Rose State College Announces New 16-week Drone Course Published January 6, 2023

A drone flying mid air with a class of people in the backgroundProgram prepares students for careers using drone technology 

Rose State College (Rose State) now offers a new introductory drone piloting and FAA Remote Pilot certification preparation course. The 16-week Introduction Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Operations class is available for the spring semester as part of Rose State’s expanding Aviation programs starting Jan. 17, 2023. 

Students will experience hands-on drone flying during this exciting new course. The subject material goes beyond the previously offered two-day micro-credential program that began in early 2022, providing skills-focused professional development and experiential learning activities necessary for the safe, legal operation of drones in various professional applications. 

This course provides an introduction to small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) operations with an emphasis on civil applications. Students explore safety considerations, sUAS components and functions, regulatory requirements, weather considerations, mission planning, operational considerations, photography and videography basics and photogrammetry (mapping). 

Students will gain the knowledge necessary and be prepared to take the FAA Unmanned Aircraft General Knowledge Test and earn their Remote Pilot (Part 107) Certificate. If students complete the class and pass the FAA certification test, they are eligible for reimbursement of the testing fees through Rose State’s Workforce Development office. 

“As increased opportunities for careers using drone operations emerge, we want to equip our students with the resources and training to keep the talent right here in Oklahoma,” Rose State President Dr. Jeanie Webb said. “This course builds on the previously offered micro-credential program and emphasizes our commitment to providing education that reflects Oklahoma’s evolving landscape.” 

Dr. Ryan Stoddard will be the course instructor. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Dr. Stoddard was commissioned as a naval officer in 1998. Earning his wings as a naval aviator in 2001, he became an E-6B Mercury pilot and has served at all levels of squadron leadership, including command of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron FOUR. He earned his Executive MBA from the Naval Postgraduate School, his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Dr. Stoddard became the Dean of the Engineering and Science division at Rose State in 2021. 

“This 16-week course provides in-depth information and training for those interested in furthering their knowledge and proficiency with small unmanned aerial systems,” Stoddard said. “With more careers utilizing this technology, we continue to offer programs giving our students a unique advantage when advancing their current and future careers.” 

In 2022, Oklahoma was ranked number one out of all 50 states in readiness for drone commerce via a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Interested students should apply online by registering for the AVI 1313 – Introduction to UAS Operations course. The class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-3:15 p.m., starting Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Contact Dr. Ryan Stoddard at to learn more about the new course and enroll this spring. To learn more about Rose State, visit