History of Success

Sonoran Desert Institute

The Sonoran Desert Institute offers robust programs and course offerings focusing on firearms technology.

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). This accreditor is recognized by the United States Department of Education.

At its inception, the Institute offered Gunsmithing as a program, and ultimately established the School of Firearms Technology. Today, with over 1,000 students enrolled, the entire curricular focus is on firearms-related programs and courses. 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 2012, Sonoran Desert Institute was acquired by the Trade Training Company, LLC. This transfer was approved by DEAC and the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

In 2014, SDI introduced armorer courses as part of its programs. Also 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 to offer Pell Grants and Direct Loans options for eligible SDI associate degree and certificate-seeking students. This change was primarily prompted by 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 the population, SDI deemed this as an important initiative. SDI began offering Title IV funding to students in the degree program 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!

At SDI, it’s our goal to provide quality education, delivered in a flexible, online learning setting. Our courses are constantly updated and upgraded, and our students and graduates find our courses challenging and convenient. We are happy to continue along our proud path and build on our rich history today. Want to join our family of outstanding students and grads? We’d love to help you become a part of our ongoing history of excellence.