MECC one of two colleges pioneering unmanned aircraft systems career pathways in VA

Mountain Empire Community College will be one of two colleges creating career pathways in Unmanned Aircraft Systems. A National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of nearly $900,000 has been awarded to the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC).

The VSGC, the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), Virginia Tech, Thomas Nelson Community College and MECC have forged a partnership on a Geospatial Technician Education-UAS (GeoTEd-UAS) project to prepare students for UAS operations technicians.

The GeoTEd-UAS team is also partnering with private and public sector business and industry, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to support and advise the project.

“We have assembled an experienced and dedicated team of faculty partners to prepare the UAS workforce,” said VSGC Director Mary Sandy. “VSGC has been active in UAS education and is keenly aware of the future demand for UAS operations technicians and the impact of this technology on Virginia’s economy.”

VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois said the VCCS “looks forward to partnering with VSGC and the GeoTEd-UAS team to prepare the UAS work force. The faculty and leadership at Thomas Nelson and (MECC) are well poised to develop model courses and academic pathways that will benefit all of the community colleges in the commonwealth.”


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