InTech Club students with VR glasses

Immersed in Realities, Broward College Students Explore Next Frontier in Computing

As students paraded in and out before the start of that evening’s meeting of the Broward College Intech Club, Mariela Lopez and Jorge Ortiz stood in front of the classroom with a pair of goggles over their eyes and looked out at the future of computing.

The sleek space age-looking glasses or something resembling them, are expected, at some point, to converge all extended reality (XR) technologies including virtual, augmented and mixed into one wearable and mobile device. Imagine what that might mean: information from a desktop computer or mobile phone would no longer be bound to a screen but projected instead into real-world fields of view seen through the lenses of a wearable device. With that promise in mind, think about how XR may transform the way people work, spend their leisure time, and learn.

“There’s wide agreement that a big bang is ahead of us,” said Dr. Raz Ben-Ezzer, who is part of a Broward College team of faculty and administrators charged with developing initiatives in spatial computing, extended reality, and other advances around augmented technology. “Once this platform or device hits the marketplace, the product is going to change our world like the smartphone has, but probably even more.”

When that explosion bursts onto the scene, Broward College students will be prepared to take advantage of the technology’s rippling effects. The College, in partnership with Magic Leap, the Plantation, Florida-based creator of the mixed-reality goggles, is establishing an IDEA (Invent, Design, Education and Accelerate) on A. High Adams Central Campus, this in partnership with Broward College’s Entrepreneurship Experience (BCEx).

The Next Smartphone

Inside the lab, students will learn the fundamentals of extended reality, the umbrella term for computer-generated environments that either merge the physical and virtual worlds or creates an entirely immersive experience for wearers. So far, the centerpiece for instruction in spatial computing are the 42 mixed-reality headsets and pocket-sized wireless computers supplied by Magic Leap. From those devices, digital content is blended with live environments, enabling students to interact with both in real-time.

“It’s really cool when you put them on for the first time,” said Lopez, who will begin classes in the fall in the College’s B.S. in Information Technology, which has a spatial computing specialization. “It’s something we’ve never seen before.”

InTech Club students with VR glasses

From advanced robotics to self-driving cars, to the viral app Pokémon GO, elements of augmented reality are popping up everywhere. Students and faculty at Broward College hope to take the technology a step further by creating new teaching and learning opportunities.

In the not too distant future, nursing students at Broward College might don mixed reality goggles to practice inserting catheters into a virtual patient’s bladder, eliminating the risk of performing the procedure on a live human being and the expense associated with creating a life-like situation. The same thinking applies to most disciplines – think history and geology or STEM or communications and aviation, to name a few.

“Everybody needs to be exposed to spatial computing technology,” said Michelle Levine, district director of Faculty Development. “But not everybody right now understands the need to get onboard or sees the relevance.”

On Frontlines of Learning

Levine was among a team of 12 faculty and administrators, who last month attended “Realities 360,” an augmented and virtual realities conference for workforce training and higher education. The team is in the process of taking what they learned at the California conference to determine how faculty can apply XR to supplement and improve learning on campus.

Following a training “boot camp” later this month with Magic Leap and a Hackathon devoted to spatial computing in September, the team will present a campus symposium, April 3-4, 2020, to share what they’ve learned about the technology and how some basic principles can be immediately applied in the classroom.

“I feel like we’re pioneers,” said Ben-Ezzer, while he downloaded an app that would enable him to play a virtual drum set in the confines of his office. “At a certain level, colleges and universities are getting ready for this. We are not the first, but we are certainly at the forefront.”

Are you interested in a career that bridges the physical and digital worlds to transform the way people live, work, and learn? Then see how a degree in Information Technology will put you on the frontlines of the next must-have technology.


Business Pathway

A Pathway with Many Doors – How Business Keeps You on the Go

A career in business has many perks, but the greatest is that there will never be a shortage of employment opportunities. As a business major, you can apply your knowledge to any industry, from healthcare and hospitality to agriculture and communications, and anything in between.

