SDSU aviation program hosts Career and Technical Education Academy students from Sioux Falls
BROOKINGS — The South Dakota State University aviation program hosted students from the Sioux Falls School District’s Career and Technical Education Academy on a recent visit to the Brookings Regional Airport.
About 50 high schoolers from the academy made the trip to Brookings on Oct. 12 to learn what the aviation program has to offer at SDSU.
CTE Academy Aviation and Media Arts Teacher Laureen Mehlert has brought her aviation students to the airport annually for the past six years to expose them to as many career options as possible.
Mehlert has seen some of her students move on to aviation careers, including through SDSU, and visits to places where the students can pursue their education makes those career possibilities more real. The students say they see the value in the visits.
“My job is to give the students exposure to as many career options for their future as I can. That includes what school they’re going to, what training is available, all of that,” Mehlert said. “If students can see where they’ll be training, who they’ll be working with and learning from, what airplane they could be training in, it just makes it more real than looking on a website or reading it in a book.”
Among the SDSU representatives helping with the tour were Director of Aviation Operations Devin Bastemeyer, Aircraft Mechanic Wayne Resmen, Admissions Counselor Emma Mudgett and SDSU students Karsen Welbig, Shelby Anderson, Aiden Zimmer, John Houg and Parker Reyes.
The CTE Academy students got an up-close look at SDSU airplanes and engines, saw a pre-flight inspection, spoke with SDSU students and staff about the program and career paths, took the controls of SDSU’s flight simulators and more.
“It’s an introduction to SDSU aviation and what opportunities are out there,” Bastemeyer said. “If they’re part of the CTE aviation classes, they have an interest in aviation and want to know more about it. So this is the next step if aviation is their career path. By coming up here, they get to talk to students who are in our program, some of our certified flight instructors and Admissions.”
Admissions information included a brief presentation on general SDSU information that aids students in their college search and planning process, including academic programs and majors, student clubs and organizations, student life on campus, the value of an SDSU degree, costs, financial aid and scholarships, and processes to get started as students navigate their college search.
Mehlert has partnered with SDSU’s aviation program in other ways, too, like when she was looking to acquire flight simulators for her classroom with a grant and needed guidance. SDSU aviation students have also come to Sioux Falls to teach the high schoolers.
“Right now I have three SDSU students who come down and teach my aviation students,” Mehlert added. “And when we got our flight simulators, four SDSU students came to help us with those and help modify curriculum.”