Embry-Riddle, Naval Community College Partner to Offer Aviation Maintenance, UAS Degrees to Service Members
Dr. John “Keith” Wilson knows firsthand the challenges that students serving in the military face in balancing their studies with active duty, work and family responsibilities.
“I was a nontraditional student and earned my degrees on active duty, juggling family and work,” said Wilson, an assistant professor and assistant dean of curriculum and accreditation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus College of Aviation. “We have to have empathy, understand they have those commitments and remain flexible.”
Currently, Wilson is teaching active-duty members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, as well as Coast Guard Reservists, enrolled in a new Embry-Riddle program, a partnership with the U.S. Naval Community College (USNCC), which allows students to earn an associate’s degree in Aviation Maintenance or Uncrewed Systems.
“This program will take our sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen to new heights in naval-relevant education,” said USNCC’s President Randi R. Cosentino, Ed.D.
The USNCC-Embry-Riddle partnership program is actively growing. A total of 310 students registered for the May term, while more than 450 students registered for participation in August.
“Our longstanding relationship with the military, providing exceptional instruction to service men and women around the globe, is a point of pride for our institution,” said Dr. John Watret, chancellor for Embry-Riddle’s Worldwide Campus.
The USNCC Associate of Science (A.S.) in Aviation Maintenance program, offered in conjunction with Embry-Riddle, was approved in November 2022, with the first student cohort starting their studies in May. Students in the degree program also receive an Aviation Maintenance Technology Part 65 Certificate issued by Embry-Riddle, upon completion of the coursework.
The program is also transferable to four-year bachelor’s programs at Embry-Riddle, including the Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance.
In May 2023, an A.S. in Uncrewed Systems degree program tailored for active-duty members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, as well as for Coast Guard Reservists, was approved through the same partnership between Embry-Riddle and the USNCC. Classes started in August for the program, which includes the Naval Studies Certificate, along with the Uncrewed Systems Technology Certificate.
For Wilson, the USNCC-Embry-Riddle partnership is key to allowing the university to assist the military in preparing students to advance and serve as the next aviation and aerospace leaders.
“It allows Embry-Riddle to do its mission to provide world-class aviation education,” said Wilson.
Those interested in the USNCC-Embry-Riddle program can learn more online.