Embry-Riddle coming to WSMR
Aeronautical university preparing for growth
BY NATISHA HALES
The Las Cruces Bulletin
With an aerospace engineering program, which U.S. News & World Report has ranked No. 1 for the past
seven years, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide is expanding to include a campus at White
Sands Missile Range. While the university is noted as the “world’s leader in aviation and aerospace higher
education,” the goal is to get more students interested in accelerated courses, said Bill Bagwell, director of
academic support at the university’s campus on Holloman Air Force Base.
“It’s not just aeronautics,” he said. “We’re trying to get people in certificate programs. The pre-engineering
certificate gives the first-year course so students can go to the engineering program at any four-year
The background for the campus expansion to WSMR was due to the range’s proximity to the U.S.-Mexico
border, Fort Bliss, Texas, and the El Paso International Airport. Because of these locations, a program for
security and intelligence is also being implemented at the WSMR campus.
“We’re already offering that in Holloman,” said Nathan Cote, academic director at the Holloman campus.
“We have faculty in Las Cruces who are former intelligence officers, and we hope to move the program over
here (to Las Cruces).”
Cote said they have found faculty to teach just about every subject, and the only thing missing is students to
The accelerated courses are nine weeks long, and students can earn their degrees in five terms. Those who
earn a degree from the university in engineering or aeronautics are in a good position to get a job once they
graduate, Cote said.
“Embry-Riddle provides a degree that is marketable when looking for a job in the aviation business,” he said.
“It’s well known in the aviation industry, and that’s an advantage.”
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University started as a school to train airplane pilots after World War I. Now the
technical school has evolved into a university, providing more than 30 bachelor’s degree programs and
master’s degrees in aeronautics, aerospace engineering, business administration, human factors and
systems, safety science, software engineering and space science. The university includes a Daytona, Fla.,
campus, a Prescott, Ariz., campus and more than 130 worldwide campuses.
The worldwide campus offers many of the same programs as the other campuses, but are geared more
toward students who are unable to attend the university’s residential campuses.
The EagleVision program provides added convenience by providing a virtual classroom, where neither
teachers nor students are required to be in the same location. The technology provides opportunities for web
conferencing, online events, e-meetings, recording capabilities and audio conferencing.