Historically Black Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina has announced a major expansion of its aviation sciences program.
For the fall 2023 semester, aviation sciences was the most declared major at the university with 250 students enrolled. This is a 39 percent increase compared to Fall 2022. That number exceeded the projected growth by 50 students. ECSU’s aviation sciences program expects to experience continued growth in coming years as demand for the aviation workforce, especially airline pilots, remains strong. At least 20,000 pilots are needed every year for the next decade to maintain the growth in the travel industry.
ECSU will soon expand its operations to new facilities at the Currituck County Regional Airport. The flight program has been conducting an increasing amount of training at the airport in recent years. The ongoing operations of ECSU’s flight program at Elizabeth City Regional Airport, coupled with an expansion plan throughout the region and state, will facilitate meeting the growing demand for the program. ECSU’s physical presence at Currituck could begin as early as Spring 2025. ECSU will continue utilizing the Elizabeth City Regional Airport as the center of operations until that time.
ECSU has the only aviation program in the University of North Carolina System and has numerous industry partnerships, including the United Airlines Aviate Program, JetBlue University Gateway Program, Delta Airlines Propel Program, PSA Airlines Cadet Program, and AeroX Piedmont Flight Training. In addition, ECSU is 1 of the 42 institutions worldwide to have an Aviation Accreditation Board International accredited aviation program. The university has grown its fleet from two planes to a fleet of 14 university-owned aircraft and aviation science majors can complete their degrees online, allowing students to train at any ECSU-affiliated flight school location.
“We have attracted students from all over the state and country. Expanding our flight operations to additional locations throughout the state while offering top-notch online bachelor’s degrees is our strategy to meet the needs of our region, state, and the aviation industry,” said ECSU Chancellor Dr. Karrie G. Dixon.