Last updated: April 09. 2014 12:00AM - 1021 Views

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WILMINGTON — A partnership between Sinclair Community College and Southern State Community College will expand Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) training for precision agriculture purposes on SSCC’s campus in Wilmington.

“This partnership is a good fit for our students and our community. We look forward to bringing this unique opportunity to our region,” said Dr. Kevin Boys, SSCC President. “And anything we can do to assist in the redevelopment of the Wilmington Air Park is something we want to be a part of.”

Southern State will explore opportunities to support non-credit offerings at the Wilmington Air Park, while Sinclair will provide access to its unique UAS simulation lab. Both institutions will guide students through the UAS academic certificate program, and seek alignment with agriculture industry employers and high school dual credit programs.

“Southern State Community College is an outstanding institution and this partnership positions our college to take advantage of their historical and geographical strengths in agriculture,” said Dr. Steven Johnson, President of Sinclair Community College. “This partnership leverages the strengths of both institutions and allows us to allocate our resources efficiently. When it comes to UAS, agriculture, and this new partnership, the sky is quite literally the limit.”

Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, are pilotless aircraft controlled via onboard computers or remote control. UAS technology is primarily used in military settings; however, civilian applications – in agriculture, oceanography, navigation, meteorology, geology, wildlife and environmental research, and natural disaster response – are becoming more widespread. Sinclair is a nationally recognized leader in UAS training and certification.

Dr. Boys and Dr. Johnson were joined Wednesday on SCC’s Dayton Campus by John Carey, Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor, and Janell Mead, Ohio Department of Agriculture Deputy Director, to sign the groundbreaking collaboration.

“The Governor has challenged presidents of the schools in this state with some pretty big tasks,” said John Carey, Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor. “It’s because of their leadership that it works.”

Current forecasts have estimated that roughly 80 percent of UAS usage in the United States will be related to precision agriculture over the next several years. By taking a lead role in establishing a partnership to expand UAS offerings in the region, Sinclair and Southern State are utilizing the strengths of both colleges in an emerging market that has great potential.

To learn more about UAS opportunities at Southern State Community College, please contact John Joy, SSCC Dean of Workforce Development & Community Services, at 1-800-628-7722, ext. 4510, or jjoy@sscc.edu.

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