After all, every business needs accountants, marketing planners, and managers.

“The business industry is not for the faint of heart,” warns Paul Moore, dean of Business and Management. “Students that choose to pursue a career in business must be driven, easily adaptable to changes, and must dominate skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving. It’s a very rewarding industry with many employment opportunities, but it needs strong and determined people.”

Broward College Offers Many Certifications and Degrees in Business

Business Pathway

Broward College offers everything from technical certificates to bachelor’s degrees. Many Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees have technical certificates embedded in the curriculum, allowing students to earn qualifications that demonstrate their skills and proficiency as they complete specific courses within their program. Even after obtaining their degree, some students qualify for additional industry-related certifications.

One of the most popular bachelor’s programs at Broward College is part of the pathway. The Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Supervision and Management offers four areas of specialization: management, human resource management, marketing and sales, and project management. Other high-demand programs such as hospitality and tourism, business analytics, marketing management, and business administration are all offered at Broward College.

Broward College Builds Your Skills Inside and Outside the Classroom

By choosing Broward College, you are guaranteed to receive a top-quality education but also extracurricular opportunities to complement what you learn in the classroom. Through student clubs and organizations such as DECA, Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), Paralegal Eagles, and Accounting Student Association (ASA), students can develop their skills set through mock presentations, creating business and marketing plans and proposals, and participating in competitions with other schools.

“The more experience students gain through these clubs, the easier it will be when they join the workforce. They will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to confront any situation,” explains Dean Moore. “On top of that, participating shows future employers that the student possesses the quality and previously mentioned skills that are in high demand.”

The perk of choosing Broward College, Dean Moore says, is that the College understands local workforce demands as it has excellent partnerships with some of the leading employers and has researched the industry well enough to develop and offer the programs that prepare students for the current needs of the workforce as it evolves over the next decade.

The Current Workforce

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Florida ranks in the top five for employment opportunities in business and financial occupations. The industry is well-positioned in the state with higher-than-average wages and faster-than-average job growth rates compared to other occupations.

Most entry-level jobs accept an associate degree, but opportunities broaden once you expand your education level. Among the job options available to business majors are business consulting, financial and budget analysts, management training, financial examiners, advertising and promotion managers, insurance sales agents, sales managers, accounting, and financial advising.

Many of these jobs are on the high end of the pay scale. The BLS data shows that the average annual wages start around $40,000 and can go all the way up over $120,000. “It’s all about building your way up, as in any industry, the higher you go, the higher the pay,” says Moore.

A career in business can take you anywhere. See the complete list of degrees available at Broward College and start building your way to the top of the world today.


Pre-college students at BC

Summer is Cool for High School Students at Pre-College Leadership Institute

When summer rolls around, Ronald Irano Duncan knows his mother’s plans are not far behind. Once school lets out, she has a habit of asking her 17-year old son what he plans to do with his vacation and before he can burst out an answer, she tells him.

“You know my mom,” said Duncan, a senior at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach. “She tells me I’m going somewhere.”

This summer, Duncan headed to Broward College, where the Pre-College Summer Leadership Institute (PLSI) welcomed high school students like him in grades 10-12 for three weeks of life adjustment training or, as the program’s brainchild says, “the employability skills that pay the bills.”

Pre-college students at BC“We gauge them on a number of things – leadership, financial literacy,” said Billy Jones, the PSLI coordinator and an assistant professor of English at Broward College. “We want to see what they know, but also what they need.”

For the most part, those essentials are centered around registration in an actual Broward College course. The 46 PSLI students who enrolled this summer in “Strategy for Success -- SLS 1001” gained exposure to the tools and resources that will contribute to their success in college, well in advance of their high school graduation. That means an introduction to strategies for studying and test-taking, techniques for note-taking, skills for time management, and concepts for building leadership and emotional intelligence.

