DISTANCE EDUCATION, EVOLVED
Sonoran Desert Institute was founded in 2000, and was approved for training by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education in 2001. The Institute was accredited in 2004 by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The DEAC is listed by the United States Department of Education as a recognized institutional accrediting agency for distance education. The DEAC is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
At its inception, the Institute offered Gunsmithing as a program, which ultimately became the foundation for SDI’s growth. Key to the success of the Institute is its comprehensive approach to easily understood curriculum, attention to providing quality service to its students, and the flexibility of its instructional model.
In 2014, SDI applied to DEAC for Title IV Certification. In 2015, after receiving approval from DEAC, the institute submitted its application to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to offer Pell Grants and Direct Loans to students in the Associate of Science in Firearms Technology. This change was primarily prompted by the Department of Defense’s regulatory change linking eligibility for Active Duty Tuition Assistance to schools approved for Title IV funding. Recognizing the high percentage of military students in our student population, SDI deemed this as an important initiative. SDI began offering Title IV funding to students in January 2016. In January 2018, after receiving approval from Department of Education, SDI also began offering Title IV funding to students in the certificate program.
In June 2018, SDI was granted a 5-year renewal of accreditation and in fall of 2018, SDI transitioned to become an employee owned company (ESOP). SDI takes pride in upholding the standards of multiple regulatory bodies while continuing a student-centric focus on academic quality and superior service to students!
In January 2022, SDI introduced the School of Unmanned Technology and began to offer the Certificate in Unmanned Technology – Aerial Systems program.
PROGRAMS AND COURSES
SDI offers the following programs to help students
achieve their goals:
ASSOCIATE OF SCIENCE IN FIREARMS TECHNOLOGY DEGREE
60 Credits / Four 16-Week Semesters
CERTIFICATE IN FIREARMS TECHNOLOGY – GUNSMITHING
32 Credits / Two 16-Week Semesters
CERTIFICATE IN UNMANNED TECHNOLOGY – AERIAL SYSTEMS
16 Credits / One 16-Week Semester
Step 1: Submit your SDI Enrollment Agreement
Step 2: Submit a front and back copy of your valid government ID
Step 3: Submit official copies of all previously attended college and military transcripts
Step 4: Work with SDI’s Financial Services for a smooth funding process
HOW IT WORKS
SDI is a distance learning institute, which means students enjoy the benefits of flexible online learning and access to experienced staff without having to travel or relocate. SDI provides the materials, instruction, and support to help you succeed.
TUITION & FUNDING
SDI makes getting an education you’re passionate about easy and affordable. The Associate of Science in Firearms Technology and the Certificate in Firearms Technology – Gunsmithing programs are approved for use of most VA and TA military benefits as well as Federal Student Aid, based on eligibility, and we work with each student to make sure that his or her enrollment process and funding plans go as smoothly as possible. We offer affordable, no-interest monthly payments so that all students achieve the education they desire with the funding plan that works for them. The Certificate in Unmanned Technology – Aerial Systems program is not currently approved for use of TA, VA, or Federal Student Aid funding options.
There are multiple ways to get in contact with SDI:
For all questions regarding enrollment, course, and program information.
Phone Number: 800-336-8939
Address: Sonoran Desert Institute, 1555 W. University Dr., Ste. 103, Tempe, AZ 85281
Fax Number: 480-314-2138
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (MST)
Note that Arizona does not switch to daylight savings time. Therefore, the office hours remain Mountain Standard Time year-round.