Farmingdale adds aeronautics minor

Farmingdale State College has landed a New York first: Starting this spring, it will be the only college or university in the state offering Air Force-designed aerospace classes.

Designed to prepare military-minded students for active-duty service and educate all comers on U.S. military operations and history, the minor degree requires courses such as Foundations of the U.S. Air Force, Evolution of U.S. Air Force and Space Power, Air Force Leadership and Management, and National Security Affairs.

The course will be offered in In partnership with Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Detachment 560, based at Manhattan College in the Bronx.

“The program offers students an understanding of the concepts of aerospace power and the Air Force mission, organization and operations,” said Lt. Colonel Michael LaFeve, commander of Detachment 560. “Students will gain a broad perspective of the military.”

In addition to studying Department of Defense history, students will complete “leadership and/or business courses emphasizing the key elements of Air Force officership,” LaFeve said in a statement. The coursework emphasizes leadership in civilian and military scenarios and covers topics including international conflict and the use of aircraft, spacecraft and information to political and military ends.

While it is heavily focused on military matters, enrollment in the ROTC program is not a prerequisite for the minor degree. Conscientious objectors, present and former commissioned officers of the U.S. armed forces and others who might not be ROTC-bound are welcome to pursue the minor degree.

Although it’s “academically demanding,” Tom Corti, Farmingdale State’s vice president for student affairs, predicted the aerospace program would attract students from “other colleges and universities in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.”

As a designated veteran-friendly college, we are fortunate the United States Air Force has selected our campus,” Corti noted.

The vice president also predicted the program would prove a major draw among Farmingdale State’s 8,700-strong student body, particularly since military enlistment is not a requirement.

“We expect it will attract students from our aviation program as well as other academic disciplines,” Corti said.

The ROTC includes a number of college-based programs designed primarily to train commissioned officers in the U.S. armed forces. Farmingdale State joins only 44 other colleges and universities in the country to offer the aerospace studies minor degree.

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