“Coming here has taught me a lot of skills that I can use throughout life,” said Noah Cihal, a 15-year-old at Hollywood Hills High School. “I’ve learned how to read a room. If I go to an interview and someone is giving off a bad vibe, I can figure out why and make it a lighter situation.”

Head-Start on College

The high schoolers are also made aware of various academic disciplines offered at Broward College and the careers they can pursue. On other days, the students take part in mock interviews, writing resumes, and cover letters or connect with adult role models from the community who visit campus to share their personal stories. For a few hours a day, over a couple of weeks in July, the students are better equipped to return to high school in the fall with three college credits as well.

Jones said PSLI is an extension of the Minority Male Initiative, a Broward College strategy that provides underserved students with the support they need to complete their college goals.

“We wanted to create an opportunity that would impact young minority men,” said Jones. “Our data confirms that minority males are more likely to drop out of college, so we had to look at retention mechanisms that will show these young men how to take initiative and become advocates for themselves.”

Make Room for Parents

Parents of the students have been greeted with such positive reviews from their children that plans for an offshoot of the bridge program are underway.

“Every year, I get parents that come up to me and ask, ‘Is there something like this for me,’” said Jones. “The parents recognize there is value for them, as well as their kids.”

Beginning in September, “Parents Mentoring Parents” plans to meet every other week on campus. So far, 13 parents from the group of 46 students in PSLI have registered.

“We are showing people we value them,” said Jones. “If we can support these parents, they will, in turn, be supporting these young men.”

Parents and their children looking for strategies for success can explore opportunities through the Pre-College Summer Leadership Institute at Broward College.


BC male student

Broward College Combines Forces with Wyncode To Provide State-Of-Art Training in Information Technology

Technology dominates almost every area of our lives, from paying bills, household chores, ordering food, to communicating with friends and family across the world. It’s only logical that this is one of the fastest-growing industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 13 percent increase through 2026, which equals to over half a million new jobs.

Even with this demand for new Information Technology (IT) professionals, not everyone trained in the field will be hired.

Broward College knows how crucial it is to equip students with the skills necessary to give them an advantage over other candidates with similar qualifications. In its latest effort to offer the latest training, the College has partnered with Wyncode , an award-winning organization that provides web development training to hundreds of companies and individuals since 2014.

New Partnership Refreshes Program

BC male studentAs a result of the partnership, the College will this fall integrate five new courses into its bachelor degree in Information Technology Web Development specialization. Wyncode will offer support through its training providing hands-on experience focused on industry-related hard skills.

“When the opportunity to work with Broward College, which has over 60,000 undergraduate students, came up, we were extremely excited. We are looking forward to Broward College students accessing Wyncode's award-winning curriculum and learning the skills that today's technology companies are looking for," said Juha Mikkola, co-founder, and CEO of Wyncode.

Wyncode will work in conjunction with Labcode, a company that offers access to coding camps in South Florida to middle school, high school, and college students. Together, they will assist with workshops and boot camps to students enrolled in select Broward College web development courses. The hands-on workshops will be available to approximately 15-30 students per semester, and they will earn 15 of the 27 specializations credits required for the IT Web Development bachelor’s degree.

Registration for the program is still open. For more information, click here or contact  Mitch McBee, associate dean, Information Technology at cmcbee@broward.edu or (954) 201-7978.

High-paying jobs are booming in Information Technology. Broward College offers several programs that equip you with the skills you will need to succeed in the field. Learn more about these career opportunities.


Unlimited Potential! Broward UP Movement Gaining Countywide Momentum

Unlimited Potential! Broward UP™ Movement Gaining Countywide Momentum

Broward UP is on the move.

In just the last few weeks, Broward College formed partnerships with the cities of Lauderhill, West Park, Lauderdale Lakes, and Hollywood to use the services and resources of Broward UP to break down barriers to education and drive social mobility and economic development.

