Western Nevada College News and Notes: WNC launching pilot ground school class for fall semester

Aviation has come full circle for Troy Wadsworth as he prepares to teach his first Private Pilot Ground School class at Western Nevada College this fall.

Wadsworth was that student of aviation in the 1980s when he took flight training at Carson City Airport. Now, he will lead future pilots into the stratosphere and other rewarding aviation careers.

“My interest in aviation began in the early years of my life and I was privileged that my parents supported me and my flight training,” Wadsworth said. “I learned a lot about self-discipline, situational awareness and safety within the world of aviation.”

In Aviation 110, Wadsworth will provide students with the aeronautical information to pass the private pilot knowledge test. The online class covers aviation fundamentals, including principles of flight, aircraft and engine operations, weather, navigation and radio communications as required by Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Other topics that will be discussed are airplane service, maintenance and safety practices.

“The field of aviation has wonderful stories that formulate into a culture that most find very suitable to their desires — whenever or however they were first ignited,” Wadsworth said. “I expect my students to explore aviation with respect to its history as well as its changes, and to start to visualize themselves in a role — however that appears to them, in shaping aviation for tomorrow. They will be expected to participate, learn, explore, aviation, as well as form a new perception of how aviation can evolve within their own experiences and expectations.”

The launching of the college’s first aviation class has created excitement among local airport administrators.

“It’s an outstanding program,” said Carson City Airport Manager Ken Moen. “This will be great to have locally and for students to have access to the airport. After ground school flight training, we have flight training opportunities at Carson City Airport. I think it’s a great partnership that will certainly benefit the community.”

Moen, who has a background as an air traffic controller, pointed out that the aviation industry presents many more professional careers than piloting.

“The opportunities are immense and there are a variety of career paths from airport administration, air traffic control, mechanics, instruction, aviation law, engineering, quality control maintenance to airport improvements, and more.”

Although the demand for commercial pilots is low now because of COVID, Moen expects that trend to turn around.

“There are more pilots than the industry needs now, but pilots take early retirement and when airlines get back up, they are going to be in high demand,” Moen said.

Looking back on Wadsworth’s aviation career, he completed his flight training, then became a certified instructor in Cedar City, Utah. He also earned chief flight instructor status for a Part 141fixed-wing training school in Northern Nevada.

“There I was able to teach students not only the scientific aspects but how to appreciate their foundational knowledge and interest and helped them advance in their aviation from new students to professionals with careers in aviation,” Wadsworth said. “I have years of experience in single- and dual-engine fixed-winged aircraft to include flying for private companies as well as corporations such as The Leavitt Group.”

Seats are still open for students in Wadsworth’s online class. For details about becoming a student at WNC, go to www.wnc.edu/starthere. For more information about the class, contact Wadsworth at troy.wadsworth@wnc.edu.

Safety Measures in Place for Classrooms

Students are no different at Western Nevada College than those at other colleges in the U.S. in that they prefer taking classes in person. They enjoy being around other students and collaborating in the learning process. They also feel it is easier to learn new material and remain focused when a professor is lecturing or leading a discussion when they are in the same room.

In the face of the continuing dangers of the coronavirus, learning isn’t possible the way it used to be. College campuses are being advised to provide courses virtually and avoid large gatherings. If classes are to be offered in person, health and safety officials recommend creating social distancing, meaning classrooms can serve only a fraction of the students they once did.

For months, WNC has been preparing for the return of students and instructors who will be meeting in person when fall semester on Aug. 31. These preparations haven’t been taken lightly.

“Life has changed at Western, just like it has everywhere else, thanks to COVID,” said WNC President Dr. Vincent Solis. “Classrooms have been prepared to serve students in this new age. We have social distancing in place, we have hand sanitizer, we have all the marketing, all the messaging across our digital signs, the marquees. Everything is set to go so we can provide a safe environment for our faculty, staff and students.”

Depending on a classroom’s size, they have been prearranged to safely serve a minimum of four students to a maximum of 35 students. They will be separated by six feet and all the seating is in one direction.

“We’re following (Nevada System of Higher Education) very closely, along with the Governor’s Office and the directives with what we’re doing in those areas,” President Solis said. “Again, the goal is to provide a very safe environment as we move through this transition. But if we have to move back to a virtual, online space, we are prepared to do that at a moment’s notice.”

WNC Safety and Risk Coordinator Craig Robinson has been tasked with many of these safety preparations and has consulted NSHE officials; state and local health officials; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to safeguard the college’s three campuses. Robinson has arranged 8-foot and 6-foot tables in classrooms so students can sit 6 feet apart. Students will also be at least 6 feet from instructors as well.

“We want to establish a visible line for the instructors at a 6-foot distance from the first row of learners,” Robinson said. “A reusable cloth face covering or single-use disposable mask is required in the classroom setting by both learners and instructors. Furthermore, an added face shield may be appropriate for settings where the instructor must interact within 6 feet of students on a limited basis.”

Robinson said it will be imperative for students and WNC staff to elevate their disease prevention practices (wash hands frequently, avoid touching face) and awareness of the objects they handle (disinfect before and after use, minimize sharing).

Staff, students and visitors are required to wear face coverings on the college’s three campuses and are advised to avoid large gatherings and social distance at least six feet from others. Hand sanitizer is available in many locations on each campus, and campus users are advised to wash their hands longer and more frequently. It is recommended that you stay home if you aren’t feeling well.

Register for Classes Now! Fall Semester Starts Aug. 31

OK, so you’ve waited to the last minute to register for classes this fall at Western Nevada College.

What are you waiting for? Choose between a variety of delivery formats for classes this fall, including in-person, flex and online offerings.

Fall semester classes begin on Monday, Aug. 31, but students can still schedule a meeting with a counselor on campus or by phone Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last day to add a full-term class through myWNC is Sept. 4.

For a schedule of classes, go to https://www.wnc.edu/class-schedule/.

Scholarships are also available through WNC’s Foundation. Apply today at wnc.edu/scholarship.

WNC Provost Participates in Workshop Focused on Addressing Changing Work Environment

Western Nevada College Provost and Vice President of Finance Dr. J. Kyle Dalpe took part in a workshop titled “Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier” on Thursday presented by the National Science Foundation.

Dalpe and other panelists provided their perspectives on the big issues facing society as changes in employment and the workplace accelerates.

"Our state faces unique challenges when recovering from the recent economic downturn due to the pandemic,” Dr. Dalpe said. “The workplace as we have known is changing, and higher education is changing to prepare people for this new environment. These issues and challenges are being addressed as we work to move forward into the coming years."

NSF’s study will inform the design of new technologies to augment human performance, illuminate the emerging socio-technological landscape, understand the risks and benefits of new technologies (especially artificial intelligence) for workers, and foster lifelong learning. Workshop participants from industry, academia, nonprofits and government will work together to map the key issues and challenges created by rapid technological change and develop a framework for future collaboration.


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