About ACTI


  • To ensure individuals who have graduated with College Training Initiative degrees (CTI) from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved CTI colleges and universities are granted preferential hire consideration when applying for FAA air traffic controller jobs.  In so ensuring, individuals who entered into such programs on good faith basis will be afforded the opportunity to find meaningful employment in a career field for which they have been educated.
  • To continue to ensure that the FAA maintains a pool of highly qualified candidates, educated to FAA-approved standards, from which to hire for air traffic control vacancies.  In so ensuring, the integrity and safety of the national airspace system will not be compromised, and the FAA’s obligations to minimize costs to federal taxpayers will also be met.


  • Establish working relationship with the FAA to meet their hiring needs, particularly with reference to understanding the FAA’s need to create a more diverse and educated workforce.
  • Maintain the integrity of our respective institutions by ensuring students who entered into a course of study have a reasonable expectation of finding gainful employment in their chosen field.
  • Recognize and acknowledge the unique obligation our community campuses have to the general public in providing a source of job training, and in advocating for our students and their families on issues related to that training.


  • CTI graduates who have passed AT-SAT and had been waiting on the ‘inventory’  and veterans must be given immediate consideration (TOL) ahead of all other applicants for a position at the Federal Aviation Administration Academy or direct hiring at FAA facilities;
  • All students must have a fair and equal opportunity to become educated and train at a CTI institution or member aviation school  to become an air traffic controller regardless of socio-economic status, race, gender or ethnicity;
  • That the Federal Aviation Administration must formally recognize the accomplishments and capabilities of the CTI Institutions, our veterans, the training CTI institutions provide, the benefits to future air traffic controllers, and the cost savings to the American public;
  • That due to our knowledge and expertise in designing effective curriculum and training methodologies and modalities, the Federal Aviation Administration should partner and communicate directly with collegiate representatives of our member aviation schools and allow the representatives to give input and feedback into decisions affecting CTI students, CTI institutions, aviation schools and aviation students;
  • Advancement and research regarding air traffic control training benefit the public and users of the national airspace system; and
  • Improved information and communication from the Federal Aviation Administration such as updates to the Basic Training Curriculum, Best Practices Conference, regularly scheduled meetings, and collaborative input into FAA decisions effecting air traffic controller training benefit the public and users of the national airspace system.

Our History

The Association of Collegiate Training Institutions (ACTI) was founded by various members of CTI educational institutions in 2014. It is a non-profit organization created specifically to engage in air traffic aviation research, training and advocacy on behalf of CTI students and member institutions.

History of CTI Program

The CTI program started with just five colleges and grew to 14 in 1997. In 2007, the FAA expanded the program to a total of 36 colleges and universities. When students start a CTI approved program, the college sends the names of students to the FAA for tracking. When students are within a year of graduation, a qualifying exam, the Air Traffic Selection and Training (AT-SAT), is administered to the students by an FAA contractor. The AT-SAT exam is an important qualifier in the hiring process. The AT-SAT exam was subject to much testing and analysis by the FAA prior to implementation to ensure that the exam did not discriminate on the basis of race, gender or national origin – only that it measured aptitude. Although 97% of CTI students pass this exam with a score of 70% or higher, the FAA established a cutoff for hiring at 85%. The other qualifier for hire is a recommendation from the college. The names of recommended CTI graduates are sent to the FAA and are put into a direct hiring pool of CTI-only applicants. When a CTI-only hiring announcement is issued by the FAA, all recommended students are contacted and encouraged to apply. From these CTI applications the FAA then selects persons for hire.

Prior to the introduction of the CTI program, the FAA hired from two main sources. The first was from military-trained controllers who had separated or retired from military service. The second source was through “off the street” (OTS) hiring. OTS hiring brought in candidates without any required air traffic or college experience under a “General Public” hiring announcement. Once hired, OTS candidates had to complete a five-week AT-Basics course at the FAA Academy and were then moved to Initial Qualification training. Problems were identified early on with the OTS hiring program. Besides being very expensive to administer, the aptitudinal quality of candidate was deemed to be unsatisfactory. High washout rates and long training times were among the problems cited. This led to the introduction and implementation of the CTI program.