Broward UP – the UP stands for “Unlimited Potential” – is a community-centric approach established by Broward College to address low education attainment and the financial challenges which often accompany it. The movement is grounded in the belief that residents in some Broward County cities with low educational attainment and higher than average unemployment rates need specific support to unleash their “unlimited potential” and pursue higher education to make a better life for themselves.

“Thankfully, Broward UP is working, and we are charging forward with even greater confidence, enthusiasm, and purpose,” said Dr. Mildred Coyne, the executive director of Career and Workforce Education and Economic Development.

Lauderhill Mayor Ken Thurston said Broward UP’s first municipal partnership evolved after Broward College President Gregory Haile and his team presented their strategies at a meeting of the city commissioners. Shortly after that, the collaboration was launched at the Boys & Girls Club of Broward College in Lauderhill, where Broward UP staged a day of recreational activities and team building.

“There is a willingness by President Haile and those around him to think outside the box to find solutions to problems that have existed for a long time,” said Thurston. “The prospect of having classes in our city will increase the skills of our citizens, which should translate to increased employability for them and better jobs.”

Get Hired!

Broward College TeamWorking with the Urban League, Broward College has already awarded hundreds of certificates in areas such as, Information Technology, Supply Chain Management, and Project Management, to residents in the 33311 zip code who are seeking to improve their prospects for employment in high-demand industries. The effort has been met with such success that additional Broward UP programming is planned for the fall at several locations including the Lauderhill Aquatic Center, McTyre Park in West Park, and Jack & Jill Children’s Center in Fort Lauderdale.

Dr. Coyne said ten task-specific teams have been established and are coordinating to execute initial Broward UP goals: to increase college access and attendance; to improve degree and certificate attainment, and to holistically raise social and economic mobility. The teams are focused on business development; community engagement; financial services; locations and branding; programs, skills, and courses; retention; resource development; service-learning; social support services; and technology.

The Community Engagement team has been busy participating in events this summer to raise awareness of Broward UP in partnership cities while surveying residents to assess needs. Most recently, team members were on hand at the Carter Park JAMZ in Fort Lauderdale. Another appearance is scheduled for the “Back 2 School Bash,” 12-3 p.m., Aug. 3, at Lafayette Hart Park, in Fort Lauderdale. Led by Andrea Apa, associate professor of English for Academic Purposes and Faculty Senate president, and Lori Morton, senior Career Center specialist, the team is seeking additional volunteers from the Broward College community to help spread the word at events in Broward UP communities.

Together We Serve

Volunteers are also needed to assist in Business Development, which is led by Anthea Pennant, district director of Supplier Relationships and Diversity. The team is meeting with owners of small and micro businesses in Broward UP zip codes to determine how they can increase revenue as well as provide information to the public about the movement.

Dr. Coyne said any movement as large and as transformative as Broward UP will take time and additional effort.

“We believe there is ‘Unlimited Potential’ in our community,” she said. “Thank you to all involved. I encourage you to consider how you can contribute to this movement because together we serve.”

To learn more about how Broward UP™ plans to bridge the gaps between communities in need and postsecondary education, watch this South Florida PBS interview with Broward College President Gregory Haile, Esq., here

If you are dedicated to promoting opportunity and pushing residents of Broward County to achieve their highest potential, Broward UP™ is a countywide movement for you to get behind. Here’s how you can partner.


Latest transfer agreement will take seahawks flying to arizona

Latest Transfer Agreement Will Take Seahawks Flying to Arizona

Broward College recently unveiled an agreement that allows students who complete an Associate of Arts degree to further their studies outside Florida. The College is partnering with Arizona State University (ASU) to provide graduates a seamless transition into a bachelor’s programs at the prestigious school.

ASU has ranked number one for the last four years as the country’s most innovative university by the U.S. News & World Report.  

