Going to get my Dispatcher Certificate at Sheffield

Karma

Well-Known Member
Hello all,

Been lurking around these forums for a couple weeks now. I just paid fully for the Sheffield 5 week program in Florida, and will be heading down there in 2 weeks.

I would greatly appreciate any advice and/or recommendations on what I should be doing. I printed some of the material from the Sheffield website to pre-study for the ADX test. Honestly, I am extremely confused as to what I should know. None of it makes sense to me, lol, so I am getting pretty nervous about being prepared for this course, and think I signed up for something over my head. However, I really want to do this and do it well.

What else should I be studying or looking over, other than ADX question material?

I'm still looking for a place to stay down there, as I have not signed up for their own housing, it seems a little too expensive for me. Any recommendations on this? I've been looking through Craigslist, but I am very unfamiliar with the area as I live in Chicago, and time is running short, I will either be flying down there and renting a car or driving down in less than 2 weeks!

If anyone has attended sheffield, or is currently attending, or is planning on attending, please feel free to message me or post on here any advice or anything!

Thanks! Hope to be a part of this community soon!
 

ljg

Well-Known Member
Hello all,

Been lurking around these forums for a couple weeks now. I just paid fully for the Sheffield 5 week program in Florida, and will be heading down there in 2 weeks.

I would greatly appreciate any advice and/or recommendations on what I should be doing. I printed some of the material from the Sheffield website to pre-study for the ADX test. Honestly, I am extremely confused as to what I should know. None of it makes sense to me, lol, so I am getting pretty nervous about being prepared for this course, and think I signed up for something over my head. However, I really want to do this and do it well.

What else should I be studying or looking over, other than ADX question material?

I'm still looking for a place to stay down there, as I have not signed up for their own housing, it seems a little too expensive for me. Any recommendations on this? I've been looking through Craigslist, but I am very unfamiliar with the area as I live in Chicago, and time is running short, I will either be flying down there and renting a car or driving down in less than 2 weeks!

If anyone has attended sheffield, or is currently attending, or is planning on attending, please feel free to message me or post on here any advice or anything!

Thanks! Hope to be a part of this community soon!
Hi! Welcome to JC.

If you have downtime, study the ADX and pass it on the first try in the first week. I can't recommend Sheppard Air enough to cram for FAA exams - particularly the ADX. $75 is a lot of money, but the time savings will be substantial over conventional study materials. They guarantee a pass on the exam. I would view the ADX as a regurgitation in memorizing questions, rather than actually trying to learn anything. If the FAA really wanted you to learn anything, they would not provide all of the questions beforehand. http://www.sheppardair.com

Class is going to require a high degree of motivation, which you seem to have. I didn't say experience, I said motivation. Your nerves are understandable/normal, but stay the course, pass the ADX early and you'll be on good footing. 5 weeks may seem like a long time, but it isn't.

Don't study anything else right now but ADX material.

Housing:
South Florida real estate is an interesting place right now. The housing market is in beginning stages of recovery down here, and foreclosures have been pushed into renting. This has driven rents in safe areas up insane amounts, due to high demand (My rent has increased 155% since 2009, with strong negotiating to keep it there. Thankfully, we're leaving in a month). All this is to say affordable housing on craigs list 1) won't be cheap 2) won't be convenient 3) won't be safe. I can almost guarantee you one or more will apply. If you're "very unfamiliar" with South Florida, best to play it safe. A crappy/unsafe neighborhood or a long commute is going to interfere with your learning process. One could write a book on how backwards a place like SFL is, but that is an entirely different conversation.

Hope you feel a welcomed part of this community. There is a myriad of back-room networking that occurs here, and it's a fun time killer, and you learn stuff sometimes from many different perspectives.
 

jose1337

Well-Known Member
You'll probably be better off just staying at their on-site lodging, especially since you could easily make study sessions with your other classmates. Plus Florida has no income tax, so its revenues almost all come from sales tax which could make food expensive over 35+ days...
 

Keola

Well-Known Member
How much is the class and how much extra is the housing? Is the housing on-site or do you need A car?
 

MT

Well-Known Member
I would also advocate for student housing. When I was at Sheffield, I stayed with a relative about :20 or so from the school. Dealing with the traffic each day wasn't fun.

Also you have the opportunity to join in on those group study sessions as Jose said. One house is walking distance to the school. With the other one, you may want to consider renting a car.

Great choice picking Sheffield. You will learn so much about how this business works, and how to do it well.
 

