SOWELA and CPSB partner on aviation program

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - College is more and more accessible to high school students in Calcasieu Parish.

And the latest program will have students soaring above the competition.

Aviation Instructor Jerome Gueringer starts his morning at Lake Charles Boston Academy, but ends his day at SOWELA Technical Community College.

And it's all because of a new partnership and program.

"It's a great opportunity for students in high school to earn college credit for SOWELA while they're still in high school," said Gueringer.

The new dual enrollment program is called "Aviation Maintenance Technology."

Gueringer shares his time at both LCBA and SOWELA, but he doesn't mind the double duty.

"Everyone at both schools has stepped it up helped me when I needed it," said Gueringer.

Ninety-five percent of the high demand occupations in Louisiana require more experience than a high school degree, which is why school board officials said the aviation program puts students ahead.

"Whether you're doing this for dual enrollment to go on from here to college or just for the leg up, it really gives students a big advantage here," said CPSB Public Information Officer, Kirby Smith.

And with all students taking the ACT now, school officials said some students might take the test that never intended to. Then, that student might get extra funds for higher education.

"These dual enrollment courses will allow them to go right into SOWELA and hopefully, get some more funding with this new ACT," said Smith.

Aircraft Math and Physics and Aircraft Drawings are just a few of the classes offered with the new program.

But Gueringer said he's just happy to share his love for aviation with more students now.

"My favorite part about teaching is actually seeing some of these students learning and actually getting excited about the aviation industry and what's out there," said Gueringer.

An aviation program is not the only dual credit opportunity for high school juniors and seniors. Calcasieu schools and SOWELA offer 10 dual programs together.

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