As a new year approaches, now is the time to put 2020 behind you and focus on what really matters—your future. If you are one of many who either had to put their education on hold or are interested in transferring, you are not alone. If you are looking for a college that is closer to home, has great programs in engineering, technology, management and aviation, and focuses on outcomes, then Vaughn College invites you to join us for a Virtual Info. Session specifically for transfer and returning students. We make the process easy so you can focus on more important things—like your education and future employment. Did you know that 99 percent of Vaughn graduates, 89 percent in their chosen field, are employed or continue their education within one year?* Vaughn has also been recognized in a study reported in The New York Times as a top institution for moving its students from the bottom 40 percent to the top 40 percent in income.

So, what are you waiting for? Attend our Virtual Info. Session. Here is what you need to know:


December 9 at 6 p.m.

What you’ll receive

We invite you to join us for a fun and informative Zoom session that will present you with all the information you need to make the best decision for your future.

Here is what you will receive during the Virtual Info. Session:

  • An overview of Vaughn’s academic degrees and programs in engineering and technologymanagement and aviation and the types of jobs you can get with each degree.
  • A preview of Vaughn’s financial aid and scholarship opportunities
  • A review of the admissions process for transfer and returning students
  • A glimpse into campus life and what it’s like being a Vaughn student today


Vaughn College Tour

Seeing is believing. Our virtual tour will give you the opportunity to preview our campus and view the air traffic control lab, engineering labs, flight simulators, residence hall, library and more. With our futureproof programs and long list of advantages, there is no reason to leave home. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider coming to Vaughn:

  • Close to home
  • Proven model for online learning
  • Ability to finish a degree remotely
  • Online, in-person and hybrid course options to fit your busy life
  • Ranked #1 in upward mobility**
  • Small class sizes—faculty know you (14:1 student to faculty ratio)
  • Ongoing career support services
  • Precollege prep programs
  • A variety of financial aid options – 90% of Vaughn students receive financial aid
  • Employment after graduation
  • Visit Vaughn’s Fast Facts to learn more

By transferring to Vaughn, you could be among the next generation of futureproof Vaughn graduates. See how easy it was for these students who transferred to Vaughn:

“From the moment I visited Vaughn, I knew it was the College for me. Transferring to Vaughn was very easy and straightforward, thanks to their excellent admissions staff.”
 —Nathalia Brache Torres ’21, airport management

“Vaughn allowed me to work and attend full-time, where my previous college did not. Vaughn’s career fair opened the door for me to advance in my career. I landed a job at Delta Air Lines as an aircraft mechanic, which was one of my lifetime goals. Vaughn is very supportive of students who work while pursuing their degrees.”
—Marizeli Diaz ’23, mechanical engineering

“The admissions staff helped me every step of the way—from completing the application to registering for classes, I didn’t have to worry—all my credits transferred to Vaughn. I am so happy I transferred to one of the best colleges in Queens.”
—Mina Morcos ’23, mechatronic engineering

Not a transfer or returning student but interested in attending Vaughn? Join our Virtual Info. Session on December 16 at 6 p.m. and learn about what Vaughn has to offer. With small class sizes, personalized attention and a variety of financial aid options, Vaughn might be the perfect fit for you.


*Outcomes include data within one year of graduation for graduates who reported via survey. There were a total of 304 graduates in 2019. 168 reported an outcome for a 55% response rate. The 2019 graduate class includes September 2018, December 2018 and May 2019 graduates.
**The Upshot, January 18, 2017, “Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60.”

Since George Tavares ’15 was a young boy, he had an interest in aviation. His father worked at LaGuardia Airport for many years and brought home lots of entertaining aviation-related items like toy planes that continued to fuel his interest. He was not quite sure what his father’s job was at first, but even years later when he learned his father was a chef at an airport restaurant, not a pilot, his intrigue with aerospace never wavered.

Tavares didn’t know that at the time, but his aviation maintenance training would land him in a different, but related field: a utility company. His current position as an electrical, mechanical, construction, and maintenance manager at Power Generation, allows him to continue his passion for working on turbine engines and training others with his knowledge.

His aviation journey began when he set his sights on becoming a pilot, but the cost to pay for the fuel proved too expensive for himself and his family, so he needed to change direction. His parents came to the United States from the Dominican Republic and did not have a lot of extra income while raising six children. Tavares and his five sisters, all first-generation Americans, were the first to attend college in the family.

When Tavares was very young the family lived in Washington Heights and then moved to Corona, Queens. At that time, this was a rough neighborhood and there was a lot of criminal activity taking place. Tavares remained on the straight and narrow due to his family’s religious nature and stability that helped keep him grounded while setting his sights on achieving his goals. He had a friend who attended Aviation High School and then Vaughn College—known as the College of Aeronautics at the time. Tavares applied to the Air Force with the hope of flying, but when he was not accepted he decided to follow in his friend’s footsteps and attend Vaughn.

Tavares enrolled in 2012 at the Aviation Training Institute. “I loved the College. It had small classes and I fell in love with what I was learning,” he said. While working towards his airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificates, he secured a part-time internship at a job fair held at the College and that led to an offer of a full-time position at Lucas Aerospace. “I jumped at the chance, and didn’t wait to finish the A&P program because I thought I had all the classes I needed to succeed.”

Unfortunately, the aviation field suffered a downturn after 9/11. Though Tavares wanted to stay with aviation, a friend told him to look at positions at Con Edison. While not widely known, power generation and utility companies have gas and steam turbine engines that are utilized for restoring power quickly, and regularly hire graduates with A&P certification. Tavares went on an interview where he was slated for a position, but a hiring freeze was in place. Fortunately for Tavares, KeySpan took over the company, interviewed him, and he was hired to work at the Ravenswood Generating Station in Queens.

