Contact Spartan College —
Tulsa Main Campus


8820 East Pine Street 
Tulsa, OK 74115 


Front Desk: (918) 416-6995 

Admissions: (866) 297-3903

Contact Spartan College— Broomfield


10851 West 120th Ave.
Broomfield, CO 80021


Front Desk: (303) 747-4081
Admissions: (866) 462-3132

Contact Spartan College — Inglewood


8911 Aviation Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90301


Front Desk: (310) 421-0864

Admissions: (866) 635-3019

Contact Spartan College —


4130 Mennes Avenue
Riverside, CA 92509
Building 36


Front Desk: (951) 400-4992
Admissions: (866) 473-6415


Joining us on this episode is Brian Lerash, the Vice President of Admissions for Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology.

Since 1928, Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology has been training professionals for aviation and related industries. Spartan College provides a supportive educational environment that encourages active participation in learning while providing career-oriented education programs. 

Don't have time to listen? Read the transcript!

Bob Martin: Hello and welcome to this episode of Imagine America Radio. We’re going to be discussing aviation training, specifically becoming a pilot or aviation maintenance technician. It could be classified as a mysterious industry when it comes to training or how to begin a career in aviation. But our guest today has all the answers behind starting this important career in an industry that is in need and growing exponentially.

Let’s talk aviation. As a leading provider of education in aviation, I couldn’t think of anyone better to call than Brian Larash. Brian is the vice president of admissions at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. The school has campuses across the United States located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Denver, Colorado area, Los Angeles, California area, and Riverside, California. Welcome to the show, Brian.

Brian Lerash: Thank you so much for having me, Bob.

Bob Martin: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us today. We really appreciate it. Given the importance of aviation in the American and the world economy, it is very clear that Spartan plays a pivotal role in preparing the next generation of pilots and aviation support technicians. Can you tell us a little bit about the career opportunities for potential students looking to study at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology?

Brian Lerash: My pleasure.

Absolutely, Bob. Thanks so much. Well, Spartan offers career services assistance. After completing 1250 flight hours, some alumni have gone on to work for charter, cargo, regional, and major airlines. We have also partnered with major airlines to provide potential pathway opportunities for students, such as the Skywest Pilot Career Pathway and the American Airlines Cadet Academy.

Upon successful completion of our Tulsa, Oklahoma aviation flight program with an associate in applied science, many graduates take their next step by becoming a certified flight instructor. It’s a great way to earn flight hours while molding the next group of aspiring pilots. To be able to impart the knowledge needed to safely fly our fleet of 39 technologically advanced Piper archers with Garmin G1000 avionics is inspiring.

We love seeing instructors and students prepare for their flights, celebrate when certificates and ratings are passed, and watching graduates gain the hours on their way towards their next step, which is flying for airlines.

Bob Martin:
It’s very it’s very exciting. I tell you this is a very exciting show Let’s talk now specifically about the outlook for pilots You know if you follow the news Brian you’ll see in the past few years. There’s been an immense impact on the field of aviation specifically regarding aviation careers as We understand it enormous an enormous number of pilots have been in retiring in our planning for retirement, which we think is causing a very significant shortfall in certified pilots. What effects do you think it’s had on the overall career opportunities for pilots?

Brian Lerash:
Yeah, really great question, Bob. You know, while no college can guarantee employment, there are resources for researching industry outlooks. This includes the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook Report. That particular report actually predicts 127 ,000 commercial aviation pilots being needed in North America by 2042. The demand has contributed mostly.

to retiring baby boomers, as well as growing economies. The aviation industry needs to fill that void with new pilots, and Spartan’s here to help with that.

Bob Martin:
You know, very cool, very cool careers. As someone who’s traveled a lot, I really appreciate that. You know, with pilots being so much in demand, it seems like it’s really a very great opportunity to pursue a career. What does the typical pilot training program look like and how long does it go?

