Aviation partnership gets west Michigan students off to a flying start

TRAVERSE CITY — West Michigan high school students interested in an aviation career can get a head start on it, thanks to a new agreement between West Michigan Aviation Academy and Northwestern Michigan College.

NMC and WMAA, a public charter school located at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, have signed an articulation agreement that will allow Academy graduates to receive eight credits upon enrollment at NMC.

The credits validate successful completion of the curricular equivalent of NMC’s private pilot ground school and aviation maintenance courses while the student was enrolled at the Academy. It means that the students will save time and money, said Aaron Cook, NMC Director of Aviation.

 “It accelerates their movement through college,” Cook said.

WMAA was founded in 2010 by Grand Rapids businessman and philanthropist Dick DeVos. The Academy will graduate its first class of 75 students this spring. It has grown rapidly since then, and expects to graduate 100-plus students in 2015 and beyond.

“What we’re really excited about is having a local school that’s preparing students for the aviation world,” Cook said.

Academy CEO Pat Cwayna said the agreement presents the classic win-win situation.

“We have students in the pipeline, and we are just very grateful to Aaron and the college for working with us,” Cwayna said. “The articulation agreement will just make it more inviting for our students to seriously consider NMC as their next step.”

Subsequent to an NMC degree, Cook said students who desire to take their aviation education even further can pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an aviation concentration at both Davenport and Ferris State universities through NMC’s University Center in Traverse City.

For more information, visit www.nmc.edu/aviation.

Release date: January 14, 204

For more information:

Aaron Cook
NMC Director of Aviation
(231) 995-2914
acook@nmc.edu

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