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Southeast Missouri State University partners with Republic Airways for pilot program

Updated: May. 4, 2021 at 11:01 AM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A new partnership was formed between Southeast Missouri State University and Republic Airways.

Tuesday morning at 10:30 they signed the agreement.

It was held at Cape Girardeau Regional Airport located at 860 Limbaugh Dr., Cape Girardeau, MO 63701 in Commander Hanger off Godwin Drive.

Southeast’s President Carlos Vargas and Director of Aviation Operations Ken Jackson attended the event.

They were joined by Republic Airways’ Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations Lauren Gaudion and Cape Girardeau Regional Airport Manager Katrina Amos.

Southeast Missouri State announced in December they would partner up with the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport and U.S. Aviation Group to start a professional pilot program.

Starting in fall 2021, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Professional Pilot.

A student at Southeast can choose any major and still go through the pilot program.

USAG would provide management services for the new program.

Classroom training for students would take place at the Southeast campus.

Flight training, simulator and other related training would take place at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport with USAG will have aircraft, training devices and personnel.

Students enrolled in the university’s pilot program will have the opportunity to interview with the company as early as the end of their sophomore year, which could lead to a conditional job opportunity before students even graduate.

“Right now, before 2039, there is a pilot shortage of 763,000 pilots worldwide, so it’s pretty massive, and we’re excited that Southeast is able to help us with that,” said Lauren Gaudion, director of corporate communications at Republic Airways.

Southeast’s Board of Regents approved the new degree in May 2020. It was then reviewed by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.

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