Brian Lerash: 
Really, really great question, Bob. What’s nice about the Spartan Aviation Flight Program is that it can be completed in as few as 17 months. Our program focuses on safety, practicality, and technology. At Spartan, students get in a plane and start flying with instructors during their first week. Becoming a pilot is not just about learning, as you know, but also practicing and developing skills.

So with our students, they work towards earning FAA certifications and ratings in the following categories. Private pilot airplane single engine, instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate airplane single engine, as well as commercial pilot certificate airplane multi -engine. We also have the certified flight instructor certificate, as well as the certified flight instructor instrument.

Now of course these exams are administered by the FAA so we can’t guarantee certification but we do everything in our power to prepare our students and provide them with the training and information required.

Bob Martin:
You know, now let’s step back for a second, Brian. You’ve done a great job outlining the programs. Let’s just say I’m interested in the flight training program, and I’m a student, potential student. When I tour the campus, tell me a little bit about what you think I should be looking at and probably my.

My parents are probably going to be joining me. So what are those people? Is it the equipment that the school has? Is it the accreditation that the school has? Is it the link to the program? Is it the relationship with employers? Are all of these important? Have I missed some?

Brian Lerash:
You know, I think that that’s a fantastic question because when you’re choosing your school, it’s an investment in your time and your money and resources, as we all know. So it’s super important to research the program. It’s history, in our case, FAA approval, of course, in any case, accreditation and their fleet. Spartan College has 39 Piper Archers with Garmin G1000 avionics. Spartan has been training the next generation of aviation professionals since 1928, Bob. That’s nearly 100 years. You also want to be sure that the institution you choose is an FAA approved school and accredited. Spartan is an FAA Part 141 school licensed by the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools and is also accredited by the Accrediting Commission.

of career schools and colleges.

Bob Martin:
You know, that’s so important and some people don’t understand it, that the accreditation issue really drives the student’s ability to be able to apply for and receive federal financial aid. So you’ve outlined those, that’s great. What are there any other things that a student should be looking at when they’re choosing a flight school?

Brian Lerash:
Excellent, excellent question because there are other flight schools, right? But besides getting your six ratings and certifications, there are some additional things that matter and set Spartan apart. One being airspace. It matters. We train in Class D Delta airspace, which provides large, uncrowded training areas in all directions. Secondly, airport matters. We also have a tower control and radar servicing.

which provides an enhanced measure of safety. This is not typically found in Class D airspace. Next, simulators matter. Practicing and mastering your skills in simulators is going to be part of a pilot’s career. Providing simulator training matters. And finally, housing matters, right? Well, luckily for you, our campus offers student housing too.

Bob Martin:
Yeah, that’s important because many of your campuses are what they would refer to as destination campuses, which means that students have to leave their home, go and live someplace else and receive the training. And it’s great to know that Spartan has put those resources available out there for the student. I congratulate you for it. I want to tell you, I want to go to, this is my own personal Bob Martin question. When it becomes, when you’re looking at a pilot,

What do you think are the three or four most significant personality traits that you would want to see in a potential pilot or someone that would be looking at pursuing a pilot’s career?

Brian Lerash:
Yep, I love that question, Bob, because it really does matter. Based on my experience working with our pilot instructors, I would say that pilots need to have strong critical thinking skills, right? They need to be able to recognize problems and identify potential solutions. Next up, I would say they also need strong communication skills, right? They need to be able to communicate with their audience, with the folks on the ground, with the folks in the air.

Lastly, drive and persistence is essential in this field. You are constantly learning. These skills help students earn required certifications, but also help pilots to work effectively while ensuring safety.

Bob Martin:
Well, you know, Brian, you only have to follow the news to see how important every single one of those traits are when you look at what the pilots are being called to do and the situations that they’re being confronted with. I just commend you for Spartan for really looking at that and really helping people do that. Now.

Up until now, we talk solely on pilot training. And it is very important. And there’s huge opportunities, career opportunities for people who want to pursue that. But I think it’s also important that we take a few minutes to let you discuss career opportunities in aviation for those who are interested in becoming a member of the ground crew, the people that make sure the airplane is ready to be flown, is in good condition.

