Grossmont Community College in El Cajon, Calif. offers a free program to train novices to become FAA-certified, commercial class drone pilots.
The training is free to anyone who is at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen, as required by the grant. The noncredit program is targeted to groups including veterans, Native Americans, military spouses, ex-offenders, women, high school students and the unemployed and underemployed. Drones are provided during the training.
Registration is now open for classes starting in March.
“Grossmont College has always been at the forefront of workforce training,” said Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh. “We place great importance on recognizing hot new careers and ensuring that our students have the tools they need to forge ahead.”
Funded by a $6 million federal America’s Promise grant through the U.S. Department of Labor, the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or drone technology program is comprised of two tracks: surveying and mapping, and cinematography.
Grossmont College’s program will first provide UAS Ground School and Federal Aviation Administration 107 certification classes that students take to become licensed commercial drone pilots. The FAA 107 certification school will provide students comprehensive classroom instruction to pass the FAA 107 written test which is administered free to students. Once students complete the ground school module and possess a drone pilot license, they can then go on to take UAS Surveying and Mapping or UAS Cinematography.
Pilots in the surveying and mapping course receive extensive flight time and students who complete the program will know how to do precision mapping missions and data collection for multiple industries and operations.
UAS cinematography covers both basic and advanced cinematography techniques. The theory and operations of both standard and advanced precision camera shots is combined with operational scenarios.