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potential employers, managers and senior pilots with authori- ty because they know the language, have the technical knowl- edge and the understanding of the operational environment”. Lastly they mentioned the numerous programs and events they attend like OctoberWest and the Heli Success career sem- inar next month in Las Vegas. Why Prescott? Both Celeste and Cody appreciate the

smaller campus/city atmosphere. The size and location pro- motes a close student culture on campus where supporting each other, friendships and camaraderie exists; and as Celeste said, “we get it and know what is important”. My last stop was a short visit with Dr. Frank Ayers, the

Chief Academic Officer and Executive Vice President. Dr. Ayers a 26 year AF veteran has travelled the world-

Universal Helicopters R22 & R44 at OctoberWest I wanted to get the students take on the overall program

so I asked what they saw as the benefits after graduation. I was surprised and delighted by the answers. Celeste led off and Cody re-enforced the response, which was; “there is a tremen- dous advantage when entering the highly competitive helicop- ter pilot environment after graduating from Embry-Riddle. We graduate as true professionals. For example, if a potential employer wants to discuss turbine-engines, we are fully capa- ble because our turbine engines course provided a deep/thor- ough understanding of turbine engines.

Furthermore, our

systems courses give us advanced instruction in hydraulics, avionics, and airframes. Under this program and with the alliances in place with Papillion and MD Helicopters, gradu- ates understanding transcends pure academic and moves into practical application. When you couple that with courses that focus on different helicopter operations and their associated environments like EMS, Tour, long-line, etc., the Embry- Riddle graduate enters the work force way ahead of the power curve. What this means to the potential employer is less time to train and mentor the new hire”. Cody finished up by explaining that “the graduates have the ability to speak to

over and finds Prescott, AZ a great place to live. “It is especial- ly a good place to learn how to fly. As a high density, moun- tain environment airport it affords the student challenges that will fare them well once they leave the area”. I asked Dr. Ayer’s about the helicopter program only to

find out that his first four months at Embry-Riddle, Prescott campus, was spent putting the helicopter program in place which included a contract to Universal Helicopters as their flight training provider. He is quite proud of the program and is confident that the

standard for the helicopter pilots in the future is going to move more and more toward the college educated pilot. The Embry- Riddle culture of safety first, coupled to a unique understand- ing of the helicopter industry, makes Embry-Riddle graduates sought after candidates for employment. According to Dr. Ayers, Embry-Riddle provides the future leaders and man- agers in the helicopter industry. My experience at the Career Expo where more than 100 employers had set up booths vali- dates Dr. Ayer’s statements. It was interesting to hear Dr. Ayers explain how the school attracts the best students and describe his graduates as professionals which, as you heard from stu- dents earlier, filters down from the top to Embry-Riddles newest incoming class! That is quite an achievement. ◆

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