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A review of minority recruitment programs in aviation education programs

, Oklahoma State University, United States

Oklahoma State University . Awarded


Scope and method of study. The purpose of this study was to determine what causes minorities to have such poor representation in the aviation field, particularly in the professional pilot programs; to determine the number of minorities in professional pilot programs; to identify minority recruitment programs in aviation and in professional pilot training programs; and to determine the perceptions of African American pilots. An 11-question survey was sent to University Aviation Association colleges and universities directors, department chairpersons and instructors of aviation departments. A personal telephone interview was conducted with African American pilots who answered six questions.

Findings and conclusions. Of the 55 schools responding, the professors, directors and instructors in the aviation department were 85% Caucasian, 5% African American, 5% Hispanic, 5% Asian American and 0% Native Americans. Seventy-Eight percent of them were males, 13% were females and 9% were male/female sharing the department. Sixteen schools had five or fewer African American students, 9 reported 6-25, 26 reported 26-30, 1 reported 41-30, and 3 had above 50 in their department. Most of the schools reporting had basically the same recruitment programs and only two had special recruitment for minorities. Perceptions of the African American pilots were that lack of exposure to aviation and being academically unprepared were the great hindrances to minorities entering the aviation field, along with the high cost involved. They recommended more personal involvement by minorities in reaching children as young as third grade to expose them to aviation and encourage them to prepare academically. They recommended minority organizations offer scholarships to professional pilot programs to defray the expense. Further research is recommended to understand the perceptions of Hispanics, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and women as they apply to their under-representation in professional pilot programs; and to expand nationwide on this research on perceptions of African American pilots in Oklahoma.


Hedge, R.L. A review of minority recruitment programs in aviation education programs. Ph.D. thesis, Oklahoma State University. Retrieved February 17, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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