Students must meet the established guidelines to qualify for the transfer. To be eligible, you must meet one of the following options:

  • Earned an Associate of Arts degree with a minimum cumulative transfer GPA of 2.50, or
  • Completed a Florida General Education Course with a minimum cumulative transfer GPA of 2.50, or
  • Completed at least 24 transferable credits with a minimum cumulative transfer GPA of 3.00.

What is a Transfer Agreement?

ASU transferTransfer agreements help students who earn an Associate of Arts (A.A.), and in some cases, an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree qualify for acceptance to a bachelor’s program at a university. These are exclusive partnerships, and it doesn’t mean that the student is accepted to every program offered at the university.

In Florida, most public colleges are part of a statewide articulation agreement between the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors. The articulation guarantees the transition to students who complete an A.A at a member institution of the Florida College System to one of the 12 state universities, but this an does not apply to specific programs of study.

Broward College has taken their articulation agreements a step further, partnering with several universities even outside Florida.

Other Destinations for Alumni

ASU is the latest institution to join the list of possible destinations for Broward College graduated. The College has transfer agreements with over ten universities nationwide, including:

  • University of Kentucky
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida International University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University
  • Thomas University
  • Ball State University
  • University of Albany
  • Wayne State University
  • Buffalo State University
  • Marymount University
  • University of South Florida, and
  • Western Governor’s University

The College is also working to create international connections for its graduates. In May 2018, an agreement was signed with the University of Gibraltar in Spain. This allows students who complete their associate degree in South Florida or any Broward College international location, the opportunity to transfer to the University of Gibraltar.

Broward College can help create your path to the university of your dreams. What are you waiting for? If you have recently graduated from Broward College, check out the opportunities to advance your education through one of the many transfer programs available to alumni. If you’re new to the College, talk to an advisor about the best option for you to further your studies.


Broward UP gaining strength with addition of municipal partners

Broward UP™ Gaining Strength with Addition of Municipal Partners

Broward UP, the College’s community-centric approach to elevating educational attainment and lowering unemployment in Broward County, has added three more municipalities to its roster of partners.

BrowardUPIn overwhelming votes of support, the cities of West Park, Hollywood and Lauderdale Lakes agreed to join Broward UP, thus paving the way for the partnerships to work collaboratively toward the goals of promoting employment opportunities for residents while boosting economic growth in the communities.  They now join the city of Lauderhill, which was the first municipality to partner with Broward UP.

Under an MOU with each city, the College is providing direct support in the design and delivery of:

  • On-site workshops, courses, and programs for city residents
  • Certification training at identified city locations aligned to employment within the area
  • An access strategy for city employees and residents to earn Broward College degrees and certifications
  • STEM, coding and technology training
  • College and career-readiness campaign for city residents and employees
  • Entrepreneurial programming

Broward UP aims to remove barriers, improve lives through postsecondary attainment, and build partnerships to help every person realize their “Unlimited Potential.” While Broward County's unemployment rate is approximately 3.3 percent, the figure soars to more than 10 percent in some cities, with some zip codes nearing 13 percent. In response to this disparity, Broward UP has adopted three goals: increase college access and attendance, improve degree and certificate attainment, and holistically raise social and economic mobility.

"The objective of these partnerships is to work together to improve lives," said Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile, Esq. "We are ready to activate our resources in these communities to ensure residents have access to the training and skills needed to improve their careers and overall livelihoods."

The College is also pursuing partnerships with other municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, places of worship, businesses, and funders.

To learn more about how Broward UP™ plans to bridge the gaps between communities in need and postsecondary education, watch this South Florida PBS interview with Broward College President Gregory Haile, Esq., here

If you want to participate in promoting opportunity for residents of Broward County to achieve their highest potential, Broward UP™ could use your help.  Here’s how you can partner.