Karma

Well-Known Member
Hey guys thank you for the replies.

I am going to call the school today and see if they still have room in their housing, but I was really hoping to save some money by finding my own place. Oh well we will see.

ljg, thanks for that Sheppard link, I am looking into it right now. Also, thanks for the quick write up of the South Florida area. Where should I be looking for "safe"?
 

womanpilot73

Well-Known Member
I didn't go to Sheffield but I can tell you that I benefited hugely by staying in the same place as the rest of my class. We had nightly study groups, and trust me - you'll need it. I don't think I could have made it without that support and study time with others. The trick is to find a "productive" study group though. There are groups that get...distracted. Haha... Good luck :)
 

manniax

Well-met in the Ka-tet
Here's iFOD's site, so far so good with them: http://airlinedispatcher.com/ Also you can always look here to see all FAA approved dispatcher schools:http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/afs/afs200/branches/afs220/courses/media/part65.pdf Above all, remember that for them to remain certified they must graduate at least 80% of students, and that on average about 20% of students fail the ADX...
Actually, the school doesn't have to "graduate" any percentage of students to stay certified - 80% of the people who take the practical exam at the end of the course are required to pass it. Sheffield has a very close to 100% pass rate, but that is only because they only allow students to take the practical exam who have passed their course.
 

Atlanta

Well-Known Member
I attended a year ago and I can tell you that the best thing you can do is stay in their housing. The schools owns two or three (cant remember) houses that they rent out to students. The houses are within walking distance (10-15minutes). There is no need for a car is you stay at one of the houses. Two of my classmates chose to stay at one of the hotels close by as there were no more rooms available. The school will get you a very good rate and the hotel will drop you off and pick you up everyday after school in their shuttle. The only downside to this is that you cannot study with your classmates as much.
Additionally, you can still an additional hour after school each day for extra help. Take advantage of this opportunity especially to get your homework done. You will feel relieved that you got it done at school where you can ask question if you do not understand the material or questions.
 

jose1337

Well-Known Member
Actually, the school doesn't have to "graduate" any percentage of students to stay certified - 80% of the people who take the practical exam at the end of the course are required to pass it. Sheffield has a very close to 100% pass rate, but that is only because they only allow students to take the practical exam who have passed their course.
Right, it's basically the same thing since they can't give you the certificate without getting the actual certification...
 

ljg

Well-Known Member
Right, it's basically the same thing since they can't give you the certificate without getting the actual certification...
This is going to be blunt:

It's not the same thing at all. Certification to operate an FAA-approved curriculum has positively nothing to do with DPE or DADE designation. By performing their practical examination duties, schools utilizing DADEs are doing the FAA a favor. There are external DADEs that have no affiliation with schools. Your statement is wrong - see order 8900 and Part 65 if you wish.

Regarding the 80%, that is an old requirement to maintain in-house designation. IMHO, it's a stupid rule. Some schools positively forbid unqualified applicants (albeit against a huge financial incentive to pass everybody) to take a practical exam, and then find themselves with a high pass rate for certification, but a low graduation rate. This is ethical, and (should be) in line with the expectations of what the FAA wants (not touching that matter, at all).

Schools who "graduate everybody" and perform slow-pitch type Oral "and" Practical exams (really the same thing, but many schools seperate the two which is wrong) are doing the entire industry a disservice. I believe there are a few of these "good schools" that fail applicants who should fail-during the course, not the practical. They never even obtain a signoff. Then the applicants go to a bad school, get signed off and pass a certification practical almost immediately. How does it happen if there is one and only one standard (FAA PTS)? A lack of ethics. The consequence is garbage dispatchers on the line who can't make any decisions or anticipate the most basic things, because all of their attention is divided to basic everything like reading weather and fixing their own mistakes on previous flights.

As a prospective student, I would seriously question forking over money to a school who "guarantees" 100% graduation and certification in lieu of a demanding curriculum and actually having standards for accountability. Due diligence is crucial.
 

RobertE

Member
I stayed in the house that was close. We studied every waking second. That really helped because of the workload. I would suggest taking the ADX before the class. I saw that really stress out the people who had to take it.
 

Hondo Calrissian

I love chicken wings and beer....
I am sorry this is late but if I could offer some advice, I would not have recommend Sheffield. I am a graduate of the school and from what I have gathered the school only cares about money. The exams are met to trick you. As a former classroom instructor for an airline, you do not want to see anyone fail but it's different at Sheffield. We have 16 people in our class to start the 5 weeks class and only 8 people passed. There was one guy in the class who was borderline but the school refused to tell him of final grade. I remember day 1 Eric said we do not spoon feed you and our graduation rate is only 60%......that is a red flag right there.

