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DSU partners with United Airlines to put grads into the skies 

Jarek RutzEducation, Headlines

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Delaware State University is partnering with United Airlines to create professional opportunities for the school’s 157 Aviation students.

The agreement was signed Thursday, making DSU part of United Aviate – a pilot career development program.

“Under Lt. Col. Michael Hales’ leadership, our Aviation program has grown threefold and is not just the largest in the HBCU Community, but the high quality, low-cost provider among all aviation programs east of the Mississippi,” said President Tony Allen.

The partnership with United Airlines and their aviate program has been worked on for several years, he said, and includes a deep, longstanding partnership with JPMorgan Chase and Regional Market President Tom Horne,” Allen said.

“Between the three of us, there is an unwavering commitment to build a substantive, inclusive talent pipeline of pilots and aviation management professionals for many years to come,” Allen said. 

As a university partner, DSU’s aviation program professional pilot students who meet the eligibility requirements can apply to Aviate and upon acceptance receive a conditional job offer as a United First Officer.

To be eligible, students must have completed at least two semesters of full-time coursework or graduated with an R-ATP eligible aviation major at DSU; be in good standing at DSU; possess a Private Pilots Certificate, FAA medical certificate; and have no more than three primary training failures.

“It is our intention to populate United Airlines with DSU graduates as pilots and various other aviation professionals at all levels of company management and leadership,”  Hales said. “This launch ceremony is particularly significant because it expands United Airlines’ ability to gain access to recruit from our best and brightest students and graduates across all disciplines within Delaware State University, not just for our pilot graduates.”

Delaware State University joins Elizabeth City State University and Hampton University as the first HBCUs to become a part of the Aviate Program.

The DSU Aviation Program currently has 110 Professional Pilot students and 47 Aviation Management majors. 

Established at the institution in 1987, the Aviation Program owns a fleet of 26 airplanes. They are maintained at Delaware Airpark in Cheswold, the program’s base of flight training operations.

“Future Aviate pilots, many of whom we hope will hail from Delaware State University, will uphold the extraordinary standards that generations of United pilots have established for professionalism and expertise,” said United Airlines President Brett Hart.

 “Inspired by the Aviate motto, “Love to fly, born to lead,” we look forward to working side by side with our partners at Delaware State University, and we welcome the next generation of aviators to the flight deck.”

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