Q: Can A part 147 program provide credit to a student that has completed the general curriculum in high school?
Q: A local high school is interested in starting an aviation maintenance program using the Choose Aerospace curriculum. Can our part 147 program provide those high school students credit for general courses they completed in high school? Will the FAA allow us to accept those courses if the high school is not certificated?
A: Yes. Under § 147.23, if your part 147 program is part of a nationally accredited institution, you can use your institution’s policies and procedures for issuing credit for previous instruction, the way the institution would for any other program.
Under the new part 147, so long as the program is accredited, the FAA does not dictate how (or why) your program issues credit. For schools that are not nationally accredited, they can still issue credit for previous instruction, but must do so in accordance with an FAA-approve quality system.
Under what circumstances your program will issue credit depends on the applicable policies and procedures. Some programs require an entrance exam, transcript review, or other form of knowledge verification.
Students that complete the Choose Aerospace maintenance curriculum in high school will receive certificates of completion for each of the 12 general courses and—if they pass ATEC’s simulated FAA written knowledge test—an industry-recognized credential. That documentation (along with any additional assessment required by the part 147 program’s policies and procedures) is intended to support matriculation opportunities for high school students to finish their airframe and powerplant coursework at a certificated program.
Q: Will a student that has completed the Choose Aerospace aviation maintenance curriculum be eligible to take the FAA general written knowledge test?
A: Not unless the student is also enrolled at a part 147 program and/or has the requisite 18-30 months of experience.
14 CFR § 65.75 requires mechanic applicants to meet experience requirements set forth in § 65.77 (completion of part 147 program or 18-30 months experience), before they can take any portion of the FAA mechanic exam. ATEC is actively advocating for a change to that regulation to allow any mechanic applicant to take the general written test before meeting any experience requirements, but in the meantime...
Students that complete the Choose Aerospace general aviation maintenance curriculum at a high school that does not hold FAA part 147 certification will not have the option of taking the FAA general written test before enrolling at a part 147 school.
The A&P school does have the ability to enroll the high school student, give the student credit for the general subjects (in accordance with applicable policies and procedures, see previous Q&A), and then issue a certificate of completion so that the student can take the FAA knowledge test.
If the student fails the FAA knowledge test, the school could then decide whether to provide remedial training or require the student to take the general subject courses before proceeding to airframe and powerplant. The approach is dependent on many factors, including the part 147 program’s familiarity with the high school where the student completed the Choose Aerospace course work, and performance of previous program graduates.
Q: Will the student’s performance on the general written test impact A part 147 program’s minimum passage rate the FAA uses to assess quality of THE program?
A: Section 147.25 requires that a part 147 program maintain a 70% passage rate on all FAA mechanic tests taken by students within 60 days after graduation. For that reason, any tests taken early (i.e., before graduation) will not be included in your program’s passage rate calculations.
That said, § 147.17 requires that part 147 programs ensure students have the knowledge and skills necessary to be prepared to test. For that reason, testing scores may always be utilized by the agency as a tool for assessing quality of instruction. For that reason, it is important that the part 147 program have some assurance that the student is prepared to test—even if the student did not take the general coursework at the part 147 program.
To help facilitate that assurance, Choose Aerospace provides certificates of completion for each course completed, and ATEC offers the opportunity for students to test and receive a credential further evidencing their knowledge of the FAA general knowledge elements. Prudent part 147 schools would provide further assessment of the student and/or high school program before recommending the student for early general knowledge testing.