Take to the skies: Missouri Southern offering drone certificate

Caleb Thomas

Beginning as early as Fall 2020, Missouri Southern will launch a slew of brand new courses centered around emerging drone technology, which is quickly reshaping many facets of the modern world.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) also known as “drones,” have been steadily seeping into various aspects of Western society since the first prototypes were constructed in 1991. Drone units have long been utilized by the United States military, although, since the early 2010’s UAVs have seen an undeniable rise in popularity among civilians. Common uses today include emergency response, disaster relief, infrastructure development, filmmaking, sports and recreation.

The three-course program Southern is offering will cover numerous critical aspects regarding unmanned aerial vehicles. Each course will be worth three credit hours. Courses will provide students with an introduction to drone design, construction and operation over a three semester period. The drone certification program will have no required prerequisites and will be available to any student enrolled on campus regardless of their major.

“Whenever we introduce a new course, a syllabus must be constructed and the course material must go through a pretty elongated curriculum approval process. Drone courses will be housed in the biology department. We definitely foresee the program being popular with students majoring in environmental health and ecology in particular,” says Dr. Paula Carson, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

“We strongly feel that drone certifications will be a valuable add on credential and will certainly increase an applicant’s value to employers. The first required course within the program is all about safety, ethics, rules and regulations. Students will eventually be required to pass an FAA certification before continuing instruction. Alternatively, we also aim to launch a continued education course available to the greater community which is intended to help pass the FAA exam as well,” Carson added.

For anyone looking to build their resume, earn a corresponding degree, or simply curious about this developing technology, Southern’s incoming drone certification course may be of a benefit.