Written by Lynn Miller.

Little did AAI (Avion Aviation Institute) AeroVerse Founder and CEO Tammera Holmes know her plans to develop an Aviation webinar series would become the priority due to the Covid19 challenges and recent school closings.

Why? AAI AeroVerse wanted to expand their audience beyond classroom-based K-12 programs to a workforce development initiative.

“We thought we had plenty of time” said Mrs. Holmes. Fast-forward to early March–schools announce they’re closing for two weeks due to reports of Coronavirus.

On March 11th, AeroStar cancelled one of its largest career-fair events scheduled for March 13th–Aviation Day Youth Expo 2020 to Address Skilled Labor Shortage. Over 400 K-12 students and their parents registered for this annual event, sponsored by Boeing and the Gary Indiana Airport.

On March 12th, the NBA cancelled the remainder of their 2020 season.

March 13th, AAI AeroVerse sent letters to parents about reports of children being carriers of Coronavirus. Earlier that day, Tammera flew to Orlando Florida. Disney Dreamers Academy” asked her to speak and sit on a panel for their conference. Soon after Tammera landed, Disney cancelled the conference, AND closed all Disney Parks. Tammera flew back home Saturday evening.

In light of the announcements from the NBA and Disney, Mrs. Holmes knew schools would not reopen anytime soon. On March 15th, AAI sent notes to parents announcing they were suspending the remainder of classes and programs through May of 2020.

Tammera scheduled an emergency “All Hands Meeting” for Tuesday March 17th. What could have been a “gloom and doom” meeting, was inspiring and energizing. Tammera announced the organization’s “long-term plan” to deliver online learning is now their only priority. The new plan–move their entire classroom-based program to a digital platform and offer AAI AeroVerse to the masses.

AAI AeroVerse team’s expectation they had “plenty of time” to accomplish a goal, quickly shifted. On March 17th, the team took on the challenge to convert five, “Aviation 101 courses” to a free completely online program in a matter of weeks.

As a first step, AeroVerse evaluated several eLearning platform options prior to deciding on their platform of choice. Mrs. Holmes explained they will release a Beta version of AeroVerse E-Learning Aviation 101 to current AAI AeroVerse students first. For Phase1, they will release a free Aviation 101 program for students currently registered for free meal programs at school. The timeline for launching Phase 1—early May.

The next step for the program will be an enhanced fee-based Aviation 101 five-course certification program. For students not participating in a school free meal program, AeroVerse will request a $100 donation. 

For the outside observer, COVID-19 could be perceived as a constraint. AAI AeroVerse sees it as an opportunity. Tammera Holmes saw this as a catalyst for transforming the school’s  classroom-based, cost-intensive program to a fee-based e-Learning platform available to the masses.

To learn more about Avion Institute, and sign up to be added to the mailing list about upcoming e-Learning programs, please go to AvionInstitute.org.