New certificate program has HCTC rising to new heights

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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - If Santa brought you a drone this Christmas, Hazard Community Technical College (HCTC) hopes to help you find a use for it.

Three classes for unmanned systems technology begin this spring on February 11th, all worth three credit hours each.

Instructors say four certificates will also be available to students.

Bart Massey, the USA Drone Port executive director, says good things do not happen overnight. In fact, bringing this certificate program to HCTC has taken more than a year.

"Everybody that knows me knows I'm extremely patient," Massey said. "I'm kidding, but I've been ready, so I'm really excited about it."

He says faculty and staff strive to bring the opportunities to their students many only ever dream about. This one, in particular, was well worth the wait.

"A lot of people are seeing the writing on the wall," he said. "But they are seeing how this can help them in the jobs they currently have or even how they can create a new job for their self."

Registration is going on now. Here is a list of what is available:

Four Certificates:
Remote Drone Pilot (3 hours)
Unmanned Systems Technology (19 hours)
First Responder Specialist (25 hours)
GIS/Unmanned Systems Specialist (21 hours)

Spring 2019 Classes:
UST 100 Intro to Unmanned Systems Technology (3 credit hours)
UST 105 Unmanned Systems Safety Regulation (3 credit hours)
UST 107 Commercial Drone Operations (3 credit hours and certificate)

Dr. Jennifer Lindon, President and CEO of HCTC, says out of state tuition applies for all students who live outside of Kentucky because all classes are offered online.

"We really encourage those of you who are out there in Tennessee, Ohio, wherever, California ... think about this course because it really will help you if you're interested in becoming a remote drone pilot," Dr. Lindon said.

Massey says this opportunity is not only new to the mountains.

"This is going to be the first one in the state of Kentucky where certifications are offered," he said.

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