November 05, 2010

Aviation open house set for prospective students

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s nationally recognized aviation programs will hold an open house for high school and community college students later this month.

The open house is from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 15, in the aviation program facilities at Southern Illinois Airport, between Murphysboro and Carbondale. After meeting in the main terminal, facility tours will take place each hour. The open house is free.

This is one of several open houses the program holds during the year.

The aviation program offers bachelor degrees in aviation management, aviation flight, and aviation technologies, in addition to a Master of Public Administration in Aviation Administration. There are now 434 students in the four programs.

“We are increasing our efforts every way possible to give potential students access to our programs, and this is another of our efforts to make that happen,” said Terry A. Owens, interim dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

David A. NewMyer, char of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight, said the effort focuses on students south of Springfield and in the Metro East area, and those within about a three-hour travel distance.

“We want people in the southern half of the state and surrounding areas to know what an excellent aviation program we have,” he said.

Michael A. Burgener, associate professor and chair of the Department of Aviation Technologies, said the open houses provides an opportunity to showcase the program to local students. The open house is extremely important not just because of the impression it leaves on students who attend, but through word-of-mouth to others who then become interested.

“The majority of technicians today are going to need to have advanced skills in aviation and electronics in order to maintain the newest high-technology aircraft,” said Burgener, noting the increasing demand for aviation technology graduates.

There will also be discussion updating the progress of the 200.000-square-foot Transportation Education Center. The facility, also at Southern Illinois Airport, will house the aviation and automotive programs. Construction is under way with completion set in fall 2012.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of SIUC aviation. In December 1960, the University purchased Midwestern Aero Services, the fixed base operator at Southern Illinois Airport, and renamed it “Air Institute and Service.” Initially a service unit of the University that also offered flight classes, that unit evolved over five decades to become part of one of the nation’s leading aviation programs. In 1965, the Aviation Maintenance Technologies degree program began offering classes as the first formal aviation degree program offered by the University.

More information is available at, or by contacting David Jaynes at 618/453-9295, or by email at Open house registration is available at