Boeing wing

recognized by
Council for Higher Education Accreditation










Expanded History

The Council on Aviation Accreditation can trace its beginnings back to 1974, when collegiate faculty concerned with academic standards for aviation programs set up the Academic Standards Committee in the University Aviation Association (UAA). This Committee was later divided into two subcommittees, one concerned with standards and articulation, the other with accreditation.

In 1974, the Accreditation Subcommittee was authorized to conduct a survey of schools with aviation programs to identify current practices and potential need for curricula accreditation. A report of that Committee was prepared in April 1975, and led to the formation of a Task Force to develop an Academic Standards Manual under grants from several aviation industry organizations.

The Task Force met in Wichita, Kansas, in October 1976, and developed the "College Aviation Accreditation Guidelines," which became the first standards manual for associate, baccalaureate, and graduate programs. This manual was printed and distributed to colleges and universities with aviation curricula. Several institutions volunteered for program evaluation under the new Guidelines which became adopted as a "recommended standard for aviation curricula."

Another major step forward occurred in 1981, following the strike by Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Controllers. UAA offered to assist the FAA in staffing its technical positions with college graduates. This led to the formation of a Task Force for the development of a special curriculum targeted toward five FAA occupational specialties.

Once the curriculum was developed, the FAA first contracted with UAA in 1983 to evaluate proposed curricula from institutions which desired recognition under the FAA Airway Science Program. This led to further expansion of UAA services in 1985, to include on-site campus evaluations of facilities, administration, faculty, and students of institutions applying for FAA Airway Science program recognition.

All of this was carried out by a UAA Airway Science Curriculum Committee of professional educators who served as both a review and evaluation board for curricula and on-site evaluations. During the period 1983 to 1988, the UAA gained extensive experience in the review of curricula and the evaluation of nearly 30 aviation programs throughout the country.

In September 1987, the UAA set up an Accreditation Task Force to further evaluate the feasibility of formal aviation program accreditation. A survey of UAA institutional members in the spring of 1988 showed general support for the establishment of a formal accrediting organization for aviation programs. The Task Force determined from the survey that there was a general consensus on the need for specialized accreditation of non-engineering aviation programs, and that there was no existing accrediting organization with the appropriate statement of purpose and experience to carry out such accreditation.

A July 1988 Task Force then expanded the "Guidelines" into an initial draft of what could serve as the foundation of an accreditation standards manual including rationale and goals for accreditation, overall philosophy, the definition of an aviation professional, and an outline of topics to be encompassed in the standards manual.

The purpose of this initial development was to provide sufficient information to the UAA Board of Trustees on the accreditation structure and process to enable them to make an intelligent decision with respect to the formation of the accreditation council. This information was furnished to the Board in two mailings during the summer of 1988 and led to the recommendations to the UAA Board of Trustees at its annual meeting.

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Cirrus SR20-G2

Aviation Accreditation Board International
3410 Skyway Drive, Auburn, AL USA 36830
Phone (334) 844-2431
Fax (334) 844-2432


1445 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West GM 409-19
Montreal, Quebec, CA H3G 1M8
Phone (514)848-2424 Ext. 4165