Louisiana Tech University has achieved reaffirmation of accreditation of its Bachelor of Science degree programs in Aviation Management and Professional Aviation. This reaffirmation comes by recent action of the Board of Trustees of AABI – the Aviation Accreditation Board International.

The official announcement was made on February 20, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.
To achieve accreditation, aviation programs must satisfy the expectations of a wide range of quality standards relating to strategic management of resources, interactions of faculty and students in the educational process, and achievement of learning goals in degree programs.

During the accreditation process, Louisiana Tech University was visited and evaluated by academic and industry representatives with detailed knowledge of aviation education, applying accreditation standards that are widely accepted in the educational community.

“All aviation programs from this date forward will be evaluated under the new criterion, which focuses on learning outcomes,” says Gary Kiteley, Executive Director of AABI. “This approach now widely used in specialized accreditation, brings collegiate aviation programs to a new level that addresses what industry is seeking in program graduates.”

For information on the accredited programs, visit: www.aabi.aero.

“This is a significant milestone for Louisiana Tech University and for the Department of Professional Aviation which is the first collegiate aviation program whose accreditation was reaffirmed under these new criteria,” says Gary Odom, professor and head of Louisiana Tech’s Department of Professional Aviation. “This effort required significant research and update to our curriculum; and development of a learning outcomes, student-centered assessment model that heretofore did not exist.”

The Department of Professional Aviation’s reaffirmation effort was led, researched, organized, and authored by Professor Tom Garza with invaluable assistance from Professor Kary Munn Howe, both of who are faculty members in the Aviation Management Program. The department also credits the strong leadership and support of Dr. Ed Jacobs, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, as well as support from Dr. Kenneth Rea, vice president for academic affairs and Louisiana Tech President Dan Reneau.

“Accreditation is the basic standard by which we judge ourselves against our peers,” says Louisiana Tech President Dan Reneau. “I consider it to be of the utmost importance.”

“This pacesetting reaffirmation of accreditation is the culmination of more than 18 months of dedicated effort by the department’s faculty and would not have been possible without strong support from the university,” explains Odom. “We are very proud of the two degree programs in the department: Professional Aviation and Aviation Management. They continue to be outstanding programs that are well respected within the aviation community.”

Odom also believes it is always nice when an outside agency confirms what you personally believe about your program.

“The real winners here are our students, who will benefit greatly from this latest distinction. Since 1968 when it was formed, the Louisiana Tech Department of Professional Aviation has produced over 1700 graduates who continue to set the standard of excellence in our discipline not only in the state, but nationally and internationally as well.”

“This is a rewarding period for the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of Professional Aviation and our students,” said Dr. Ed Jacobs, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “The department has met the challenge of an extra level of rigor in the reaffirmation of accreditation process and is now first among collegiate aviation programs to be so accredited. Others programs will follow, but Louisiana Tech clearly led the way as is the case in so many other areas.”

“I congratulate [the Professional Aviation Department] on achieving reaccreditation and for being the first to do so under the new AABI criteria,” said Dr. Kenneth Rea, vice president for academic affairs. “This accomplishment attests to the quality and integrity of our programs.”

The Aviation Accreditation Board International (formerly CAA) is a not-for-profit organization consisting of educational institutions, corporations, practitioners, trade organizations and members of the public-at-large. Its mission is to advance quality aviation education worldwide through accreditation and leadership. Headquartered in Auburn, Alabama, USA, AABI is the premier accrediting agency for aviation programs.

Written by Dave Guerin