JetBlue Airways (New York) and Cape Air (Hyannis) recently announced a new partnership with Bridgewater State University (BSU). BSU is the newest addition to JetBlue’s University Gateway Program, a pilot talent pipeline which partners with top university aviation programs and regional airlines such as Cape Air. BSU is the airline’s first school alliance in its Boston focus city.
JetBlue’s University Gateway Program is a career-planning and mentoring initiative designed to identify and recruit talented professionals into the pilot ranks. The program includes rigorous academic training and valuable regional airline experience. The University Gateway program creates a clearly defined career path for aspiring pilots, beginning early in an aviator’s college career and culminating with the possibility of a final interview at JetBlue.
In late August, Captain Rich Carter, JetBlue’s director system chief pilot, Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria, president of Bridgewater State University and Linda Markham, president of Cape Air officially signed a memorandum of understanding. JetBlue crewmembers as well as school administrators were on hand at Boston’s Logan International Airport to celebrate the announcement. BSU is the seventh university partner for JetBlue’s University Gateway Program. Other academic alliances include the University of North Dakota, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona and Prescott), Auburn University, Jacksonville University and Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.
The University Gateway Program is open to students at participating schools with high academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or above) and recommendations from their professors. It requires a successful series of interviews with JetBlue and a regional airline partner, as well as continued enrollment in an Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) program. During the Gateway Program, participants intern at Cape Air or other regional airline partners, and then serve as an instructor at their respective flight school. Following that process, candidates fly with Cape Air for at least two years and then receive an interview at JetBlue.
BSU is an AABI accredited university which offers a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science with concentrations in aviation management or flight training. The university combines a liberal arts education with flight experience and prepares students to fly in varying weather conditions and over mountainous terrain and open waters as well as how to handle operations in both controlled and uncontrolled environments.
Education is a core pillar of JetBlue’s overall strategy and responsibility platform. The airline and its newly launched JetBlue Foundation encourage students to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including aviation careers from piloting an aircraft to maintaining its engines. JetBlue has a unique education pathway including relationships with elementary school students and mentoring high school and college students to the University Gateway Program, which may lead to positions as Pilot Trainees with the carrier.
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. A dramatic “up close” runway action view of JetBlue’s special 10th Anniversary color scheme on Airbus A320-232 N569JB (msn 2075) at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.