Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) Accreditation

Westminster is among a select group of other colleges and universities from around the world who have attained AABI Accreditation. Program accreditation assures students that they are attending a high-quality, professional program that is well-respected in the industry and which is continually reviewed by external auditors who are experts in their respective educational and professional fields.

What is the purpose of AABI Accreditation?

Accreditation assures students and prospective employers that an educational degree program has met stringent industry standards of quality. It ensures that graduates have received quality training and education and are capable of performing a broad range of professional responsibilities.

Accreditation has three fundamental purposes:

  1. To ensure the quality of the institution or programs
  2. To assist in the improvement of the institution or program
  3. To maintain relevance of education with the industry it serves

Source: AAB International

What is the AABI Accreditation Process?

Specialized program accreditation (in addition to the college-wide and Gore School of Business accreditation) is a rigorous, multi-year process. We began formal accreditation efforts by submitting an application for candidacy in April 2010, followed by a 300-page self study report, which was submitted in April 2011. A campus visit by members of the accrediting team that took place in October 2011. The accreditation team submitted a report of their findings to the AABI Executive Board, which reviewed the report and granted accreditation to Westminster's aviation programs in February 2012.

Once approved for accreditation, institutions are continuously reviewed on a five-year cycle that includes additional self-study reports, accreditation team visits, and reports submitted to the AABI Executive Board for review and an accreditation decision.

Westminster is currently in its next "self study" year and our next report is due spring 2016. Upon succesfful review of the self-study report, we expect our next AABI accreditation visit to take place in fall 2016 with a formal announcement of accreditation status to be made February 2017.

The accreditation process gives institutions the opportunity to completely review their program and demonstrate to outside evaluators how well the program meets the needs of students who want to work in the aviation industry, and the needs of aviation industry professionals who want to hire highly-qualified pilots and administrators.

AABI Section 3.4.2

The information on this page is provided in compliance with AABI Section 3.4.2

Institutions MUST broadly and accurately publish the objectives of each accredited program, admission requirements, program assessment measures employed and the information obtained through these assessment measures and report on actions taken as a result of this assessment, to include but not limited to: student achievement, the rate and types of employment of graduates, and any data supporting the qualitative claims made by the program.

Objectives of Each Accredited Program

Aviation Management Program

    Aviation Flight Operations Program

    Admission Requirements

    Westminster College follows an open enrollment schedule so students may apply for admission to the College (and the aviation programs) throughout the calendar year. The Admissions Office evaluates all prospective students based on a holistic view with a variety of factors considered. Additional information about Admissions policies and procedures are found at: Westminster College Admissions.

    Detailed information about our latest class profile, including incoming average GPA, SAT scores, and ACT scores.

    Program Assessment Measures Employed & Information Obtained

    The Aviation Division utilizes a wide variety of program assessment measures in our efforts toward continuous improvement.

    Course Evaluations are administered via our learning management system to all students upon the completion of each course. Course evaluations provide the instructor and the College with information about how well courses covered learning objectives and offer feedback about teaching effectiveness from the students' points of view.

    Graduate, Alumni, Student, and Employer Surveys are administered on a regular basis through the Bill & Vieve Gore School of Business, the Alumni Office, and the Aviation Division. Surveys supplement course evaluations in that they allow more stakeholders to evaluate student proficiency in relation to desired learning outcomes. They also collect information related to student and employer satisfaction.

    Classroom Observations are completed and docomented on a regular (once per semester, minimum, basis by the Division Chair or his designee. The observation forms encourage productive dialogue between the Dvision Chair and the professors who teach in the Division. Over twenty considerations are evaluated and notes are included.

    Comprehensive Academic Portfolio Assessments are completed for every student in the AVIA 403 Aviation Capstone Course. This comprehensive review ensures that all college-wide and program-specific learning goals are met at the "achieved" level prior to graduation.

    Program Assessment Plans are completed for both programs on an annual basis that serve to measure and suggest improvements to courses and instructional approaches. Up to six courses are measured each year in terms of course content, the appropriateness of assessment tools, and recommendations to instructional strategies. Suggested changes are incorporated into subsequent classes.

    A strong Safety Management System is in place at the Flight Operations Center. The safety program encourages frequent safety reporting and a formal safety committee regularly reviews all safety reports and responds with their observations and recommendations.

    Aviation Advisory Board Members assisted with the editing of all program-wide grading rubrics.

    Actions Taken as a Result of This Assessment

    When the above-described tools identify areas of needed improvement, the Division Chair is ultimately responsible for ensuring appropriate changes are implemented. Examples of actions that have been taken as a result of the assessments include:

    • Adjustments have been made to how we schedule flight blocks and academic classes as a result of student feedback.
    • Numerous procedural changes have been made on the flight line as a reslt of safety reports.
    • Improvements have been made by professors in terms of how they deliver course content and evaluate student learning as a result of course evaluations or feedback from peers or the Chair.
    • Topics have been added to courses after students have identified less-than-desired coverage in specific content areas (labor relations is an example).
    • Design and layout of our shared learning management course content has been evaluated and changed as a result of student feedback.

    Student Achievement Rates and Types of Employment of Graduates

    The Aviation Division tracks student graduation rates and GPAs at graduation.

    The most current graduation rates show that, of all students who enroll in the beginning flight lab and intend to finish a Flight Operations degree, do so at the following rates:

    41% graduate with a Flight Operations degree, 12% change majors to Aviation Management, 16% stay at Westminster but pursue a non-aviation degree, and 32% leave the college entirely.

    The average GPA at graduation for our most recent graduating class (December 2014, May 2015, and August 2015) was 3.34.

    Since we started offering Flight Operations degrees in 2000, we have tracked our graduation rates.

    On average, 41% of students who start out as Flight Operations majors (meaning they want to follow the professional pilot career path), graduate with a Flight Operations degree from Westminster College.

    • 14% of those students decide to pursue an Aviation Management degree instead.
    • 14% of those students decide to pursue a different degree option at Westminster College
    • 31% withdraw from Westminster College due to a variety of factors--most commonly, family or medical issues, a change in career goals, the inability to afford college expenses, or as a result of the inability to meet the college's academic requirements.

    We have remained in contact with 76% of our graduates since 2008; and 88% are employed within their planned career field.

    • 16% of these aviation alumni are actively serving and flying in the military
    • 58% are employed with airlines or other aviation companies
    • 14% are flight instructors
    • 12% are employed with companies outside of their major field of study