Avionics Agreement

The sky’s no limit

JCCC students who want to earn a bachelor's degree in avionics now have a clearer path to get there because of an agreement signed between JCCC and Kansas State University at Salina. 

The agreement spells out which JCCC courses will transfer to the avionics program at Salina. The K-State program prepares students for electronic technology jobs in the aircraft industry. 

The signing took place at the Blue Valley School District's Center for Advanced Professional Studies in Overland Park. JCCC officials hope to work out a plan with CAPS that would allow Blue Valley students participating in CAPS programs to begin earning JCCC credits that eventually would count toward the bachelor's degree in avionics at K-State. 

"It's really pretty exciting stuff," said Bill Brown, JCCC's dean of technology. If the vision comes to fruition, "a high school student could actually start working on a bachelor's degree in avionics," Brown said. 

Brown signed the agreement on behalf of JCCC, while aviation department head Kurt Barnhart signed on behalf of K-State. Articulation agreements, sometimes referred to as 2+2 programs, are always a plus for students, Barnhart said. 

"For them, it's a win-win all the way around," he said. 

Appearing at the signing with Brown and Barnhart were Marilyn Rhinehart, JCCC's executive vice president of academic affairs and Dixie Schierlman, a K-State associate dean. 

A contingent of K-State officials toured the CAPS building before the signing to learn about its programs. 

K-State's avionics department is located in the university's 33,000 square-foot aviation center, which is equipped with classrooms and computer labs. The university has 36 flight-training aircraft, Barnhart said. 

Kansas State recently received approval from the Kansas Board of Regents to offer the bachelor's degree in avionics and that approval opened the door to the articulation agreement. Brown said that the agreement will have the most impact on current and future students at JCCC who are working toward an associate's degree in electronic technology. About 90 students are enrolled in that program at this time, Brown said. 

CAPS invites juniors and seniors in the Blue Valley School District to apply to study at the center. Those who are accepted work on real-world projects with professionals from a variety of fields, including bioscience, business, engineering and human services. The students earn high school credits and, in some cases, college credit as well. 

"We are still working with CAPS on the electronic side of it," said Brown said, referring to an articulation agreement between JCCC and CAPS. 

"But we thought it would be kind of neat to get the three groups together," he said, "to show that there could be a path from CAPS to K-State."