Social behavioral sciences and human services pathway

Social Behavioral Sciences & Human Services Pathway Offers a Cohort of Possibilities

Students pursuing a degree in Social Behavioral Sciences & Human Services (SBSHS) probably know that the pathway is all about human behavior, its relation to society, and what people can do to help others. If students are curious about humans, their behavior, their past, and evolution, then look no further. Students can find the answers when they pursue a degree in any of the career opportunities within the SBSHS pathway.

Choose Broward College

SBSHS pathway
SBSHS students during a soft skills training session

When students begin their flight as Seahawks at Broward College, they will find faculty and staff determined to help them along the way toward graduation. The SBSHS pathway is mainly focused on providing students with valuable resources to complement what they learned in the classroom.

“It’s not only about the material students learn in the classroom,” says Lulrick Balzora, dean of Academic Affairs for the SBSHS pathway. “We understand it’s important to also train our students with certain skills that are in high demand in today’s workforce, such as soft skills.”

In response, the pathway has created weekly training, called the Professional Enhancement Program (PEP), that takes place every semester. PEP focuses mostly on teaching soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, time management, and emotional intelligence.

These Rewarding Careers Await

There are 13 different fields within the pathway at Broward College that can lead  to immediate employment after completion of the program. Students can also continue their education at a four-year university. Students earn Associate of Arts degrees in Anthropology, Geography, History, International Relations, Latin American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Social Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, and Women’s Studies. Students can also obtain Associate of Science degrees in Human Services or Geographic Information Systems.

Several of these fields, including Psychology, Political Science, Geography, and Sociology may lead to highly-paid careers, with annual salaries ranging between $79,010 and $117,570 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs for Social Workers and Psychologists are in high demand. Both fields have faster-than-average job growth expected through 2026, at 14 and 16 percent, respectively.

Broward College is continuously ranked among the top community colleges in the nation and provides world-class education for an affordable price. Learn more about career opportunities in SBSHS and seven other pathways here.


BC students make presence felt in China

When Least Expected, Broward College Students Make Presence Felt in China

On a recent trip to China to participate in graduation ceremonies at Shanghai Second Polytechnic University, Russell McCaffery got a chance to mix business with pleasure when he unexpectedly crossed paths with some familiar faces from Broward College campuses in South Florida.

“These types of trips tend to be pretty frenetic because I’m trying to cram as much as possible in to make the best use of my time,” said McCaffery, the Broward College dean who oversees Aviation, Automotive, MarineSupply Chain Management, Manufacturing, and Building Construction programs. “To run into Broward College students and faculty from Fort Lauderdale was a nice collateral benefit to be sure.”

McCaffery was visiting China’s largest city and financial hub to congratulate the 57 Chinese nationals who earned Broward College associate degrees while taking courses at Shanghai Second Polytechnic University under a joint agreement between the schools. The Broward College students from Florida were in the midst of a one-month cultural exchange at  Shanghai Second Polytechnic University while the faculty were on campus to teach courses in Supply Chain Management and Web Design.

Expanding International Appeal

Broward College students
Russell McCaffery (center) with Broward College faculty and students in Shanghai, China

In addition to conferring degrees, McCaffery was cultivating new and existing academic collaborations with China’s universities while bolstering Broward College’s international appeal.

“There are tremendous international opportunities for Broward College, but specifically in China,” said McCaffery. “A lot of Chinese students value a western education. It gives them an edge on their resumes to earn a diploma from Broward College and the United States.”

McCaffery said an associate degree from Broward College also provides a pathway for Chinese students to transfer to four-year universities. The dean is working to extend that international model to the Civil Aviation Flight University of China, located in Sichuan and considered the largest flight training institute in the world.

One of the goals is to have Chinese students come to the United States to study for two years in any one of Broward College’s aviation programs before returning to Civil Aviation Flight University to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Foreign Affairs at Work

Another plan under discussion is for Chinese students to earn an associate degree from Broward College at Chengdu Aeronautic Polytechnic. Broward College faculty would collaborate with Chengdu professors to teach courses in English. The Chinese students would be no different than their Broward College peers with one exception: they would not have to set foot on U.S. soil.

