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Helping Students Soar

January 29, 2024 13:19 | Anonymous

By Amy Johnson, CRACTC Registrar/Marketing Coordinator

The Central Regional Area Career and Technical Center (CRACTC) is a “Virtual” Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center, approved by the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education, that provides CTE opportunities to students within our member districts (and sometimes beyond), where every student has the same educational opportunity regardless of the size or location of the school.  Aviation is one of eight program areas that the CRACTC has to offer.  Currently, 40 students from 22 schools throughout North Dakota are enrolled in aviation classes, ranging from Ray in the west to Central Valley on the eastern side of the state; Towner in the north, to Linton in the southern part of the state. Regardless of your high school location, students can explore the A\aviation industry through CRACTC’s Aviation I, Aviation II, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS - Drones) programming. 

Aviation instructor Jeff Horan, a full-time Executive Pilot who teaches part-time for CRACTC to give back to the aviation industry and its future workforce, states the program is designed to include STEM based learning preparing students for a career either on the flight deck or exploring all the other career pathways within the aviation industry. Students’ aviation online classwork is also supplemented with desktop flight simulators provided to each participating school, Redbird simulators through collaboration with Bismarck Public Schools, flying drones, troubleshooting preflight exercises at an Aero Center, and participating in student flights with certified flight instructors (yes, students actually get to fly!) through collaborations with our industry partners.   

Clayton Vert is a student from Max, ND, currently enrolled in the CRACTC Aviation II course programming, who recently completed his Student Flight at the Minot Aero Center.  “It was amazing! I got to experience some parts of the pilot career that I had never experienced before, namely the checklist procedures and ATC communications.  As for flying itself, I flew the airplane from taxi way to ramp with almost no assistance, which is a huge mile marker for me,” Clayton states.    

The CRACTC also works alongside industry leaders at the Bismarck Aero Center, Minot Aero Center, and Grand Forks Aero Center, along with Basin Electric and other industry partners, to provide unique experiences for our students.  Students have the opportunity to learn from industry experts, which they normally wouldn’t have access to and experience new technologies within the aviation field. 

Please follow CRACTC on our social media platforms, Central Regional Area Career and Technical Center on Facebook and @CRACTC1 on X (formerly Twitter) or check us out on our website at 

Happy Flying!

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North Dakota Aviation Association

PO Box 627
Bismarck, ND 58502

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