Building bonds between academia and business aviation
Tara Harl (right) has earned research grants from aircraft manufacturing giants Boeing and Airbus.
Tara Harl is piloting Minnesota’s only nationally accredited aviation program along a unique flight path.
Her focus is business aviation – the career opportunities available at businesses that maintain their own aircraft, crews, technicians and support staff. Smaller than the commercial aviation sector – but vital and growing – business aviation has put the University’s already acclaimed aviation program on the nation’s radar.
Harl coordinates the business aviation program, setting up internships for students and feeding the industry pipeline with top-notch graduates. She is the face of SCSU Aviation for industry groups such as the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and for corporate travel departments at companies such as Target, Cargill and Xcel Energy.
"Our program is unique in that our students are exposed to real world scenarios. We get them out of the classroom/textbooks and into actual daily operations,” said Harl. “Our students know when they graduate what is expected of them to succeed.”
The NBAA, whose member companies have total annual revenues of nearly $5 trillion, has modeled its national mentoring/internship program after the one Harl devised for SCSU.
An assistant professor, Harl holds seven aviation licenses and certificates, including an airline transport pilot certificate for corporate jets.