McCaffery said partnerships with Chinese universities are a win-win for Broward College. Not only do international students increase exposure to diverse cultures in the classroom, but they also pay higher out-of-state tuitions that help the College’s operations.

“Our international programs continue to grow,” said McCaffery. “The fact that Broward College can play a bigger role, not just in Broward County but on the world stage, is a feather in our cap.”

Students with lofty aspirations can earn associate and bachelor’s degrees and industry certifications through the Emil Buehler Aviation Institute at Broward College. Learn how your career can take off.


BC student sets sights on repairing aviation mechanic shortage

Broward College Student Sets Sights on Repairing Aviation Mechanic Shortage

When he was just a kid growing up in Nigeria, Davidson Nzekwe-Daniel would build model airplanes out of paper, cardboard, and tape and power the plastic propellers with a small DC battery. Each time the primitive technology rolled off the table and failed to fly, he wondered why.

“I was in a world all my own,” said Nzekwe-Daniel, who doubles as a student and mechanic at the Emil Buehler Aviation Institute at Broward College. “I needed to learn how these machines work.”

That curiosity and a desire to dissect real turbine jet engines landed him at Broward College two years ago. At the end of the upcoming fall semester, he will graduate with an associate degree in Aviation Maintenance.

Aviation Maintenance students
Davidson, third from the left, collaborates with classmates

Finding a job that is responsible for keeping passengers and flight crew safe shouldn’t be much trouble. A Boeing report estimates that the aviation industry will need 754,000 new aircraft maintenance technicians over the next two decades, more than 80 percent of them for the growing commercial sector. But, while the demand for aviation mechanics is at an all-time high, a headwind looms on the horizon.

Nzekwe-Daniel said Federal Aviation Administration regulations that dictate what aviation programs teach aspiring mechanics had not kept pace with sophisticated industry technology. He can attest. Nzekwe-Daniel needed three attempts to gain the FAA Airframe and Powerplant certification essential for employment.

Airlines Scramble for Technicians

Part of the problem is that the FAA-enforced curriculum is time- rather than competency-based, schools with aviation programs, like Broward College, have only so many credit hours to design an academic program. With little wriggle room to incorporate subject areas beyond those dictated in the 1,900-hour syllabus, Nzekwe-Daniel said some students are unable to reinforce the competencies they need to pass their qualifying exams for FAA licenses in Airframe and Powerplant. As a result, many companies that are scrambling for maintenance technicians have joined educators to urge Congress to legislate the first revisions to the federally authorized curriculum in some 40 years.

Reluctant to wait for the government to step up to the plate, Nzekwe-Daniel, with support from Broward College faculty and administrators, took it upon himself to research a temporary solution. He created a refresher course of sorts, which he dubbed “Curriculum Practical Training, (CPT)” for Broward College aviation students who are determined to bolster their skills leading up to the FAA Practical Test Standards required for Airframe and Powerplant maintenance certification. 

Temporary Solution Takes Off

Nzekwe-Daniel said 25 students at the Aviation Institute completed CPT in June, at no cost. Two students who completed the trial offering in January already obtained FAA Airframe and Power Plant certificates and entered the workforce. Fort Lauderdale-based GA Telesis and Xtreme Aviation in Doral are interested in offering CPT to their employees.

In the meantime, Nzekwe-Daniel relishes the opportunity to spread the word about CPT to other Florida colleges with aviation programs while he promotes the virtues of flight at campus events, job fairs and at K-12 schools in Broward County.

“It’s the most satisfying feeling to help someone get their FAA license and achieve their goals,” said Nzekwe-Daniel. “I love aviation and serving others. My passion is now my purpose.”

As the global fleet of jet airliners expands, the demand for aviation mechanics is predicted to remain strong. Programs of study at the Emil Buehler Aviation Institute at Broward College can lead to FAA certification and help your job prospects soar.