Skip to content

SWIC aviation partnership offers opportunities for new pilots

swicaviatorprogramSouthwestern Illinois College and Trans States Airlines recently formed a partnership called the Aviators Program, which will create a pathway for the college’s students to enter the flight industry. Pictured are, from left, Dan Reed, vice president of Trans States Holdings, Addy Reynolds, SWIC Aviation Management program graduate and Trans States employee, Sydney Ditzler, SWIC Aviation Management program student and former intern who now works for Trans States, and Keith Mueller, SWIC Aviation Pilot Training and Aviation Management program coordinator. SWIC Photo by Aaron Sudholt


A new partnership between Southwestern Illinois College and Trans States Airlines will help put aviation students on a path to a career with the airline.

The SWIC Aviation program has signed an agreement with Trans States Airlines to provide the college’s students a bridge to becoming professional pilots. The program will offer student pilots a chance to work for the airline, receive additional training materials and a transition into becoming a pilot for the company.

“This is a great connection with a great partner for our program,” said Aviation Program Coordinator Keith Mueller. “With this cooperation between our organizations, we can ensure that pilots in SWIC programs will get the best training and then have an opportunity to move on to a great career.”

In order to be eligible for the program, students must interview with the airline’s recruiting team, pass background checks, have an FAA Private Pilot License, agree to obtain a Certified Flight Instructor License and agree to work as an instructor at SWIC.

All pilots in the Aviator Program who are hired by Trans States Airlines will also be eligible for up to $10,000 in education expense reimbursements upon their successful completion of the Trans States Airlines New Hire Initial Training. They will work with a mentor at Trans States and have their travel and hotel expenses paid for when participating in Aviator Program events in St. Louis.

SWIC and Trans State Airlines have a long history of promoting education in this in-demand field. Trans State Airlines is a carrier for American Airlines and United Airlines. The company already provides training to SWIC students in the airline dispatcher, flight management, crew scheduling and aircraft maintenance fields through internship opportunities. Now the two organizations will be more closely linked through this joint education agreement.

“For years we’ve had an internship program with SWIC and quite a few of them have turned an internship into a career,” said Trans States Airlines CEO Keith Stamper. “We like SWIC students, we have found them to be good employees, and we are very interested in continuing that relationship.”

For more information about the Aviators Program or the SWIC Aviation Pilot Training program, call Mueller at (618) 235-2700, ext. 5683.

Leave a Comment