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"Within the aviation research literature there have been numerous studies that have either included or focused upon the attributes of associated faculty. Although such studies provide compelling data about these individuals, trends or changes in requirements for faculty are not easily identified within the findings. Of particular concern is the fact that credentialization, the escalation of required educational attainment and certification, has been permeating throughout higher education in the United States. It is of interest to see if such pressures are also infiltrating the collegiate aviation environment. Further, data about trends can help future faculty prepare for possible employment, it can assist present faculty to remain competitive and to insure their retention and tenure efforts are fruitful, and can also assist administrators to assess how their faculty compare to others, evaluate faculty for retention, promotion, and tenure, and to set reasonable hiring expectations for new faculty. This quantitative study sought to identify trends by evaluating employment advertisements for professional pilot program faculty over a 32 month period. Among the 32 advertisements that were found to fit the confines of this study, 23 (71.9%) stated that the minimum educational requirement was the master’s degree, 8 (25.0%) required a doctorate degree, and 1 (3.1%) required only a bachelor’s degree. Of the announcements that did not require the doctorate, 16 (66.7%) stated that the doctorate was preferred. Prevalent certification qualifications included 15 (46.8%) advertisements that required some sort of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot-related certification whilst 12 (37.5%) specifically called for a flight instructor certification. Also, 20 (62.5%) advertisements necessitated previous aviation experience and 12 (37.5%) stated that prospective faculty should have experience in research and scholarly activities including publication in peer-reviewed journals. Comparisons between the educational requirements outlined in the advertisements and the actual qualifications of faculty working at the institutions sponsoring the announcements indicated no significant differences between the groups (χ2 [1, n= 145] = 0.160, p > 0.10). However, when such comparisons were made including the preferences for an earned doctorate, significant differences were found to exist (χ2 [1, n= 146] = 17.708, p < 0.001). Contrasts were also evaluated between the findings in previous studies and the data collected in this study. No significant differences were noted when only taking into account the advertisements requiring the doctorate (χ2 [2, n = 254] = 1.315, p > 0.10) yet differences were noted when preferences for the doctorate were considered (χ2 [2, n= 279] = 23.12, p < 0.001). Lastly, the certification requirements found in this study were compared to a previous study of faculty attributes which revealed no significant differences between these two groups (χ2 [1, n= 360] = 0.00, p > 0.10). Evidence from this study indicates that there is a preference for educational attainment that exceeds that of currently employed faculty and faculty that were survey in previous studies. This indicates that professional pilot faculty presently face some level of credentialization. Suggestions for future research are included. "--from the article

Publication Title

International Journal of Professional Aviation Training & Testing Research


Professional Aviation Board of Certification and Oklahoma State University