Antelope Valley College is one of nine southland community colleges that have received initial approval this week to develop four-year bachelor’s degree programs in subjects ranging from mortuary science to automotive technology and dental hygiene. Antelope Valley College will now offer a bachelor’s degree in airframe manufacturing technology. It will be a seven-year pilot program expected to begin in the 2016-17 school year.

The colleges receiving preliminary approval by the California legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown to participate in this pilot program include: Cypress College (mortuary science), Foothill College (dental hygiene), West Los Angeles College (dental hygiene), Mira Costa College (bio manufacturing), Rio Hondo College (automotive technology), San Diego Mesa College (health information management), Santa Ana College (occupational studies) and Santa Monica College (interaction design).

The programs must undergo additional review by the California Community Colleges chancellor’s office as well as further consultation with the California State University and University of California before final approval is considered by the community college board of governors at its March meeting.

Airframe manufacturing technology refers to an aircraft’s mechanical structure. Generally, both the inner supporting structure as well as the outer skin are included in the airframe designation. Science is said to have benefited greatly in the understanding of metallurgy, stress and fatigue when examining airframe construction and failure. From wood to aluminum and steel construction, airframe technology has grown to include use of space-age composite materials in the manufacturing of modern aircraft designs.

The AV College program’s curriculum addresses airframe manufacturing, aircraft fabrication (structures and composites), electronics, and welding.