A good technician knows how to diagnose and fix a problem. A great technician knows how to identify problems before they arise and take the steps necessary to prevent serious issues. The staff at the Aviation Maintenance Training (AMT) program at Western Suffolk BOCES’ Republic Airport campus proved they are indeed great technicians as the program adapted to challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic without any turbulence.
Monitoring what was happening globally and locally in March of 2020, AMT Program Manager and FAA Liaison Diana Santiago knew that there would likely be a need to move to a fully remote learning platform and when Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed schools on March 16, they were ready. Working in tandem with Program Coordinator Janice Cresciullo, the AMT team was trained and equipped to transition to online learning using the Google platform. Through the platform, they created classrooms and cohorts, modified curriculum and scheduled virtual meetings and instructional sessions.
“There were many challenges and approvals needed, but our primary Principal Maintenance Inspectors were incredibly helpful in making sure we met all instructional standards in our modified curriculum application,” Santiago reports.
Western Suffolk BOCES staff rose to the occasion at every turn, steadfast in their commitment to support their students fully. The instructors worked from comprehensive lesson plans and enhanced their instruction with engaging and detailed virtual presentations, and step-by-step instructional videos to ensure that their students met FAA curriculum requirements. Zoom meetings kept communication lines open throughout the extended closure and provided ample opportunities for students to ask questions and remain informed.
Fortunately, the AMT program has returned to full in-person instruction and the staff and students are very happy to be back in their airport-based home. They are also confident that if necessary, they can transition seamlessly to online instruction.
Since 1972, the Western Suffolk BOCES Aviation Maintenance Training program has been educating technicians. The Federal Aviation Administration PART 147-approved program prepares students to sit for the Airframe and Powerplant Airman Certification’s exam(s). A new Aviation Maintenance Technician class cohort will begin in January 2021.
For more information, call (631) 752-1957 or visit wsboces.org/amt. Financial aid and veteran benefits are available for those who qualify.