Central Oregon Community College joins federal initiative to train students in Drone technology.

KTVZ news sources BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Central Oregon Community College’s unmanned aerial systems program is now part of a new federal initiative designed to train students seeking a career in drone technology.

COCC said Wednesday it recently signed an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to provide students the most up-to-date curriculum and practices.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI) is the FAA’s recently unveiled program that partners with higher education institutions to best prepare students seeking careers in the rapidly developing field of drones, while ensuring that the training meets the requirements of the National Airspace System.

“Our participation in this national unmanned aircraft education program will help support the continuing effort to offer our students training that is most relevant to the industry,” said Karl Baldessari, director of COCC’s aviation program. “For our students, this means achieving the skills and standards that will allow them to stand out in the workforce.”

As part of the agreement, COCC will meet all program standards, maintain a current knowledge of UAS laws and regulations, respond to FAA data requests, and provide all information to students generated from the UAS-CTI program.

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Additionally, as a UAS-CTI partner, COCC joins the agency’s consortium of unmanned aircraft training institutions, a body of educators invited to convene for annual meetings and collaborate on developing best practices.

The college will be listed on the FAA website as an approved UAS-CTI program.

Launched in 2014, the college’s unmanned aerial systems associate degree program was the first of its kind east of the Cascades in Oregon. The program provides instruction in operating and maintaining UAS platforms, including unmanned aerial vehicles, ground control stations and ground support equipment.

For more information, contact COCC’s Director of Communications Jenn Kovitz at 206-227-9991 or jkovitz@cocc.edu.

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