American Airlines Cadet Academy forms new partnership with Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

Spartan College is the first partner to offer a degree with flight training.


American Airlines adds the Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology to its list of partners for its Cadet Academy. Future pilots will now have the chance to continue their training and earn an Associate of Applied Science degree before starting their career. Let’s find out more.


third partner

Founded in 2018, American Airlines Cadet Academic added its third partner school today. Spartan College, located in Tulsa, will now be available as a choice for new U.S. cadets, offering training for FAA certification and qualification as well as the opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Aeronautical Flight Science (after two years) and later a Bachelor of Science in Technology Management if they wish.

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American’s other partners, CAE and Coast Flight, only offer flight training and certification, meaning graduates wouldn’t have a college degree under their belt. Spartan’s course is also the least expensive of the three, still coming in at $89,900, but which may be covered by the Cadet Academy’s financial aid and loan programs.

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Single flight.

For those considering a career as a pilot, the three major US airlines all have pre-arranged plans to attract talent early. The American Airline Cadet Academy allows individuals 21 and older, who meet certain qualifications, to apply and, if selected, be matched with an airline pilot for their training time. Once a cadet has obtained their FAA license, they are guaranteed an interview at one of American’s three regional subsidiaries (under the American Eagle brand), Envoy, Piedmont or PSA.

If they manage to land a seat on one of the three airlines, they are guaranteed to fly for American once they meet the seniority requirements. Although expensive, the program offers a chance to earn an income within 12 months as a flight instructor and the entire program at Spartan can be completed in 17 months to start work as soon as possible.

The program highlights its diversity and inclusion, providing every opportunity to overcome barriers to becoming a pilot for people from all walks of life. To facilitate financing, American is its own American Airlines Federal Credit Union and Discover Student Loans group to provide the best student loan rates for pilots.

For years, US airlines have been sounding the alarm about declining pilot numbers as capacity continues to ramp up. To get a head start, airlines are now investing millions in new facilities and training centers to attract and retain talent before a pilot shortage occurs. American Airlines’ Cadet Academy is just one example, with United Aviate and Delta Propel all looking to attract future pilots.

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