School Of Aviation Allows Students To Fly Higher

Inside the cockpit of a plane.

What do New Orleans Saints football player Jimmy Graham, Florida State Representative Frank Artiles and NBC Miami Chief Meteorologist John Morales have in common?

They have all trained at the Dean International Flight Training School located at Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport in Miami.The school offers private pilot, instrument and commercial, multi and single engine training to students looking to pursue an aviation career.

Now Miami Dade College students will be able to share in that experience.

On Aug.22, MDC’s Eig-Watson School of Aviation at Homestead Campus signed an agreement with Dean International and Wayman Aviation, a flight school at Opa-Locka Executive Airport.

The agreement is expected to boost the enrollment of the College’s aviation program.Students in the program can earn their Associate in Science degree in professional pilot technology.

“We are super excited,” said Robert Dean, President of Dean International. “This agreement opens up the doors for so many things. Our biggest goal is to see students accomplish something.”

Jose Chen, 27, is one such example.

Chen graduated from MDC’s aviation school five years ago with a flight license and an Associate in Science degree in professional pilot technology. He also has a bachelor’s degree from Embry Riddle—one of the nation’s top aeronautical universities.

Chen is currently a program coordinator at MDC’s Eig-Watson School of Aviation
“Flying is definitely a passion I have,” Chen said.

MDC’s School of Aviation program has been around for 46 years with the intentions of preparing pilots to fly around the globe.

Tuition to attend Eig-Watson School of Aviation is $105.48 per credit hour, compared with other aeronautical institutions such as Embry Riddle that charge $1,195 per-credit-hour.

Miami Dade College’s program also offers an in-house scholarship to students, ranging from $5,000 to $7,000.

“We are the most affordable school in the nation,” Chen said. “Because we provide the ground training and students do the flight training with the flight school.”

Aviation students begin their two-year program at the College by selecting one of three majors: professional pilot technology, aviation administration and aviation maintenance management. Each of these programs offers students the opportunity to become an air traffic controller.

After students complete their groundwork at the college, they move on to their flight school training.

“The flight training takes around five to six months to do a full course,” Dean said. “If students want to, they can start flying their first year, and can complete their associate degree in just one year.”

Once students graduate, they are recommended to obtain a bachelor’s of Applied Science in Supervision and Management at MDC.

To experience the training aviation students receive, The Reporter participated in a flight lesson with the president of Dean International.

Dean explained, more than a thousand feet above the air, why he loves flying.

“I get to go home every day and I get to see the world,” Dean said. “It’s a dream with an airplane.”

For more information, visit The Eig-Watson School of Aviation at