Embry-Riddle Agreement with SpaceTEC Supports Space Workforce Transition

Daytona Beach, Fla., Oct. 19, 2007 – As NASA's Space Shuttle program moves toward its last mission in 2010, an agreement between Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Worldwide Campus and SpaceTEC will provide new education and training opportunities for workers who may be displaced during the space agency's transition to the new Ares family of launch vehicles.

Under the new agreement, Embry-Riddle Worldwide Campus will provide up to 24 hours of college credit for workers who obtain a SpaceTEC core certification, giving them a head-start toward an undergraduate degree or other Embry-Riddle aviation/aerospace training.

The SpaceTEC certification is designed for the aerospace technical workforce and is similar in scope to the FAA's Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certification, which is required of workers who maintain and repair commercial aircraft systems. Technical workers who pass the SpaceTEC core certification exam will be eligible for the Embry-Riddle credits, regardless of their prior enrollment in a college or university.

Embry-Riddle Worldwide and SpaceTEC have agreed to recognize the SpaceTEC Certified Aerospace Technician Program as a national certification by examination that will offer successful candidates academic credit as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE). Participants passing the SpaceTEC core exam after April 1, 2007, are eligible to receive up to 24 college credits toward a degree. ACE recommendation is an effort to connect workplace learning with colleges by helping adults gain access to academic credit for examinations taken outside traditional degree programs.

"Many technicians at the spaceport have valuable practical experience from their work on various launch vehicle programs, but they need to upgrade or certify their skills to remain competitive," said SpaceTEC Executive Director Frank Margiotta. "In addition to providing an industry-recognized certification based on their experience, with Embry-Riddle we now can provide a path toward undergraduate degrees in aircraft maintenance, aviation maintenance management, technical management, or professional aeronautics to better prepare them for different jobs in the aerospace industry."

"Education and training support will be important tools in Florida's efforts to mitigate the Space Shuttle workforce reductions we expect to see after 2010," said Embry-Riddle Space Policy Analyst Edward Ellegood, who serves as the university's representative to SpaceTEC. "The Space Shuttle's retirement presents an opportunity for new commercial and government space programs to expand in Florida, to take advantage of the highly skilled workforce we hope to maintain as the state's space industry evolves."

Headquartered at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport and hosted by Brevard Community College, SpaceTEC is an aerospace technical training and certification center sponsored by the National Science Foundation, with support from the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Air Force.

Embry-Riddle is one of 11 postsecondary institutions, and the only four-year university, partnered with SpaceTEC. Collectively, these institutions enroll over 400,000 students annually and are located in areas with a high concentration of aerospace companies employing over 250,000 technicians and aerospace specialists.

For more information on the Embry-Riddle Worldwide SpaceTEC agreement, contact Douglas Mikutel, Ph.D., at (386) 226-4846 or douglas.mikutel@erau.edu. For more information on the SpaceTEC Certified Aerospace Technician Program, contact Frank Margiotta at (321) 730-1020 or margiottaf@brevardcc.edu.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. The university educates more than 34,000 students annually in undergraduate and graduate programs at residential campuses in Prescott, Ariz., and Daytona Beach, Fla., through the Worldwide Campus at more than 130 locations in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East, and through online learning. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu.