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AIM to Serve: Campuses Reach out to Communities for National Volunteer Week

Posted by on May 23, 2018

The school groups of Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura Colleges and Tidewater Tech have reached out to their community and volunteered their time for a number of organizations.  The staff at these institutions have chosen to serve their communities by volunteering their time, talent and support to causes that are meaningful to their communities. Here are just a few examples where are campuses have provided inspiration and hope to their community.

AIM Indianapolis Joins Forces with Local Elementary School to Provide Bikes to Children

The Indianapolis campus of Aviation Institute of Maintenance is on a mission.  The goal: to provide bikes to the children of a local elementary school.  See AIM Indianapolis’s plans in an excerpt from a letter drafted by its Campus Executive Director, Andy Duncan.

“I can still remember my first “big boy” bike.  No more training wheels for this guy.  This new bike looked like a motorcycle with big orange fenders, long black seat, silver frame (complete with motor cycle decal), and knobby tires.  I can remember the initial ride down the street into the ditch and abrupt stop when I hit the concrete wall at the end of ditch.  The memory is firmly planted in my head of this event from over forty years ago.  If you are like me you remember your first bike or first “big boy or girl” bike and it brings a smile to your face.  For lots of kids they will never know that felling.  It is simply beyond the reality of the life they live for their family to afford such a luxury. 

We at Aviation Institute of Maintenance want to do something about this.  The AIM Indianapolis campus is on a mission to help recreate the feeling I and so many others have of getting a new bike.   We have partnered with McClelland Elementary school to help this dream become a reality. 

McClelland Elementary school has over 1000 students and due to the socioeconomic condition of a large portion of the students all students qualify for free breakfast and lunch.  McClelland is home to a fairly significant homeless population of students as well.  We, AIM, found our place to help bring some smiles simply by providing bikes.  Now that the partnership has been set we have to get the word out as to what we are doing. 

We have reached out to our partners in Aviation, friends & family, and other businesses to help with donating gift cards toward this effort.  The students and faculty of AIM have graciously volunteered their time to assemble the bikes as they arrive.  McClelland is choosing the criteria for the students that will receive the bikes and on May 25th we will head over to the school bikes in hand for delivery day. 

As I write this 28 bikes and helmets have been ordered, 18 assembled, and ten more in route to us.  We still have a couple weeks to collect a few more and as of right now several others are promised to us.  We are looking forward to seeing the children when they receive their bikes.  I know what having a bike meant to me as a child and I know that events like this show the community what Aviation Institute of Maintenance is all about.  We train mechanics.  We help people have a better future in their new career and we give bikes to kids who need them.  That is who we are and that is what we do.  I like the sound of that.”

Centura Columbia Lends Helping Hands in Support of Flood Victims

On Friday, April 20, 2018, Centura College Columbia partnered with St. Bernard’s Place to assist a homeowner reclaim his residence after the devastating effects of flooding. St. Bernard’s Place is a national nonprofit organization focused on helping citizens of an affected area restore their lives after a natural disaster. Parts of South Carolina were hit hard in 2015 by Hurricane Joaquin, resulting in catastrophic flooding that left scores of citizens displaced. Many people are still rebuilding some two years later.

A team of ten from the Columbia campus, consisting of staff and students, arrived at the location and got an assessment of the resident’s needs. The cohort was broken into groups and assignments were given. Some helped strip paint from baseboards and door trim, others applied fresh paint to other parts of the home, while the remaining manned table saws and sanders to repair water damaged woodwork. The students represented our Building Maintenance and Repair (BMR), Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Medical Assisting programs.

In all, the team worked on site from 8:30 am-12 noon and assisted in the ongoing progress toward completing the restoration. The campus has pledged its support in future activities and looks forward to serving the Midlands community at large.

Tidewater Tech Staff and Students Volunteer at Local Church to Serve Lunch to Community

Tidewater Tech staff and students volunteered locally with Norfolk’s Christian Fellowship Church on Tuesday, April 17th from 12-2pm during their lunchtime fellowship. Tidewater Tech volunteers worked together in providing lunch to serve the church, veterans, civilians, and homeless members of our local Norfolk community. Additionally, resources were also provided for those seeking help with housing or financial hardships. Christian Fellowship’s purpose is to provide an intimate environment of learning, fellowship, support, accountability and community outreach. Christian Fellowship educates and gives back to the community through seeking volunteers for, in addition to offering, education advancement, IT, kid’s kingdom, finance team and literacy, regular food service, building and grounds, marketing, office, and administrative support, music and singing, Christian education, transportation resources, nursing, and other special events. This being said, Tidewater tech was delighted to be able to offer lunch and resources, and to overall play role in aiding such a great organization. The experience of serving others, knowing the increasing amount of people facing hunger, left a truly powerful and uplifting impact for participants in seeing the appreciation of those served.

