In early 2018, in our continual pursuit to offer the best education possible, California Aeronautical University recognized a need for a major change in the online ground school that was being offered. Our ground school provider at the time was seemingly unwilling to update both their content and delivery methods, resulting in material that was “dry,” outdated, and difficult to access. This resulted in the need for more one-on-one instruction and increased student costs.
We knew we needed to make a change. With much of our student population under the age of 20 years, we knew we needed something modern, exciting, and easy to access. After a bit of research, Sporty’s seemed to be lightyears ahead of their competitors. They appeared to offer exactly what we were looking for: a solution that was easily accessible across multiple platforms and offered modern, up-to-date content.
We decided to reach out to Sporty’s to further discuss our needs and to determine if a transition to Sporty’s was the best solution for California Aeronautical University. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. Sporty’s showed a willingness to listen to our needs and to this day continues to develop and enhance their product with our best interests in mind.
As a university, the use of Sporty’s online self-study course is required to receive the academic credit(s) necessary to complete our aviation courses. Sporty’s videos are assigned as homework and then discussed in a classroom environment or in an online discussion forum. What’s great about the video library is that it can be accessed anytime, anywhere. On the flight side, our flight instructors also assign Sporty’s videos in alignment with the Sporty’s flight training TCO.
As we had hoped for, the wide array of content available within the Sporty’s courses has really helped us reduce the one-on-one instruction being given. In addition to the extensive video library, we are utilizing the Sporty’s test prep tools, the interactive maneuvers guide, and the interactive ACS to help prepare for both the FAA knowledge and practical tests.
As an approved FAA 141 flight school, it was also important that the Sporty’s curriculum meet 141 requirements. When we presented the Sporty’s Training Course Outline (TCO) to the FAA, they were more than happy to approve our use of Sporty’s TCO in our program. Sporty’s is well-respected in the flight training community, helping with a seamless transition from our existing TCO to our new and improved Sporty’s TCO.
Being both an accredited aviation university and an approved 141 flight training provider has presented some unique challenges. But our newfound partnership with Sporty’s has only helped make things easier and more efficient for the University. The recently added CFI portal has given us the ability to track student progress remotely and is a welcome addition for both our residential instructors and our online (DE) instructors. The CFI portal is just another testament to the direction Sporty’s continues to go in.
Sporty’s continues to provide innovative training solutions, and California Aeronautical University is excited to be on the forefront with them sharing the common goal of providing the best education possible to our future aviators. Currently, California Aeronautical University is utilizing the Sporty’s Private, Instrument, Commercial, Multi-Engine, and Rotorcraft courses, and we look forward to expanding to CFI and beyond with Sporty’s as our training partner. To learn more about Sporty’s courses, contact Mark Wiesenhahn.
This article was previously featured on sportys.com.
Assistant Chief Flight Instructor, California Aeronautical University