Can you talk a little bit about the programs that you’ve got at Spartan that would address the career needs of those individuals?

Brian Lerash: 
Yes, thank you so much for asking Bob. Our tech programs are some of our most effective programs and most impactful programs for men and women throughout the country. I’d love to speak to them about those for just a moment. We offer a couple of programs in California, one being in the Los Angeles area in Inglewood, California. We offer an 18 month airframe and power plant diploma program, as well as a 22 month associates of occupational studies program, which also includes the diploma courses. Our Riverside, California campus offers a 15 month aviation maintenance technician program. 

Our Denver campus in Broomfield, Colorado offers a 20 month aviation maintenance technician associates as well as a 15 -month Aviation Electronics Technician Associates. And our Tulsa campus offers a 15 -month Aviation Electronics Technology of Associate Appliance, sorry, repeat. And our Tulsa Oklahoma campus offers a 15 -month Aviation Electronics Technology Associates of Applied Science, a 20 -month.

Aviation Maintenance Technology Associates of Applied Science, a 23 -month AMT Hybrid Associates, a 17 -month AMT Diploma, a 20 -month AMT Diploma, and a 31 -month Bachelors of Science in Technology Management program. Our AMT programs and our bachelor’s degree programs throughout the U .S. are very effective and instrumental and in making Spartan an integral institution in aviation.

Bob Martin:
Yeah, I think it’s really important that the audience hear what Brian was saying, which is if you’re interested in an aviation career and you want to get in, get the best possible education you can and get out and start making some money, make some money so you can build your family and build your life. He’s already outlined a number of opportunities that will take less than two years, which is really an exciting opportunity for the audience. You know.

What I get on the Imagine America side of this, Brian, which is really very interesting, this is all wonderful stuff, but what it really comes down to when we get our students that contact us at the foundation is they say, what’s the biggest problem they face? How am I going to pay for this amazing education? And what resources does a college like Spartan, what can they provide to me as an enrolling student so I can afford those opportunities?

Brian Lerash:
Absolutely, Bob. Love to answer that question. So Spartan College is your guide to not only aviation training, but with your financial aid journey as well. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. We’re looking out for their best interest, which is why we’ve laid out a roadmap with the steps they’ll need to take on their way to starting at Spartan. And that starts with meeting with one of our financial aid advisors.

Bob Martin:
You know, that’s extremely important because I think that’s where your focus last, a few questions ago on the accreditation. You gotta make sure you’re going to an accrediting college or university because federal financial aid will not follow and many students need federal financial aid and grants in order to go to these, go to Spartan and other schools. So if someone’s interested in Spartan, do you have any upcoming events that you could tell our audience a little bit about that are coming up that would showcase what you do and how you do it?

Brian Lerash: 
Absolutely. We’ll be hosting one of our most significant events of the year this coming March 9th. We call it Spartan Aero Day. There’ll be guest speakers, aviation demonstrations, campus tours, and also hands -on activities. Attendees will even walk away with a certificate of completion for their participation. This can be a great addition to high school graduate’s portfolio.

If you are in the Tulsa or Los Angeles area and are interested in attending, you can find out more information by visiting Our team will also be present at upcoming aviation events such as the Women in Aviation Conference, the Sun and Fun Air Show, and the EAA Oshkosh Air Show.

Bob Martin:
So where do our viewers go if they’re interested in knowing more about Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology programs, and more importantly, how to look at applying?

Brian Lerash: 
Yeah, please, please, please to learn more and for consumer information visit us at

Bob Martin:
Hey, I really want to thank you for your time again. It was an outstanding presentation. On behalf of the Imagine America Foundation, we want to thank Brian for joining us today and outlining the exciting opportunities available for students in the field of aviation. We appreciate Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technologies partnership with the Imagine America Foundation. We want to urge anyone interested to visit for more information. Thank you for joining us, and we hope you have a great day.

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