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PSA Airlines celebrates Cadet Program with OSU

OSU selected by PSA Airlines as Cadet Program partner

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Students in the Oklahoma State University aviation and space program are now eligible for the PSA Airlines Cadet Program thanks to a special agreement between OSU and PSA.

Through the PSA Cadet Program, professional pilot students ready to commit to two years of flying with PSA receive $5,000 in tuition reimbursements, $7,500 in flight training assistance, mentorship from airline industry experts and guaranteed flow through to American Airlines in eight to 10 years.

“The importance of this partnership is to show current students here at OSU there is a pathway to all of the regional carriers, but also to the mainline carriers, in this case PSA Airlines and American Airlines,” said Christian Roper, PSA Cadet Program supervisor. “We want to be able to give students the opportunity to learn more about our company.”

OSU students in the program will be mentored by Michael Rastovic, a recent cadet graduate. Rastovic enrolled in the cadet program in 2015 and said it provided him valuable mentorship in achieving his dreams.

“It offered me not only a career, but a lifestyle,” Rastovic said. “It was really nice having that mentorship throughout the program, knowing how to actually go ahead and take the right steps for my end goal. 

OSU is one of 23 universities across the nation partnering with PSA. Roper said these schools meet PSA Airlines’ standards for curriculum rigor and university culture.

“We do visits to the different schools that have shown interest in joining as a partner with PSA,” Roper said. “We’re very family oriented and have a passion around aviation and safety culture. There is also a respect aspect. Those are imperatives we have at PSA, and that really stood out here."

Dr. Lance Fortney, manager of the OSU Flight Center, said Oklahoma State’s culture is also a big draw to potential aviation students. In addition to more traditional campus life activities, like sporting events and residential life, students can join the Flying Aggies and participate in activities like the annual Fly-In or join the flight team and compete at the regional and national level.

“They want to come to a program that has a good flight program, but they also want campus life,” Fortney said. “They want the whole package, and when you put those things together, I would say we are very hard to beat.”

Fortney worked with PSA Airlines to develop the mutual agreement for nearly two years. He said their diligence in recruiting students reflects the need for new pilots in the airline industry.

“I often tell my students, ‘You are going to be highly rewarded for the hard work you put in because you have the opportunity to start your career at a time I don’t think we have ever seen or will ever see again because the benefits are so good,’” Fortney said.

According to Rastovic, an expected 50,000 to 60,000 new pilots will be needed in the U.S. in the next 10 years. For recent aviation graduates, this means endless opportunities, both within PSA Airlines and the greater aviation industry.

“We are giving these students the insights they need to make their dreams become reality,” Rastovic said. “These students are in a really good position, just as I was, and I encourage them to take advantage of all of the opportunities.”

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MEDIA CONTACT: Brittany Bowman | 405-744-9347 | brittany.bowman@okstate.edu

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