‘Game changer’: Delta, MTSU partner to provide aerospace students path to pilot career

Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines Inc. is launching a new program to identify and mentor the next generation of pilots, and MTSU’s Department of Aerospace has been selected as one of eight initial collegiate partners, according to an MTSU press release.

The Delta Propel Pilot Career Path Program is an effort by Delta to hire an expected number of over 8,000 pilots in the next decade. The program aims to provide successful candidates with a “Qualified Job Offer,” or QJO, detailing a defined path and an accelerated timeline for students to become Delta pilots.

Students with a QJO will receive an advanced engagement opportunity that will immerse them in Delta culture on and off campus, including a Delta pilot as a mentor for the duration of their training and career.

MTSU was selected as one of eight universities in the country with accredited aviation programs in which Delta will select aviation students for this program. Sidelines spoke with Nick Lenczycki, the flight operations program manager for MTSU’s Department of Aerospace, for comments.

“To have a company like this recognize MTSU as one of the eight schools in the country that they want to partner with is just remarkable,” Lenczycki said.

Lenczycki spoke about the importance of this program for students.

“It’s an accelerated path for the dream job for many of our students,” Lenczycki said. “The opportunity to work for Delta (and) to fly all over the world, it’s just an incredible opportunity for them … It recognizes the top-tier training that we do here (and) the world-class instruction that we provide.”

MTSU’s Department of Aerospace was established in 1942. Currently, 29 full-time faculty and staff members, 50 flight instructors and 800 majors place it among the largest of the nation’s collegiate aviation programs. Aerospace students can choose from six concentrations: Professional Pilot, Maintenance Management, Aviation Management, Flight Dispatch, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations and Aerospace Technology. A master’s degree in aeronautics is also offered.

Lenczycki said that around 400 of these 800 aerospace majors are on the professional pilot track, and the news of Delta’s program has already garnered “buzz” among students.

“I can tell you that just (by) listening to buzz in the hallway over the last day, it’s a game changer for a lot of folks,” Lenczycki said. “It’s just a tremendous opportunity for our students, and to know in their junior year that they got a qualified job offer and are on a path to go to a major (airline) is just phenomenal.”

For additional information on the Delta program, visit here.

To contact news Editor Caleb Revill, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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