approved a three-year intergovernmental agreement with the U. of I. on Sept. 18 for the transition of the university's aviation programs to Parkland College by fall 2014.
"The University of Illinois was eager to find ways to maintain flight training operations at Willard, and have mitigated many of the risks which could have deterred us from this venture," said Tom Ramage, the Parkland College president. The agreement includes lease of facilities and aircraft as well as marketing support.
Parkland will develop and provide a two-year aviation-related associate in science degree program that continues the pilot training activities of the U. of I. Institute of Aviation, scheduled to expire next summer. Parkland plans to contract with Riverside Research, a not-for-profit engineering and technology research firm with expertise in aviation management, to assist with flight training operations and research.
"We are excited that Parkland College will continue this program, so that students throughout this community, including those at Illinois, will have a path into a great career," said Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise.
Parkland and the U. of I. continue to work toward establishing aviation as a Pathway Program at Parkland, under which students may enroll in Parkland's aviation program and simultaneously pursue bachelor's degree studies at the U. of I.