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The FAA's 2018 Reauthorization Act required the FAA to establish a collegiate training initiative program relating to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI) Program was launched in April 2020 and addresses the Section 631 requirement of the FAA 2018 Reauthorization Act. Any public two-year institutions of higher education that participate in the UAS-CTI program will also be designated as members of the Consortium for Small Unmanned Aircraft System Technology Training. The FAA will invite members of this consortium to participate in annual meetings and other events with the agency, and we will facilitate the development sharing of best practices through this consortium.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI) is a new program designed for universities, colleges, and technical schools by the FAA to recognize institutions that prepare students for careers in UAS or drones. Post-secondary institutions with UAS curriculums that want to be recognized as UAS-CTI participants now have the opportunity to apply for this distinction. The results of this collaborative working relationship will include a continuous dialogue with stakeholders to connect with colleges and universities with general industry, local governments, law enforcement, and regional economic development entities to address labor force needs.

Participating UAS-CTI Schools

To qualify for the UAS-CTI program you must be a not-for-profit, two- or four-year, post-secondary educational institution, institutionally accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, and currently offer a Bachelors or Associates degree in UAS; or a degree with a minor, concentration, or certificate in UAS.

Read the UAS Collegiate Training Initiative Program.
View the UAS Collegiate Training Initiative Program Briefing Deck.

Requests for participation in the UAS-CTI program should be submitted to 9-FAA-UAS-CTI@faa.gov. Please include the following: name of your school, point of contact, school type, accreditation, description of UAS degrees or certifications. The FAA will send qualified schools an initial questionnaire to establish eligibility for the program.

Participating institutions will engage with the FAA, other participants, general industry, local governments, law enforcement, and regional economic development entities to address labor force needs. This collaboration will ensure that UAS-CTI school graduates have the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a successful career in a UAS-related field. Public two-year colleges that become a UAS-CTI school will be designated as members of the Consortium for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technology Training. In addition, these new UAS-CTI Partners will support the FAA's efforts to expand the aviation workforce of the future while providing additional opportunities for Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) students.

Check out the community forum where we encourage 2- and 4-year colleges to collaborate on creating and updating AT programs and share education and training resources.

The purpose of the online forum space on the NCAT website is to provide a single place to ask questions or find answers related to UAS programs. SME's at NCAT regularly receive questions that are (A) repetitive and (B) may be specific to a certain region or state. A well populated and visited forum allows users to search for answers, based on questions already asked, and get responses from people within their region who may be able to better answer location specific questions.

Visit the Community Forum.

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Map developed by Palomar College for the UASTEP NSF Project

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