I am ashamed to admit this but I did ended up failing the practical exam but the circumstances were personal family issues that happened the night before that caused me to fail.

Now the process of retaking my exam is becoming a headache. I have gotten some feedback from some FAA guys and current dispatchers who have attended Sheffield both state the school is harder than it should be and the stuff that they teach is a little out dated. In addition, the PTS states the examiner should let you use printed material during the practical exam, Sheffield says "No".

Basically, in the real world of dispatching, you will have the FAR/AIM, AFM and OPS Specs along with other manuals at your workstation.

I did learn a lot but the tests were a little too much trickery.
 

Karma

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, I had to cancel a couple weeks before the class started, due to unexpected family situation. So I am not at sheffield, however they have $1000 of mine that they won't give back, which is upsetting, but policy is policy I guess. I am thinking now of attending IFOD in November.
 

EastCoast

Well-Known Member
Hopefully sheffield does not fail just to fail, but I do like that they make it tough to pass. Ive been dispatching at a 121 airline for 15 years and and have trained new hires off and on during that time. I must say a good number of them had no business passing any oral practical exam. Really makes it difficult to train and work the desk when one struggles with basic aviation concepts. Perhaps sheffield is unusually tough for one with no prior aviation experience? Helps to come from a pilot or atc background. Where ever you choose to go, good luck!
 

emorris

Well-Known Member
It's not the same thing at all. Certification to operate an FAA-approved curriculum has positively nothing to do with DPE or DADE designation. By performing their practical examination duties, schools utilizing DADEs are doing the FAA a favor. There are external DADEs that have no affiliation with schools. Your statement is wrong - see order 8900 and Part 65 if you wish.

Regarding the 80%, that is an old requirement to maintain in-house designation. IMHO, it's a stupid rule. Some schools positively forbid unqualified applicants (albeit against a huge financial incentive to pass everybody) to take a practical exam, and then find themselves with a high pass rate for certification, but a low graduation rate. This is ethical, and (should be) in line with the expectations of what the FAA wants (not touching that matter, at all).

Schools who "graduate everybody" and perform slow-pitch type Oral "and" Practical exams (really the same thing, but many schools seperate the two which is wrong) are doing the entire industry a disservice. I believe there are a few of these "good schools" that fail applicants who should fail-during the course, not the practical. They never even obtain a signoff. Then the applicants go to a bad school, get signed off and pass a certification practical almost immediately. How does it happen if there is one and only one standard (FAA PTS)? A lack of ethics. The consequence is garbage dispatchers on the line who can't make any decisions or anticipate the most basic things, because all of their attention is divided to basic everything like reading weather and fixing their own mistakes on previous flights.

As a prospective student, I would seriously question forking over money to a school who "guarantees" 100% graduation and certification in lieu of a demanding curriculum and actually having standards for accountability. Due diligence is crucial.
Very well put. Thank you. I've never understood why a prospective student would actually choose a school claiming a 100% pass rate - most hiring managers are not ignorant - they realize they will increase their workload if they hire some of these people who "ace'd" their silly little ADX exam, and consider an FAA-like flight log to be an actual flight plan, yet know nothing about thinking out of the box. Anybody hear the tale from years ago about a Texas regional airline hiring 9 FAA certified "graduates" from one school, only to have canned 7 of them within months because they couldn't hack it? By the way, others at fault here are those "unaffiliated with school" DADEs, passing those who shouldn't - yet making that good ole "$300-500" per exam (an overcharge, by the way). I've had students fail miserably - we're talking 30-50% only to run off elsewhere to buy their ticket. And I've had GRADUATES from those same schools appeal to me for job help, and review training - you can figure it out. So consider this: some of you will one day work with one student we had who continuously stated that RVR and ceiling values were the same, another who claimed that to have mountain waves, there must be calm winds, and yet another who claimed that runway 4 stands for, and this is no joke, "400˚...uh...no...uh 4˚." Don't blame Sheffield School later when some "school" passed them, then some "examiner" passed them, then your airline hired them without a grilling interview. Again, thank you to those people who know the right thing and make it known to others in this and other forums. Eric Morris-President-Sheffield School of Aeronautics (est. 1948)
 
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