Southwest Airlines has welcomed four new universities into the Southwest Family as partners in Destination 225°: Baylor University, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State University, and Oklahoma State University. With these new additions, the airline now has 11 university partners in its development and recruitment program, which creates a pathway for qualified aviators to become First Officers at Southwest.
Destination 225° university pathway candidates build post-graduate flight instructing time within their college's flight program, with the goal of becoming competitively qualified to interview for a First Officer role at one of the program's partner carriers. After building their flying experience at a partner carrier, Southwest Airlines considers candidates for a First Officer position. Candidates receive ongoing career mentorship from a Southwest pilot during their university studies and early flying career.
Through Baylor's Institute for Air Science, the school offers a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Sciences, including majors in Aviation Sciences and Aviation Administration in conjunction with Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, which prepares students for numerous careers in the aviation industry.
Beginning in 1967, Louisiana Tech University's Department of Professional Aviation is a member of the University Aviation Association and is accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International.
Established in 1942, the Aerospace Department is a signature department at Middle Tennessee State University. Its 900 professional flight majors hail from 32 states and 16 foreign countries.
OSU offers an undergraduate degree in aerospace administration and operations, and students can choose from four options: aerospace security, aviation management, technical service management and professional pilot. OSU has the largest enrollment for flight training in Oklahoma and opened the new Ray and Linda Booker OSU Flight Center in 2022.
The four Universities join fellow Destination 225° University Partners Auburn, Angelo State University, Arizona State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Texas Southwest University, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and the University of Oklahoma. These University Partners work with Southwest to train and support collegiate aviators accepted into the Destination 225° University Pathway.