The weather was warm and sunny for today's open house despite recent memories of Hurricane Sandy and this week's Nor'easter, and their lingering affects.
Nearly 200 prospective students and their families traveled to Vaughn despite storm related issues including lack of power, flooding and the gas shortage.
Some traveled from as far away as Texas, Maine and New Hampshire to attend, while others from local storm-affected areas such as New Jersey, Brooklyn and Staten Island managed to make it to the open house.
"We really worried about whether we would be able to get gas once we got near New York City to make it to the open house and then to get home," said Cindy Walter from Syracuse, New York. "But, we spoke to the admissions counselors before we began the journey and they helped alleviate our concerns."
The Walters family, whose son Justin is interested in studying Air Traffic Control (ATC) made it here without incidence. "I'm really glad we came because I heard about Vaughn from a friend who just graduated from the College and the more he talked about the program, the more interested I became," said Justin.
Another family from Staten Island who had their house flooded during the hurricane and is still without power attended the open house today. They have one son currently at Vaughn and another who is interested in attending, so they took the opportunity to bring one son supplies and register the other today.
Many arrived early to register and have breakfast before the program began with a welcome by Vice President of Enrollment Services Ernie Shepelsky and Senior Vice President Dr. Sharon DeVivo.
Shepelsky spoke about the future of the College and the $26 million soundproofing project currently taking place that was made possible through a grant of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Dr. DeVivo hoped that after attendance today, many students would select Vaughn, but she stressed that the most important thing about today was "finding out if Vaughn is the right fit for you, which is key to having a successful college experience."
Information sessions in five undergraduate academic concentrations followed before a series of "Ultimate Open House Experiences" showcased some of the College's other possibilities.
In between, guests gathered in the hangar area for snacks and a raffle for prizes that included an iPod Touch, an Auto Cad student education program and a flying lesson.
In the Engineering academic session, faculty offered up some common-sense tips for students interested in mechatronics, mechanical or electronic engineering technology, animation and digital technology.
Professor Manuel Jesus captured students' attention as he talked about Vaughn's mechanical engineering and computer-aided design program. He was able to show students how software today is used in everyday situations such as movies, video games and advertising.
While many students came with an interest in aviation, most didn't understand the practical applications of having a degree in the field or that aviation employment opportunities exist in over 150 airports in the metropolitan area as well as at many other potential employers. Additionally, during the Aircraft Operations session, Dr. Maxine Lubner spoke about the prospects for students in the field quoting current FAA projections showing an increased future need for pilots nationally and internationally.
"When you graduate from Vaughn, you leave with practical job skills that make you employable in your field of study, said Dr. DeVivo. "That's why we have over a 92% rate of graduates being employed or continuing their studies within a year of graduation."
Interested students attended Vaughn's open house and had the opportunity to participate in a simulator experience.