Dabney S. Lancaster Community College will offer a new 18-hour Career Studies Certificate in unmanned aerial systems – more commonly known as drones – beginning with the fall semester, according to Dr. Ben Worth, Vice President for Academic Affairs. The program may be completed in two semesters.

“Unmanned Aerial Systems Maintenance and Operation Technician” will prepare students for entry-level positions in drone operations and maintenance, or assist individuals already employed with gaining new skill sets. The new CSC is being offered to complement the Alleghany Highlands Drone Zone in Covington, as well as meet the emerging needs of other employees seeking trained individuals.

“Students who have this education and training will have an edge when applying for employment in many fields that are now seeing the value of unmanned vehicles,” commented Worth. Some of those fields include Emergency Medical Services, Forest Technology or Information Technology, or most STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) subjects.

Fall courses for the new CSC include “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Remote Pilot Ground School” (UMS 107); “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems I” (UMS 111); and “AC and DC Circuit Fundamentals” (ELE 150). The two drone classes will meet on Fridays with Don Henke as the instructor. The ELE course meets on Monday evenings.

Spring courses will include “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Components and Maintenance” (UMS 177), “Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems II” (UMS 211) and “Electrical Control Systems.” (ELE 156). Both fall and spring courses will be held on the main campus in Clifton Forge.

The DSLCC program is a step in the pathway for the Electrical and Instrumentation Technologies program. Students may earn the sUAS Maintenance and Operations Technician CSC and continue on to complete additional offerings toward earning an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Drones have become increasingly popular in recent years, performing tasks more efficiently and improving safety, with little or no risk to humans. Nearly every sector of business and industry is using, or plans to use, drones: agriculture, construction, and forestry uses are common, but drones are also used by insurance companies, marketing firms, realtors, communication, utility companies and even attorneys. The list is endless.

The fall semester at DSLCC begins August 21; registration is under way. For more information about the new sUAS program contact Worth at 863-2933 or email bworth@dslcc.edu.

To register for the fall semester, contact Student Services at 863-2800 or visit www.dslcc.edu.