San Antonio’s North East Independent School District (NEISD) has partnered with Hallmark University to provide high school students with an early college opportunity to pursue aerospace manufacturing and maintenance careers via Hallmark’s “Aerospace College Head Start Institute” (Aero CHI) program. The college-level privately funded program is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is free of charge to enrolled students.
According to the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (EDF), over 13,000 San Antonio employees work in the aerospace industry and Boeing projects a worldwide need for 648,000 new aviation maintenance technicians over the next 20 years. Hallmark’s Aero CHI program is being implemented to help fulfill this need, is fully enrolled, and began August 17, 2017.
“The Aero CHI program is the first of its kind for a private nonprofit university in San Antonio but we have a long history of partnering with San Antonio educational institutions in aerospace,” said Brent Fessler, President of Hallmark University. “Hallmark invested in and supported the original Alamo Academies Aerospace Academy in 2000 taking early graduates to very successful careers after graduating from Hallmark, and we were also instrumental in developing the St Philip’s College aviation maintenance program on Port San Antonio. However, students in northeast San Antonio needed an aerospace program as well, and Hallmark is honored to welcome these young leaders onto our campus.”
In the first semester since the new partnership with Hallmark, NEISD student enrollments in aerospace education have rocketed past previous years filling Aero CHI to its maximum capacity. Both NEISD and Hallmark expect to see more students continue pursuing aerospace careers during and after high school as a result of the Aero CHI program, which is very positive for San Antonio’s growing aerospace industry.
Aero CHI takes place at Hallmark University’s College of Aeronautics located at the San Antonio International Airport. Enrolled students will carry out their studies inside of an airport hangar and will earn 27 semester credit hours (nearly half of an AAS degree in Airframe Technology) before graduating high school.
For more information on Aero CHI click here.