These are just a few shining examples of students and staff at AIM, Centura College, and Tidewater Tech personify the mission of our brands to truly connect communities and careers.

Other instances of our campuses doing their part to help out their communities include:

  • AIM Atlanta teaming up with Greater Gwinnett Wetlands and the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources to clean up Bromolow Creek and surrounding wetlands.
  • AIM Irving collecting food for the North Texas Food Bank.
  • AIM Houston lending a helping hand and meeting with residents and business owners at annual Hobby Fest.
  • AIM Las Vegas partnering with Ronald McDonald Charity House and baking cookies for a family staying there.
  • AIM Mannasass welcoming the Manasass City Boys and Girls Club to their campus for a fun-filled day.
  • AIM Oakland holding a food drive for those in need in the community.
  • Centura Chesapeake holding a community yard and craft sale, with proceeding benefiting the Samaritan House.
  • Centura Norfolk medical assisting students providing wellness checks for members at the KROC center.

Be sure to check our blogs and follow us on Facebook for updates on these and more stories of community outreach.

Instruct the Instructor: ‘At the Cross Roads’ Community Education Conference Recap

Posted by on Apr 24, 2018

Written by Drew Schnaath, Jul DeGeus and Esperanza Poquiz

Faculty and staff from The Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura College, and Tidewater Tech met with colleagues and industry specialists to enrich themselves, their campuses, and become better community leaders and more effective educators. On March 14th, leadership and instructors converged in Falls Church, VA to attend the annual Education Conference.

Left to right: Vice President Joel English, Damon Cook, Vice President Mike Busjahn and Nate Wade.

“This year’s theme centered around the intersection of education and community, how our schools work together with their respective communities,” said Dr. Mary Urbanski. “We believe in cultivating our school families, the greater communities surrounding our schools, and our faculty.” These relationships foster collaboration, integrity, and innovation, which benefits students, employers and the communities involved:

Centura Columbia hosted a three part Rock that Interview series of events, leading up to their Career Fair. The sessions educated those who attended on the following subjects: Writing your cover letter, creating your resume, collecting references and building your portfolio.

AIM Atlanta, AIM Chesapeake and AIM Manassas ‘drifted’ from aviation maintenance to automotive, as each campus hosted a Car Show & Open House. Automotive enthusiast learned a thing or two touring the hangars, while Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) admired the maintenance and upgrades of the vehicles that cruised onto the campus.

In September, members of the Hampton Roads campus branches partook in the organization and volunteering of the Safe House Half Marathon and 5k. 100% of the proceeds of this race went towards building a “safe house”- a haven for orphans that are at risk of being sold into sex slavery.

Centura Norfolk partnered with the City of Norfolk’s Fire-Rescue Department to develop an academic preparation training program for new recruits of the Fire-Rescue Academy. This free of charge program aims to help refresh the basic knowledge a participant will need to be successful in the Fire-Rescue Academy, as well as provides additional tutoring to ensure each recruit has the tools they need to succeed.

Tidewater Tech connected with the community’s strong military presence by holding a car wash and yard sale to benefit the crew members of the USS Eisenhower. Chief Petty Officer selectees from the vessel worked alongside Tidewater Teach staff members to make sure that every car that came for a wash was in ship shape!

For Christmas, AIM Indianapolis decked the halls with charity organizations, Bearded Villains and Bad Apple Offroad, to collect gifts for Toys for Tots. The holiday event gave families the chance to come to the campus and enjoy food, music and fun, while raising donations for a great cause!

Conference attendees heard from several well-known speakers, including Dr. Michael E. Wooten from the Department of Education, Cindy Bridges Milford, Enterprise Digital Specialist at Cengage and Dale Dworak, a 25-year industry veteran in business technology solutions. Campus educators were also able to learn from text book publishers such as Cengage, McGraw Hill Education, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Pearson and F.A. Davis Company. Each speaker offered valuable insight into their experiences in education, business, leadership, management, and even the technology that powers these institutions and ideas.

