Colorado Northwestern Community College launches new UAS program



Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) is launching a new UAS program.

Scheduled to start on Oct. 15 at both the Craig and Rangely campuses, the first course, known as “AVT 160 – Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” is described as a hybrid class taught in-person and online. According to, it is the first of three UAS courses the college plans to offer.

“This is a stepping stone for where we are going with the course,” says CNCC Aviation Technology Program Director David Boles.

A number of topics will be presented in this course, including but not limited to, the planning, regulatory, administrative, and operational processes for UAS; the technologies associated with small, medium, and large UAS; and future implications related to UAS operations in commercial and government settings.

The course is designed for those who have an interest in UAS operations, but it is not a class on how to fly or operate UAS. However, according to Boles, a second class teaching UAS operations is expected to start late next year. Additionally, a third class will focus on data analysis.

At some point, CNCC, working through a partnership with Metro State University in Denver, hopes to offer a certification, but the certificate program is still in development and has yet to be approved.

“We are working with industry, like Chevron and the National Parks Service, to figure out what they would want in education, then reduce the timeline to be suitable for someone in the corporate world,” Boles says.