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VOL. 128 | NO. 14 | Monday, January 21, 2013


Embry-Riddle Growing to Meet Local Demand


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The Memphis campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is preparing to expand its number of degree programs in the first part of this year, with classes tailored specifically for working adults.

The private, not-for-profit independent institution is regionally accredited and offers degrees at the associate’s, bachelor’s and doctorate levels.

“We are working to implement more and more options that will benefit the Memphis community and provide some of the training that is needed for the workforce here,” said Robin Colwell, director of academic support for Embry-Riddle’s Memphis and Columbus (Miss.,) Air Force Base campuses.

The school is awaiting final authorization from the state regarding new degrees that it hopes to begin offering during its next nine-week term. Colwell expects final approval in February, and she hopes to launch classes for the new degrees in March.

Several new majors will be available for the Bachelor of Science in Technical Management, including management of information systems, project management, logistics, occupational safety and health, and engineering sciences. The school will also offer associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in aviation maintenance.

“We are also going to begin offering a logistics management certificate and a supply chain management certificate for the undergraduate level,” Colwell said. “The certificates of completion are a great option for working adults to pad their resume.”

Robin Colwell is director of academic support for the Memphis and Columbus Air Force Base campuses for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  

(Photo: Lance Murphey)

The university currently provides opportunities for associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in aeronautics, technical management and transportation; master’s degrees in aeronautical science, science and management, science and project management; and a Master of Business Administration in aviation.

“I’ve taken the classes myself,” Colwell said. “I’ve gotten my Master of Science and Management since I’ve been working for Embry-Riddle. Being a working single mom, if you have to take off a term because of life issues, it is only nine weeks. I think it can be very beneficial for the schedule of the working adult.”

The Memphis location of Embry-Riddle – whose main “residential” campuses are in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz. – opened in 1977 and maintains an enrollment of approximately 200 students per year.

“The Memphis student population is approximately 65 percent civilian, 25 percent active-duty military and 10 percent reservists or guard members,” Colwell said.

Active-duty military come from Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington and the Air Force Guard base near Memphis International Airport.

Embry-Riddle’s Columbus AFB campus opened about two years ago and offers a master’s degree in aeronautical science to a current enrollment of about 25 students.

“Most of our students are non-traditional. They are working adults starting school or returning to school for the first time,” said Colwell, who has worked at Embry-Riddle for more than six years. “We have five modes of learning: classroom courses, online courses, ‘Eagle Vision’ Web video conferencing that connects geographically distributed classrooms together in one live real-time virtual classroom, ‘Eagle Vision’ home and our blended program that is part in the classroom and part online.”

Colwell is excited about a new partnership agreement that Embry-Riddle signed near the end of last year with Mid-South Community College in West Memphis. Students will be able to complete an associate’s degree in aviation maintenance at the community college and then attend Embry-Riddle to finish their bachelor’s.

The Memphis campus plans to host upcoming webinar watch parties in February and March. Dr. Joe Basse will present “Space Weather and the Aviation Industry: What You Need to Know” on Feb. 12, and Dr. Mark Bellnap will present “Personal Financial Planning” on March 12.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was founded in 1925 and now has more than 26,000 students completing 90,000 annual courses registrations at more than 150 locations in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Many of the university’s international locations are affiliated with U.S. military installations.

The major airlines hire more alumni from Embry-Riddle than from any other collegiate aviation program, and the school is the nation’s largest supplier of air traffic controllers with bachelor’s degrees to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Embry-Riddle’s aerospace engineering program is the largest in the nation – three times the size of the next largest program.

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