Ribbon-cutting ceremony at Embry-Riddle Worldwide's Camp Lejeune.
Frank Shaw, corporate vice president of communications at Microsoft; Mary McCready, U.S. Marine Corps Reservist and Premier Field Engineer at Microsoft; Dr. John Watret, chancellor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Worldwide; and Jim Steadman, education branch manager for Marine & Family Programs at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune cut the ceremonious ribbon.

Embry-Riddle Worldwide Opens Campus at Camp Lejeune

With more than a majority of its student body representing active-duty members or veterans of the United States armed forces, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus has further strengthened its decades-long commitment to serve those who serve by opening an educational campus at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

“This is the second time in just the last three months where I’ve had the great privilege to open a new Embry-Riddle campus on a military installation – both on Marine installations,” said Embry-Riddle Worldwide Chancellor Dr. John R. Watret. “It is in our DNA, as the majority of our students, graduates, staff and faculty have strong, proud ties to our military. In the past five years alone, more than 8,800 active-duty service men and women as well as 6,100 veterans have graduated from Embry-Riddle Worldwide.”

The debut of Embry-Riddle Worldwide’s 99th campus on a military base globally (68th in the United States) also marked the establishment of the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) – an intensive 18-week program that teaches transitioning service members and veterans the critical information technology (IT) skills required for today's growing technology industry careers.

Camp Lejeune is the latest MSSA location to open this year, after courses launched at Embry-Riddle Worldwide’s campus at Quantico, Va., in January. With the addition of the program at Embry-Riddle Worldwide’s Joint Base San Antonio, Tex., campus this month, MSSA now serves locations coast to coast, and its graduates have secured careers at Microsoft or one of more than 280 companies nationwide – with average starting salaries at or above $70,000. The MSSA program’s network of hiring partners includes industry leaders like Dell Inc., Oracle, Accenture and the U.S. Department of Defense.

“The MSSA program is truly exceptional in its collaborative approach between Microsoft, Embry-Riddle and the nation’s military services,” said Watret. “Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics reports show that almost 50 percent of all jobs in the United States require information technology skills, with half a million open computing jobs nationwide. Transition programs like the MSSA provide high-quality academic education and training as well as mentoring and job placement assistance that is not only desired but necessary in today’s workforce.”

In addition to the MSSA program, online and onsite bachelor’s degree programs, including Technology Management and Engineering Technology, will be offered at the Camp Lejeune campus.

“I am proud to have Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Microsoft as partners onboard,” said Jim Steadman, Education Services Officer for Camp Lejeune and Marine Corp Air Station New River. “MSSA will give critical technology skills and careers to those transitioning out of the Marines, and Embry-Riddle will provide quality degrees for our military community for years to come.”

For the past five years, Embry-Riddle Worldwide (online.erau.edu) has been the only private, not-for-profit institute out of hundreds of universities nationwide ranked in the Top 5 of U.S. News & World Report’s annual list for best online bachelor’s degrees. It also has earned numerous accolades including being named one of the best online colleges in the nation by the Center for Online Education, multiple top nods for its online master’s and bachelor’s degrees in engineering programs from independent online ranking providers as well as being designated a top military-friendly school by Victory Media.

Information about the campus, located at 825 Stone St., Camp Lejeune, N.C., can be found at worldwide.erau.edu/locations/camp-lejeune/.

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. 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 erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.