Unmanned Aerial Technology Classroom Ready for Fall

Photo of Unmanned Aerial Technology Classroom
Oct 28, 2020

Olney Central College’s Unmanned Aerial Technology Program is ready to welcome students with the completion of its classroom at the West Richland Center in Noble.

Renovations to the former high school science room began last fall and include the installation of new flooring, ceiling tiles, LED lighting and countertops. Modern instructional equipment along with tables and chairs specifically designed to meet program needs complete the facility.

“The room gives us a lot of space to spread out,” said Morgan Henton, Unmanned Aerial Technology Specialist. “We have the room we need to work on and build drones so students get the hands-on experience they need. We also have new electrical runs that provide plenty of charging stations and we have space for storing program drones.”

The program has acquired a variety of drones from the basic, light weight and durable Tello to the Mavic 2 Pro, the top-end drone for video and photography. Students also will have access to the dual-purpose Mavic 2 Enterprise, which features infrared vision and a spotlight and the Matrice 210, which includes advanced zoom and thermal imaging.

Drone technology is one of today’s fastest growing industries. OCC’s Unmanned Aerial Technology Program prepares students to expand their skill set for jobs in industries that use varied types of unmanned aerial systems including agriculture, public safety, surveying, inspection and logistics.

Students in the program will learn how to fly various drones, plan missions for data collection and learn different photography and videography techniques. The coursework also prepares them to successfully complete the Remote Pilot (Part 107) Certification.

Classes will begin in Fall 2021. For more information about the program, contact Advisor Vicki Thompson at 618-395-7777 or email

The Unmanned Aerial Technology is a Title III program that is supported in part by a five-year grant awarded to Olney Central College from the U.S. Department of Education effective October 1, 2018. The estimated total cost for all project activities is $2,506,775 financed by the grant award of $2,249,968 (90%) and $256,807 (10%) by Olney Central College.