Since the CTI program was instituted in 1989, most air traffic controller hiring has been through CTI announcements and military controllers. However in 2005, the FAA forecast a controller shortage due to a large number of controllers who were becoming retirement eligible. This group of controllers had been hired after the PATCO strike in 1981. The established CTI colleges were not able to keep up with the need for replacement controllers and a General Public hiring announcement was conducted. At the same time, more CTI schools were approved starting in 2007. Between 2007 to 2011, General Public hiring had over 40,000 applicants who had to be administered the AT-SAT exam and vetted. This is an extremely expensive way to qualify applicants to fill less than 3,000 positions.

At the end of 2012 the FAA announced that it would not be conducting any further General Public hiring since the CTI Colleges and Universities, along with the military pipeline were producing sufficient quantities of qualified applicants to fill hiring requirements. The CTI schools were also asked to complete a voluntary questionnaire on the diversity of their student populations. A report published by the FAA Aviation Careers Office showed that diversity goals were being met in the CTI Colleges.

Sequestration hit government budgets hard during 2013 and no hiring was done for air traffic controllers although there were budgeted funds to do so; meanwhile, the CTI colleges continued to graduate qualified applicants. To date the number of qualified CTI graduates ready to be hired is approximately 3,500. The FAA stopped hiring CTI students for approximately 2 years.

During this arbitrary hiring freeze certain elements within the FAA determined that hiring CTI students was somehow unfair to certain minorities and on January 8, 2013 the FAA unilaterally announced that the relationship between the CTI institutions and the FAA would drastically change. This decision was made despite the fact that CTI institutions are extremely diverse. ACTI was formed in order to work with the FAA to ensure that the future air traffic control workforce is well prepared for the tasks associated with this complex occupation.



President – Mr. Sam Fischer, Florida State College at Jacksonville

Vice President – Mr. Joe Eichelberger, Community College of Baltimore County

 Secretary – Ms. Sherri LaRue, University of Alaska, Anchorage

Treasurer – Mr. Doug Williams, Community College of Baltimore County

Members at Large

Mr. Curt Scott, Green River College

Bill Parrot, Lewis University

Founding Documents

Constitution – defines the basic principles that establish and govern ACTI along with the objectives of ACTI.




Our committees are an opportunity for you to focus on a particular area that our organization is involved in. Most exclusively deal with one particular issue and one goal. Not everyone feels comfortable talking to people on the street or politicians, so the committees are a great way to pick the part of the organization that is right up your alley.

Board of Directors/Officers

This committee is, at this point, in charge of nominating an initial board of directors and officers. Eventually this committee will act, in an ad hoc basis, in the event of a bylaw interpretation or dispute issue.

Media Relations

This committee is in charge of crafting and delivering the common focused message of the organization as well as keeping in close contact with the local and national press.

Membership Drive

This committee is tasked with managing the various membership issues as well as soliciting and encouraging new members.

Political Action

This committee is tasked with utilizing member political resources in order to ensure that ACTI has a voice in the national arena.

Barrier Analysis/Diversity

This committee is tasked with completing a research quality study regarding CTI diversity populations and ensuring that all CTI institutions have policies and procedures in place to ensure that no potential air traffic control student will be discriminated against due to socio-economic factors, race, gender or ethnicity.


This committee is tasked with utilizing various broad resources to provide the organization with current topical material relevant to the organizations goals and objectives.

Student Relations

This committee is tasked with maintaining clear communication between member student bodies and institution faculties.

Freedom of Information

This committee is tasked with submitting Freedom of Information Act requests and engaging in affirmative litigation against agencies, seeking the prompt disclosure of documents allegedly improperly withheld. The documents are provided to the research, media, and political action committee.


This is an ad-hoc committee formed to determine if ACTI should form an affiliate relationship with ATCA.