Atlantic Cape and ACIT Partner to Meet Needs of Growing Aviation Industry

ACIT and Atlantic Cape Partner to Meet Needs of Growing Aviation Industry
Students Can Earn HS Diploma and College Credits in Aviation Studies

The Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT) will begin preparing high school students for careers in aviation through its new Aviation Studies program located on the Mays Landing campus of Atlantic Cape Community College. The four-year program will start in September 2016, becoming ACIT’s ninth academy program for students in grades 9-12.

Aviation has been identified as a target industry ripe for growth and expansion in Atlantic County based upon resources such as the Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, the Atlantic City International Airport, and the Stockton Aviation Research and Technology Park (ARTP).

“This new aviation studies program complements Atlantic County’s efforts to make the aviation industry a key component of regional economic development as outlined in the 2015 Atlantic County Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan presented by national consultant AngelouEconomics of Austin, Texas,” said County Executive Dennis Levinson.

The trade, transportation and utilities industry is currently ranked third for job growth according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and is expected to produce 63,4000 new jobs or job placement positions within the state by 2022.

FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta has noted that aviation contributes to a $40 billion a year tourism industry in New Jersey and results in approximately 140,000 jobs. The FAA recently completed an $8 million research center at its Egg Harbor Township facility that will change the way airport runways are built.

ACIT’s Aviation Studies program will address the need of a growing applicant pool. Courses will include aviation studies, aviation weather, ground school, air traffic control and unmanned aerial systems, among others. Students will complete their required high school courses while earning credits leading to an Associate’s degree in Aviation Studies.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to enhance our relationship with Atlantic County Institute of Technology,” said Dr. Otto Hernandez, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Atlantic Cape Community College. “We have anticipated the growth of the aviation industry locally and steadily incorporated aviation-related education using state-of-the-art technology over the last 5 years. We look forward to sharing this training with students in the ACIT Aviation Academy.”

Atlantic Cape Community College offers four aviation-related degrees including Aviation Studies, Professional Pilot Option, Professional Helicopter Pilot Option and Air Traffic Control Terminal.

“Students will have access to the latest aviation technology at Atlantic Cape Community College as well the opportunity to gain invaluable experience in work-based structured learning environments through partnerships with Stockton ARTP, American Aerospace Technologies and industry leaders. Academy of Aviation Studies students will also be connected to their classmates on the ACIT campus as they will be eligible to participate in ACIT clubs, athletics and extracurricular activities,” stated Dr. Philip Guenther, ACIT Superintendent.

Students and parents interested in learning more about this unique opportunity are encouraged to attend one of two information sessions to be held at 6 PM on April 14 and April 28 at the Atlantic County Institute of Technology, 5080 Atlantic Avenue, Mays Landing.

Applications are currently available online at as well as from eighth grade guidance counselors. Approximately 25-30 students will be accepted into the program each year. For questions about the application process contact Kelly McPherson at (609) 625-2249 or email

The Aviation Studies program is being funded by a three-year, $600,000 New Jersey Department of Education Vocational School District Partnership Grant. The grant provides competitive funding for county vocational school districts to partner with other school districts and county colleges to expand access and student opportunities in career and technical education for high school students.

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