Professional & Continuing Studies

Vic Wang poses with 2019 UPCEA Mid-Atlantic Region Outstanding Program Award plaque for the UD PCS Professional Drone Pilot Training Academy
Vic Wang, University of Delaware Division of Professional and Continuing Studies (UD PCS) manager, customized learning, accepts the 2019 University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Mid-Atlantic Region Outstanding Program Award for the UD PCS Professional Drone Pilot Training Academy.

Infrared training classes added to portfolio

With a continually growing list of occupations that includes, but is certainly not limited to, first responders, insurance adjusters, realtors, photographers, marketers, engineers, roofers, accident scene investigators and emergency management professionals, it is hard to find a field that cannot benefit from drones.

Professional Drone Pilot Training Academy

2020 Offerings

Ground School and FAA Part 107 Test Prep
Newark, Del.
March 18-April 8 (Wednesdays) 
June 6-7

Foundations of Flight
Newark, Del.
May 2-3 – Canceled

Infrared Training Center at University of Delaware

2020 Offerings

Level I Thermography Certification Training (handheld)
Newark, Del.
June 9-12

sUAS Level I Thermography Certification
Newark, Del.

sUAS Level I Public Saferty Thermography Certification
Newark, Del.
April 21-24 – Canceled

LEARN MORE ABOUT INFRARED PROGRAMS

The FAA Aerospace Forecast for Fiscal Years 2018-2038 reported there will be tremendous opportunities for employment growth linked with commercial activities of unmanned aerial systems.” Inc. magazine said as the registered commercial drone fleet climbs, every few new drones creates at least one job, at a minimum, to maintain, deploy and operationalize the asset. As a result of this, a workforce of about 400,000 is being created in just a few years.

The University of Delaware’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies (UD PCS) responded to this need by launching the Professional Drone Pilot Training Academy in March 2018. More than two months before the initial session was held, all 20 seats were sold and an additional section was added. In recognition of the success of the Professional Drone Pilot Training Academy, which has proceeded to serve more than 200 students in less than two years, UD PCS was honored with the 2019 University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Mid-Atlantic Region Outstanding Program Award.

Presented for an effective, innovative and exceptional credit or noncredit program, the award-winning program must have been offered by an UPCEA member institution within the last two years and have completed one cycle. It is required to demonstrate a contribution to the field of continuing education and be able to be replicated by other institutions of higher education, be original and innovative to the continuing education field and/or to the institution, exhibit quality and effectiveness, and be cost-effective in a manner consistent with the stated program objectives.

Individuals can enroll in the classroom-based Ground School and FAA Part 107 Test Prep and hands-on Foundations of Flight. Both of these courses, and many others, are also offered through customized onsite training. Customized training clients have included the Delaware Department of Agriculture, the Montgomery County Public Safety Office in Pennsylvania, and Cecil College in Maryland.

“We quickly realized there is a tremendous need for professional drone pilot training in the Mid-Atlantic and are the region’s first university-affiliated provider to offer a full suite of year-round options for both individuals and onsite for organizations,” said Vic Wang, UD PCS manager, customized learning. “Not only are our highly qualified instructors able to teach and prepare professional drone pilots, but they also have considerable flight experience, which adds substantial depth and credibility to the education.”

Ground School and FAA Part 107 Test Prep provides comprehensive classroom training and prepares drone pilots for the Federal Aviation Administration’s airman knowledge test, which must be passed to earn the FAA Part 107 remote pilot certificate that is required to legally fly a drone for commercial use.

Tavis Miller kneeling over a target with a drone in the center
Being more of a hands-on person than a classroom person, Tavis Miller appreciated the interactive format offered by the UD PCS Professional Drone Pilot Training Academy.

“Because of all the material to grasp, I was really nervous going into the exam,” said Tavis Miller, a collision reconstructionist with a municipal police agency in Delaware. “But then I saw that everything they taught us [in Ground School and FAA Part 107 Test Prep] was on the test. They didn’t provide us with the actual questions, but all of the information was applicable.”

Miller also enrolled in Foundations of Flight, which covers the basics of flying small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS). Topics include familiarization with various aircraft and system components, basic flight planning, safe flight deck setup and operations, basic flight maneuvers, emergency procedures, autonomous flight mode options, multi-aircraft mission design, and effective programmatic record keeping. Students become familiar with and receive individual flight time with a variety of aircraft systems. Miller appreciated the interactive format of both classes.

“I am more of a hands-on person than a classroom person,” said Miller. “Even with Ground School and FAA Part 107 Test Prep, there was a lot of class participation, which made it easier to grasp everything as opposed to just lecture and death by PowerPoint.”

UD PCS is adding to its portfolio of drone training options with the introduction of the Infrared Training Center at University of Delaware, which includes sUAS Level I Thermography Certification and sUAS Level I Public Safety Thermography Certification. Geared to the individual or corporation wanting focused training on aerial infrared inspections and applications, sUAS Level I Thermography Certification is designed for sUAS pilots needing the background, skills and knowledge to properly capture and interpret thermal images.

sUAS Level I Public Safety Thermography Certification provides individuals in public safety departments the theoretical and practical foundations necessary for effective law enforcement, fire, hazmat, search and rescue, and emergency management sUAS thermal operations; and for corporations and public safety organizations wanting focused training on sUAS aerial infrared imagery; while also covering a variety of condition-monitoring and predictive maintenance applications.

The Infrared Training Center at University of Delaware also consists of a handheld camera class, Level I Thermography Certification Training, geared to the new infrared camera user and focusing on how thermography is used for a variety of condition-monitoring and predictive maintenance applications. Successful completers of each of the infrared training classes are awarded industry-recognized certifications.

Designed to accommodate working professionals, the short-term drone and infrared training classes can be completed over a single weekend or several weekdays. Discounts are available. For more information, visit pcs.udel.edu/drones-infrared, email continuing-ed@udel.edu or call 302-831-7600.