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SDSU Aviation Student Achievement Data

"Campanile from behind"

Compliance with AABI 3.4.2 - updated July 2022

South Dakota State University

College of Education & Human Sciences
Bachelor of Science - Aviation
Aviation Education Specialization

Aviation Education Program Mission

The Aviation Education Program at South Dakota State University is committed to preparing safe, innovative, professional aviation educators who enhance human potential through transdisciplinary, learner-centered education in South Dakota and beyond. We ensure this by forming multi-engine commercial pilots and instructors who are able to apply their core educational experience to the aviation profession.

Aviation Education Outcomes (including AABI General and Core Outcomes)

These Aviation Program Outcomes are what we expect all graduates of the aviation program to be able to exhibit upon graduation. They are reported as part of the assessment process.


  • Apply the general education core to the aviation profession.
  • Demonstrate instructional knowledge in single- and multi-engine aircraft to the FAA commercial pilot standard.
  • Demonstrate instructional knowledge by creating and teaching relevant aviation topics to colleagues.
  • apply mathematics, science, and applied sciences to aviation-related disciplines;
  • analyze and interpret data;
  • work effectively on multi-disciplinary and diverse teams;
  • make professional and ethical decisions;
  • communicate effectively, using written communication skills;
  • communicate effectively, using oral communication skills;
  • engage in and recognize the need for life-long learning;
  • assess contemporary issues;
  • use the techniques, skills, and modern technology necessary for professional practice;
  • assess the national and international aviation environment;
  • apply pertinent knowledge in identifying and solving problems;
  • apply knowledge of business sustainability to aviation issues.
  • Describe the professional attributes, requirements or certifications, and planning applicable to aviation careers.
  • Describe the principles of aircraft design, performance and operating characteristics; and the regulations related to the maintenance of aircraft and associated systems.
  • Evaluate aviation safety and the impact of human factors on safety.
  • Discuss the impact of international aviation law, including applicable International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) or other international standards and practices, and applicable national aviation law, regulations and labor issues on aviation operations.
  • Explain the integration of airports, airspace, and air traffic control in managing the National Airspace System.
  • Discuss the impact of meteorology and environmental issues on aviation operations.

Program assessment measures employed

The assessment process is ongoing and data is collected and analyzed continuously throughout the aviation program and used to better foster student learning. The program uses the following techniques to gather both direct and indirect feedback on student learning:

  • individual and group projects
  • presentations
  • scholarly papers
  • examinations
  • flight evaluations
  • surveys
  • senior seminar assignments requiring cumulative knowledge and skills acquired throughout educational experience

Enrollment/Graduation Rates

This data is the same that is reported to Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Students that were coded in the first time full time bachelor’s degree seeking federal cohorts that started in the Aviation Education program their first fall semester (as of census freeze) at SDSU. For definitions of terms please see the IPEDS website.

Fall CohortNumber of studentsGraduated within 6 yearsGrad rate



Rates and types of employment of graduates

2021 graduates: Twenty one (21) Aviation Education graduates- 100% job placement in flight positions: 100% of Aviation Education graduates were initially employed as flight instructors (95% at SDSU). After earning minimum flight experience, graduates transitioned to SkyWest Airlines, Alpine Air, and were selected for military flight slots. Additional employment by last years graduates also includes, King Air pilot (PIC), Citation pilot (SIC), aerial photography, independent CFI, ground/flight instructor for other universities and community colleges, and life flight pilot. 

Full time students enrolled in Aviation Education

  • Fall 2021 semester: 180 students
  • Fall 2020 semester: 181 students
  • Fall 2019 semester: 157 students
  • Fall 2018 semester: 109 students
  • Fall 2017 semester: 98 students

Graduation Data

  • Spring / Summer / Fall 2021: 21 Aviation Education graduates
  • Spring / Summer / Fall 2020: 6 Aviation Education graduates
  • Spring / Summer / Fall 2019: 10 Aviation Education graduates
  • Spring / Summer / Fall 2018: 12 Aviation Education graduates
  • Spring / Summer / Fall 2017: 7 Aviation Education graduates

Graduation Rate

Graduation/completion rates are determined by evaluating those students that start flying AVIA 170 (started flight training) to the number of graduating students that year. For Fall/Spring/Summer 2021, 49 students started flying training and 21 students in Fall/Spring/Summer 2021 graduated with a degree in Aviation-Aviation Education Specialization.

  • 2021     49 new students/ 21 graduates 42%
  • 2020     30 new students/ 7 graduates  23% (*COVID-19)
  • 2019     36 new students / 10 graduates  28%     
  • 2018     21 new students / 11 graduates  52%
  • 2017     32 new students / 7 graduates   22%