Snead State Identified as One Community College Providing Aviation


Auburn University and the Alabama Community College System are joining forces on their aviation programs to enhance aviation training and economic development opportunities around the state.

Auburn President Jay Gogue and Alabama Community College System Chancellor Mark Heinrich signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday at the Auburn University Regional Airport, marking the beginning of the partnership. Snead State Community College President Dr. Robert Exley was an active attendee at the formal signing.

The focus of the aviation programs will include aerospace engineering and aviation-related degree and certificate programs; flight education training; unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, certification and licensing programs; and technical training such as airframe technology, avionics technology and power plant technology. 

“This is a historic agreement that will benefit the state’s students through coordinated programs and will expand innovation, technology and job creation in Alabama,” Gogue said. “Aviation technology is key for many businesses looking to locate in Alabama.”

During the signing in Auburn, Snead State Community College was identified as one of the three community colleges providing programs in aviation. The other two are Enterprise State and Faulkner State. Snead State is currently part of a collaborative effort to address all key aspects to formally charge SSCC with assuming full responsibility for the Aviation Center in Albertville.

 “I am delighted to have the opportunity to support our local community through this effort. We owe a significant thank you to our local community leaders from Albertville and to our local legislative delegation for their guidance and support,” said Dr. Exley.

The emphasis will be primarily on potential educational, economic and workforce development programs where partnerships can be fostered with each other and with economic development organizations and state agencies.

“This new framework for aviation education is significant in that it brings together the strength and reach of the Alabama Community College System and the established training and research at Auburn,” Dr. Heinrich said. “New and existing industries will see Alabama a top source of aviation-skilled employees.”

Auburn University has been involved in aviation education for more than 80 years and has been providing flight training for pilots for 75 years. It offers degrees in aviation management, professional flight management and aerospace engineering. In 2015 the university received the nation's first FAA approval to operate a new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight School as part of the Auburn University Aviation Center.

The Alabama Community College System consists of 25 comprehensive community colleges and technical colleges; Marion Military Institute; and Alabama Technology Network, an extensive workforce development initiative. The system provides collegiate programs at the freshman and sophomore levels to prepare students for transferring to four-year institutions; adult education; and workforce development.

More information about the Auburn University Aviation Center is available at More information about the Alabama Community College System is available at

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