Students at Tulsa Community College uses drone education program to prepare for FAA certification process



Tulsa Community College has launched a drone education program, which is teaching students how to operate UAS, so that they can earn the FAA certification necessary to operate UAS commercially.

Thus far, TCC has offered two classes for students, according to Beth Wild, continuing education director at TCC. The first class was a nine-hour course that was offered in April. The program was increased to 12 hours after students said that they needed more class time.

In August, a third course will be offered at the TCC facility at Jones Riverside Airport, where Wild and Pat Green, Workforce Development interim vice president at TCC, recently observed students learning to fly UAS.

During the observations by Green and Wild at the TCC facility at Jones Riverside Airport, the students wanted to demonstrate TCC’s drone program, but the UAS’ GPS system prevented the UAS from flying since they were at an airport. As a result, the hangar doors were closed in an effort to use the UAS.

According to Wild, incoming students will bring their own UAS, and the class will cost $195. Should TCC provide the UAS, the class would cost $1,495.

The drone program at TCC is largely a result of community involvement. Green attended a series of meetings with local leaders from several industries, including those involve in manufacturing and engineering, health care and information technology. According to, Green “just listened” when attending these meetings.

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