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Worldwide’s Chancellor Speaks to Flight Safety Foundation in D.C. About Future of Aviation Education

“The future of our industry lies in the hands of people who were born in the digital information age – and it is having an impact on how the Next Generation of aviation learners and professionals learn and work.”

That was the message that Embry-Riddle Worldwide Chancellor Dr. John R. Watret stressed to more than 185 aviation and aerospace industry and government leaders as keynote speaker at the Fifth Annual Flight Safety Foundation Networking Dinner and Silent Auction at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on July 20.

The Flight Safety Foundation, the first and only not-for-profit organization devoted exclusively to aviation safety, is celebrating 70 years of working closely with and within the global aviation industry to provide numerous programs, products and impartial expert guidance in support of improving flight safety worldwide. The Foundation is routinely recognized for its work, including receiving the 2000 Pinnacle Award for safety education from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. 

In his speech, Dr. Watret, who serves on the Foundation’s Board of Governors, noted that, “It is our responsibility to prepare [the Next Generation] to assume the mantle of leadership in our airlines, our training programs, our safety management programs.”

Doing so, he explained, requires that education and training organizations develop and adapt teaching technology in ways that meet the expectations and emerging learning styles of younger learners. Dr. Watret outlined the progress that Embry-Riddle Worldwide has made in reaching and teaching the next generation, transitioning from traditional classroom teaching to classes that more fully integrate technology so that today 86 percent of Worldwide classes are taught online. 

Dr. Watret also highlighted the potential of new teaching and learning technology to assist and extend the Flight Safety Foundation’s mission, to reach an even greater audience in order to develop the shared safety values that characterize and support safety practices. Partnering with universities, such as Embry-Riddle, to support STEM learning through safety-focused online modules may be a way of introducing the safety culture of aviation to young learners, as well as allowing for expanded outreach to non-traditional learners and under-represented groups including women and minorities. 

“While technology changes very rapidly, our core values and the commitment to safety do not change.” 

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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.