Aviation College Program – Overview

Florida State College Jacksonville Sunrise Aviation

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Sunrise Aviation is the exclusive flight training provider for Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ).  In the spring and summer of 2011, Sunrise Aviation participated in a rigorous public bid process that resulted in our selection as the vendor for FSCJ.  Since September 2011, Sunrise Aviation has provided pilot training for students seeking college credit and a two year degree through FSCJ. All students seeking college credit at FSCJ for any pilot certificates and ratings after enrollment at FSCJ must accomplish that pilot training at Sunrise Aviation.

Prospective students already having FAA pilot certificates and ratings may present those certificates to the college for evaluation and awarding of credit.

The two-year Associate of Science degree program in Professional Pilot Technology at FSCJ consists of 64 credit hours.  A full-time student can complete the program in two years.  A typical sequence of FAA certificates and ratings would be as follows with FAA minimum flight hours the parentheses:

  • First Semester:  Private Pilot Certificate (35 hours)
  • Second Semester:  Instrument Rating (35 hours)
  • Third Semester:  Commercial Pilot Certificate (120 hours)
  • Fourth Semester:  Multi-Engine Rating (10 hours) or Flight Instructor Certificate (25 hours)

All of the flight and ground courses are also offered during the summer semester, so attending year-round may reduce the calendar time required to complete the ratings and the A.S. degree.

FSCJ has divided the Private (Primary Flight I & II) and Commercial Pilot  (Commercial Flight I, II, & III) flight courses into sections in order to reduce the burden on students for paying large amounts of flight fees at any one time.  However, the college does require all of the flight fees in each course to be paid prior to starting that course.  The college then pays Sunrise Aviation as the training progresses.  Students needing more time to gather the required funds for the training can space their training out over a period of time longer than two years.  However, Sunrise Aviation recommends you schedule your flying lessons at least 2 to 3 times each week to prevent spending extra money for reviewing material while enrolled in any flight course.

The college flight courses also only have the minimum FAA flight hours or just a few hours over that minimum.  Some students finish the courses in that minimum.  However, many students will need to pay extra in order to complete some of the certificates or ratings, especially the Private Pilot Certificate.  Total flight fees for the entire program will exceed $40,000 and adding additional ratings to the minimum required can increase that amount to $50,000 or more.

Some expenses are not included in the college’s flight fees.  Students will need to plan ahead to pay for FAA Knowledge Tests ($150 each) and FAA Practical Tests ($400 each).  Though most required books, materials, and supplies are included in the flight fee costs or utilize the same course materials as the ground school courses, extras such as headsets are not.

Many students accomplish both the multi-engine rating and the flight instructor certificate.  Completing the additional flight instructor ratings (instrument and multi-engine flight instructor) may also be worthwhile for helping you to get started in a flight instructor job.  Sunrise Aviation hires many of the FSCJ graduates as flight instructors.  Because we have two locations (the other in Ormond Beach, Florida), we have the opportunity to offer positions to qualified flight instructors in both locations.

The A.S. degree in Professional Pilot Technology may be articulated into a four year degree program either at FSCJ or one of many other state and private colleges.  At FSCJ, students might find the B.S. degree in Business Administration or Supervision and Management worth consideration.  Major airlines still consider a 4-year degree to be an essential requirement for getting hired as a pilot.  Degrees may also be a plus when interviewing for flight officer positions at regional airlines, but typically are not required there.

Pilot certificate courses at FSCJ are typically conducted under FAA Part 141 regulations.  All of the basic courses offered by Sunrise Aviation at FSCJ, Private through Flight Instructor, are approved by the FAA under Part 141 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.  However, students having previous flight experience will be evaluated for completion under Part 61 regulations.  All students enrolled at Sunrise Aviation will follow a syllabus and records of all training whether Part 141 or Part 61 will be kept.

Students at FSCJ may also enroll in just the flight and ground courses without taking all the courses required for the A.S. degree.  However, students must take the appropriate ground school, simulator, and flight course.

FSCJ operates on a semester system starting new classes in late August, early January, and May each year.  Many non-aviation courses are available online and can be taken just about any time during the year.  Though enrollment is open to anyone having a high school diploma or GED, it is best to apply as far in advance as possible.  Students seeking financial aid or using veteran’s benefits especially must apply early in order to get those awards.  For a complete list of the required courses, electives, and general education requirements in the Professional Pilot Technology degree at FSCJ, go here:  http://floridastatecollegecatalog.fscj.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=25&poid=4471

FSCJ started its aviation program in 1983.  In 2002, they opened the Aviation College of Excellence (ACE) at Cecil Airport (formerly Cecil Field) in Jacksonville.  FSCJ currently (summer 2012) has 65 active students in their Professional Pilot Technology program.

To be admitted to the FSCJ Professional Pilot Technology program, students must:

More information about the full range of degree programs and courses in FSCJ’s Aviation Department can be found here:  http://www.fscj.edu/mydegree/academics/schools/aviation/

For more information regarding Sunrise Aviation’s college program at Jacksonville contact us at: (904) 586-3660

Prospective students may also contact the following individuals at Florida State College at Jacksonville:

Robert Crognale, Administrative Assistant:

email: crogrj@students.fscj.edu

tel:  (904) 317-3800

Sam Fischer, Aviation Programs Manager:

email: sam.fischer@fscj.edu

tel: (904) 317- 3844

FSCJ holds an Open House the second Tuesday of each month from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Prospective students may gather at building J on FSCJ’s Cecil Center South campus at that time for a presentation, tour, and discussion.  Attendees are encouraged to call the college (904) 317-3800 to let them know they will be attending.

Students may also arrange a private tour with Sunrise Aviation if they are unable to attend the Open House or if they just want special attention.  Please call (904)586-3660 to arrange a visit at your convenience.

Florida State College Jacksonville Sunrise Aviation