LaGrange College to launch aviation program

Published 9:45 am Saturday, May 20, 2023

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Beginning in fall semester 2023 LaGrange College will offer a program in aviation, coursework that will allow students to earn a minor in the discipline while preparing for careers as airline pilots, private charter pilots or cargo pilots.

Through the use of a flight simulator on campus and up to four Cessna Skyhawks with digital avionics at nearby LaGrange-Callaway Airport, the program will provide training for Private Pilot Certification, Instrument Flight Rating and Commercial Pilot Licensing.

The college said in a press release that classes will be offered through a partnership with Paragon Flight Training, an award-winning flight training academy based at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida.

“We look at this partnership with Paragon Flight as an important milestone in creating new educational and career opportunities for our students,” LaGrange College President Susanna Baxter said. “The option to pursue aviation will open doors to an exciting and growing career field.”

A commercial pilot shortage continues to be a pressing issue in the aviation industry. Recent reports note that over the next 15 years, more than half of current U.S. pilots will have reached the mandatory retirement age of 65.

With the industry already understaffed, Paragon Flight Training President Chris Schoensee said the offering couldn’t come at a better time.

“This aviation program prepares students for a fulfilling career that is in high demand, has a great work-life balance and has some of the best benefits in the world, all while earning a six-figure income virtually straight out of college,” Schoensee said. “It’s an amazing life path and this program is going to be a game-changer for interested students.

“We’re ecstatic to partner with the amazing team at LaGrange College to train the next generation of pilots and aviation industry professionals.”

In addition to LaGrange College, Paragon Flight participates in flight training programs with Liberty University and Purdue University Global and has also operated a high school aviation program at Evangelical Christian School in Fort Myers since 2014.

For more about the program, visit