Embry-Riddle Launches New High School Aerospace Institute in Rockford, Illinois

Feb. 19, 2013
Classes to Begin in Fall 2013 for Jefferson High School Students

Daytona Beach, Fla., Feb. 15, 2013 – The College of Aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus has partnered with Rockford Public Schools in Illinois to establish an Aerospace Institute at Jefferson High School beginning in Fall 2013.

Embry-Riddle’s Aerospace Institute program, also in place in several school districts elsewhere in Illinois and in Florida, gives high school students a collegiate model of aviation and aerospace education to introduce them to high-paying jobs in these career fields. 

“Our community has over 170 companies that are related to the aviation/aeronautics industry,” said David Carson, Director of College and Career Readiness for Rockford Public Schools. “So we have a huge number of job opportunities available for our students and it’s critical to our community that we have the talent pool to fill the needs of all of those companies moving forward.”

Ken Dufour, a Rockford businessman and Embry-Riddle trustee, agreed. “I think it’s a great step for the aerospace community in northern Illinois. It’s a footprint for the future.”

Embry-Riddle’s dual-enrollment program is offered free of charge to high school students, enabling them to earn both high school credit toward graduation and college credit for courses taught by Embry-Riddle professors in their own high school classrooms. Students and parents have the potential to save nearly $40,000 in college tuition costs.

Through its Aerospace Institutes, Embry-Riddle offers more than 29 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related courses to high school students in topics such as aeronautical science (professional pilot), aeronautical engineering, homeland security, meteorology, aviation maintenance science, space science and unmanned aircraft systems. 

The new Rockford institute will initially offer two courses. The Principles of Aeronautical Science course will give students a broad-based introduction to aviation history, flight theory, aircraft systems and performance, and flight physiology. In the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) course, students will learn about the military and commercial history, growth and application of UASs and will build and fly their own radio-controlled models.

“We are absolutely delighted that Rockford Public Schools is joining our team,” said Dr. Leo Murphy, Director of Advanced Placement Programs at Embry-Riddle. “The goal of our program is for our high school students and in particular our first-generation college students to obtain a solid foundation in critical-thinking skills before attending college to complete their degree.”

For more information on Embry-Riddle’s high school Aerospace Institute program, contact Dr. Murphy at (386) 226-7066 or [email protected].

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and www.facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.