In addition to the veritable wealth of information, our faculty had the chance to meet and network with colleagues from our other brands and campuses. Jon Cason explained “Our goal is to foster community, both inside and outside our organization. Collaboration is important for our schools as they continue to grow.”

Grants, Scholarships and Loans: Which Option Works for You

Posted by on Mar 6, 2018

By Esperanza Poquiz and Jul DeGeus

Going back to school to start a career in the field of aviation can be costly. Looking into your options before starting could help ease the financial stress that comes with furthering your education. Below you can get a general idea of some of the options that are available to you:

Scholarships: 

What is it?

A scholarship is sum of money that is awarded through academic and extracurricular achievements.

Things to know:

  • Things like winning an essay contest or getting a certain grade point average (GPA) are some of the ways that you can earn a scholarship.
  • Scholarships are non-repayable.
  • Earning a scholarship can require commitments like upholding a certain GPA or joining internships/externships.
  • Applying for a scholarship can be competitive, so be unique and stand out from the rest of the applicants when submitting your application.

Grants:

What is it?

Grants are need-based aids. This means that grants are only gifted to those who need assistance due to circumstances, like low-income.

Things to know:

  • You cannot “win” a grant.
  • Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid results determine the amount of money you can receive.
  • Grants, like scholarships, are non-repayable.
  • Grants tend to have less overall funding than other financial aid options.
  • Due to the high demand of grant requests, funds do not last long. A way to provide a higher chance at receiving a grant is by filing for FASFA as soon as possible.

Loans:

What is it?

A student loan is an amount of money advanced to students to help pay for education expenses.

Things to know:

  • Loans are the more popular choice for financial aid.
  • Unlike scholarships and grants, loans have to be payed back, usually with interest.
  • Some different types of loans include federal, state and private.
  • Make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions. If you are unsure about something in your plan or have questions, you can always ask your loan provider.

Keep these options in mind when you’re thinking about jump starting your future career. To learn more about our programs offered here at Aviation Institute of Maintenance, click here.

Open House Preparation: How to Get the Most from Your Campus Visit

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017

Open houses, like campus tours, provide you with an opportunity to get information to decide whether or not to apply to a college. In a single visit, you can gather knowledge and impressions to aide you in your final college selection. But how can you make the most out of your visit? Simply by being prepared. Here are some tidbits to keep in mind the next time you attend a college open house:

Why Attend in the First Place?

Source: Getty Images.

Sometimes, the hardest part of picking a college is narrowing down your “top choices” list. Attending a college open house can make picking the right school a lot easier. Apart from this, other reasons to show up include getting a good feel for the campus atmosphere and learning more about the specific program you’re interested in. Here are reasons to attend.

What to Prepare For

It’s important to realize that college open house events are not an example of an everyday campus experience. However, this doesn’t mean that programs are not genuine, just that they are not typical. Expect the following:

  • Interviews Aren’t Guaranteed- At a campus where interviews are highly encouraged, you most likely will not have an opportunity to interview on the day of an open house. You will need to revisit campus later. However, the college may decide to offer regional interviews close to you.
  • Colleges Make a List and Check it Twice- Colleges monitor who visits their campus and who does not. This means that scheduling a campus visit or attending an open house may offer more benefits to students who takes extra initiative to scope out the campus.
  • Each Open House is Unique- Every open house you attend will possess similar features. You can expect to hear from the teaching staff, support staff, as well as current students. Most colleges have the day’s programs outlined online in advance. Identify the subject matter you find most important and follow up with the appropriate resources at the open house.
  • Welcome, Welcome, Welcome– Expect a warm welcome from everyone on campus. Staff members will be available and prepared to answer questions from you and your family, so be sure to bring them!
  • Network to Expand Your Web- There will be a lot of prospective students attending college open house, making it a great opportunity to interact. Connections made at the open house could become helpful to you in the future.

Questions to Ask

Source: Getty Images.

Talk to more than just the admission staff. Seek a number of students during your tour and ask them what they like and would change about their school. To get the best experience from your visit, prepare thoughtful questions to ask. Here are some examples:

  • What academic elements are considered in the admission process and how important are they?
  • Is it easy for students to do research with a professor?
  • What percentage of my financial need does the school meet?
  • What are my chances of landing internship opportunities and jobs?
  • What social opportunities are available to students?

