LIFT Academy, Indiana Wesleyan University Partner on Training Programs

Innovative agreement combines LIFT’s flight training program with IWU’s academic curriculum

INDIANAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ExplorersWanted–Leadership In Flight Training (LIFT) Academy, one of the largest and most innovative flight training schools in the United States, announced today a partnership with Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) to create two new education paths for aspiring commercial airline pilots. Starting this November, students will be able to combine LIFT’s nationally recognized flight training with IWU’s strong academic curriculum to earn two- and four-year degrees while also obtaining their commercial pilot’s license while also completing flight training at LIFT. Graduates of the program can move directly from their studies to a defined pathway to the flight deck of a Republic Airways Embraer aircraft.

“We are truly thrilled to be partnering with IWU on this initiative,” said Ed Bagden, LIFT’s Director of Operations and Academic Programs. “IWU shares our passion for learning and for creating curricula that instills strong values and lifelong skills. Students enrolling in either of these programs will emerge with an associate or bachelor’s degree as well as the experience and training to become a commercial airline pilot.”

“Partnering with LIFT makes sense,” said Andy Miller, IWU’s Vice President for Innovation and Partnerships. “This partnership empowers students to pursue both academic and flight instruction in a strong, supportive and cost-effective learning environment. LIFT has created an effective flight training curriculum; the data show that graduates of its programs outperform their peers in the classroom and on the flight deck. Plus, LIFT’s ties to its parent, Republic Airways, results in a smooth and integrated pathway from the classroom to the right seat of one of the most advanced commercial aircraft in the world.”

Under the program’s terms, students can earn their associate and bachelor’s degrees online from regionally accredited IWU, while simultaneously working toward their commercial pilot’s license and other FAA ratings. Flight training occurs early in both programs so students can build flight hours and experience while they finish their degree. The associate-level professional pilot program is a two-year program designed to let students pursue professional pilot jobs and other careers in the aviation industry. The bachelor’s program takes approximately four years to complete and provides students with an undergraduate degree in aviation management. At the end of either program, students will graduate with:

  • An FAA-issued private pilot certificate
  • An FAA-issued instrument rating
  • An FAA-issued commercial certificate
  • An associate or bachelor’s degree from IWU

LIFT’s training fleet is one of the largest and newest in the flight training environment. Students operate an efficient, lead-free fleet of Diamond DA40-NG single-engine aircraft and Diamond DA42-VI twin-engine aircraft with advanced Garmin G1000 avionics throughout each flight hour of their training curriculum.

Flight training from zero experience through all ratings necessary for the airlines can be completed through the Republic Airways Career Pathway Program. LIFT is the only flight training program that has a curriculum built specifically around procedures at its related regional airline, Republic Airways. As a result, students receive the highest quality instruction using state-of-the-art technology and aircraft from day one in the program. Once students have reached the FAA-required flight hours through time-building, they will have a defined pathway to a pilot position at Republic.

About LIFT Academy

Leadership In Flight Training (LIFT) Academy is a U.S.-based commercial aviation pilot training school owned by Republic Airways. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, LIFT revolutionizes commercial aviation training, utilizing state-of-the-art, eco-friendly training technologies and systems to educate future aviators. Students receive instruction from experienced pilots, under FAA and industry standards, with the most advanced equipment and curriculum that combines flight, flight simulator, online and in-classroom training.

LIFT Academy students train on a fleet of advanced new aircraft and flight simulators produced by Diamond Aircraft Industries, including the DA40 single-engine, the DA42 twin-engine aircraft and the DA20 single-engine, as well as Diamond Flight Simulation Training Devices built to achieve the most realistic cockpit simulation environment. LIFT offers its graduates a defined pathway to a pilot career at Republic Airways.

About Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University celebrates 100 years as a Christian, global, comprehensive university providing liberal arts and professional education to approximately 10,000 students worldwide. IWU is one of the largest faith-based universities in America with rich undergraduate, graduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in such highly acclaimed academic units as the School of Nursing, School of Physical and Applied Sciences, College of Adult, and Professional Studies, and School of Arts and Humanities. An early leader in adult and online education, IWU is known for excellence in innovation. Students live and learn on the beautiful 350-acre IWU-Marion traditional campus and study through IWU-National & Global programs offered online and at education centers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, founded by the Wesleyan Church denomination and IWU, prepares Christian leaders to engage in missional ministry locally and globally. Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. It is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit


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