More questions here.

Have fun at every open house you attend. Take some time beforehand to prepare and the day of, you’ll be able obtain all the information you need to help decide if that college deserves the top spot in your college line up!

Reasons to Attend an Open House

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017

Where you should attend college is one of the biggest decisions you may make. There are plenty of colleges to choose from, based on the program you plan to pursue. But how do you choose? Simple: attend open houses.

An open house is an important opportunity to learn about a particular program you are interested in through interaction with students and staff members. It’s a day you get to experience the environment of the campus and meet possible future classmates.

Experience the Campus Atmosphere

You’ve probably done tons of research about the institution you are visiting: the location of the campus, what classes are offered, how long school will take, etc. However, visiting the college is what will give you a personal feel about it; you can absolutely love or hate the campus based your open house experience. Use the visit to decide if the school environment is a good fit for you.

Learn More About Programs

Researching the program you want to study will give you great insight into your future career, but nothing beats a conversation with the instructors who will be teaching you the courses you plan to take. They can clarify any questions you have about the program you are interested in. Teachers can outline the course to help you decide if the program of your choosing is right for you.

Explore New Technology

At an open house, you are exposed to all the advanced tools and equipment the college offers. While you might not get to experience every tool in the shop, open houses often present unique opportunities to interact with some of the tools you’ll be using for class.

Make New Friends

If you are serious about attending the college, going to the open house can mark as an important day in your college life. You might meet fellow future students who could become your friends for the rest of your college career. Interaction with continuing students allows you the opportunity to network and score some experienced study buddies.

A college open house is a resource you should look forward to tap into. While you should come with questions, don’t forget to have fun

Quick History: The Background of the Fourth of July

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017

The United States celebrates Independence Day every July 4th as the nation’s birthday. The holiday more accurately represents the date in 1776 when the 13 “United Colonies” declared freedom from the British Empire by adopting the Declaration of Independence. The colonists went on to defeat Great Britain in the Revolutionary War, which led to the formation of a new independent nation. Here are some important facts on 4th of July history.

Source: Library of Congress.

Early American Timeline

  • May 15, 1776 – Virginia Convention approves a resolution to declare independence
  • June 7, 1776 – The Resolution of Independence, also known as the Lee Resolution, is proposed by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia
  • June 11, 1776 – Colonists meet in Philadelphia for the Second Continental Congress to draft the Declaration of Independence
  • July 2, 1776 – The Continental Congress votes for independence
  • July 4, 1776 – The Continental Congress adopts the final version of the Declaration after changes are made to Thomas Jefferson’s original draft
  • July 8, 1776 – Ringing of bells at Independence Square in Philadelphia marks the first public readings of the Declaration
  • August 2, 1776 – Final signatures of the Declaration are completed
  • November 15, 1777 – Congress ratifies the Articles of Confederation
  • March 1, 1781 – Final ratification of Articles of Confederation by all states

Toward a New Nation

The writers of the Declaration were known as the “Committee of Five,” which, besides Jefferson, included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston. The Declaration of Independence included a list of grievances that the colonies had toward Britain. One of the main complaints was taxation without representation.

The American Revolutionary War began in 1775 and France began aiding Americans in 1777. Other American allies included Spain and the Dutch Republic. The war lasted on American soil through 1781. The naval battle ended on September 3, 1783, when King George III of Britain signed the Treaty of Paris.

The United States finalized the Constitution on September 8, 1787. In 1789, George Washington was elected the nation’s first president. By 1790, all 13 states had ratified the Constitution. Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 1826. Another Founding Father, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831.

Holiday History

Philadelphia celebrated Independence Day on July 4, 1777. After that, the celebrations spread from town to town every July 4th, but it wasn’t until after 1812 that it became widespread. It wasn’t until 1870 when Congress established July 4th as an official national holiday, called “Independence Day.” Congress then reaffirmed it as a paid holiday for federal workers in 1938.

Celebrations often include fireworks and outdoor music events. “The Star-Spangled Banner” became the national anthem in 1931, although the lyrics were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key and the melody was based on an earlier British song called “Anacreon in Heaven” by John Stafford Smith. Another popular song associated with 4th of July history is “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” written in 1896 by John Philip Sousa.