Tavares soon learned that in order to move up the ranks he needed to finish his degree. He was offered various positions that included construction, maintenance, electrical and mechanical supervisor—but all required a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Tavares returned to Vaughn and finished his associate in occupational studies and A&P certification in 2015 and began working on a bachelor’s degree in airport management in 2016.

After working for several years at Ravenswood, Tavares was offered a management position at Eastern Generation in Astoria, where he’s been working for the last 10 years.

Tavares is married with four children—two girls and two boys—and his career choice has allowed him to provide for his family and buy two homes. “I’m grateful to Vaughn for helping me through out my journey,” said Tavares.  “I owe my success to the College. It’s a great place to study.”

What do the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Panama Canal all have in common? If you said they are among some of the top engineering wonders of the modern world, you are correct—so get ready to see one of the latest to hit the stage!

Check out the engineering wonder of The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock and Casino in Hollywood, Florida—the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel and the most unique structure to climb the stairway to the sky.

Opening act

In October 2019, the 35-story, 638-room Guitar Hotel made its solo debut, soaring 450 feet into the skies of South Florida. This architectural wonder took three years to create and is part of the $1.5 billion expansion of the flagship casino resort of Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The hotel is designed to resemble back-to-back guitars. The neck of the guitar extends 75 feet above the roof with light cannons blazing through. Illuminated strings, guitar faces, and floor-to-ceiling glass panels complete the look of a jam that will have you yelling: “Encore!”

So, why the guitar shape? A hotel operations executive explained how the guitar has worldwide recognition as a symbol of music. Additionally, it is the iconic symbol of the Hard Rock. Designed in collaboration with Klai Juba Wald Architects of Las Vegas, De Simone Consulting Engineers worked in strict coordination through all design specialties to complete this challenging, exciting and rewarding project.

Hard Rock Hotel Guitar at night

How did they build that?

The architectural and engineering genius behind this amazing structure involved skills and expertise across several engineering and construction platforms. Tight controls and flexible designs were key components throughout the project. Experts in the areas of structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineering—along with contractors in the construction and related industries—combined forces to meet the demands of this challenging project with its “sexy curves.” Here is a snapshot of how they built this one-of-a-kind guitar-shaped hotel:

  • Detailed models of the guitar tower—The models of the guitar tower and other on-site projects were critical decision-making tools to address logistical challenges and ensure precision.
  • Preparing the site for construction—A multiacre retention pond was filled in, along with the excavation of another pond, to create balance of onsite water retention. Crews used vibro compaction to prepare the site for construction and this allowed them to begin vertical construction.
  • Laying the foundation—Concrete companies partnered to install 36,000 cubic yards of concrete that were used on the guitar tower. Meticulous detail was required for in-slab coordination to ensure that embeds for the curtain wall system, slab edges, plumbing sleeves, mechanical system openings and other openings were precise.
  • Structural design—Nine inch thick, post-tensioned slabs were used on levels four through-28 to allow for thinner floor plates. This system allowed the crew to install the curtain wall and the guitar shaped design. This was a critical step to ensure the curtain wall embeds were precisely located on the slab edge.
  • Addressing the curves—Several columns needed to be sloped by as much as 40 degrees, since each floor narrows and widens in the guitar shape. Additional thrust reinforcement was designed into the slabs to help hold back horizontal forces from sloping columns.
  • Height restrictions—The hotel property lies within the flight path of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. Design teams worked cautiously to save inches anywhere they could to maximize space for the hotel rooms. More inches could potentially turn into additional floors, thus jeopardizing the height restriction of the structure.
  • Cost consideration—As you can imagine, a project of this magnitude required laser-focused cost management. The team used 3D, 4D (time) and 5D (schedule) to communicate their ideas about the project.

How an engineering degree from Vaughn can be music to your ears

The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock and Casino is one of today’s coolest and innovative examples of engineering at its finest. As you can see, the field of engineering and technology continues to play a critical role in defining modern day life and society. As technology and infrastructure continue to develop at a rapid rate, the demand for well-trained electrical, mechanical, and mechatronic engineers is greater than ever. Vaughn’s industry-focused degrees and add-on certifications will prepare you for an ever-changing and dynamic career in your chosen field.

Are you seeking a futureproof career in the engineering and technology field? Discover the possibilities. Apply today!

November is National Aviation History Month. From the first glider flight over 100 years ago by the Wright Brothers to the largest aviation wonders of present, advancements in aviation engineering and technology have soared to new heights—literally. Airplanes are likely the first things that come to mind when we hear the word “aviation.” But where do helicopters and other vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft fit in to the mix?

This month, Vaughn College turns its sights to the history of personal VTOL aircrafts and chronicles the advancements, benefits, and future of this amazing technology. Did someone say “flying cars?”

For nearly 90 years, Vaughn has been steeped in aviation history. From opening its doors in 1932 as the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics to its present day ranking as one of the nation’s Best Colleges in the Regional North by U.S. News and World Report, Vaughn has remained true to its vision of educating and training its graduates for futureproof careers.

What are VTOL vehicles?

Vertical takeoff and landing aircrafts are vehicles that have the unique ability to depart, hover and land vertically. In addition to their unique take off and landing abilities, they can fly slowly and land in small spaces, unlike conventional aircraft. Today, there are two types of VTOL technology: rotary wing aircraft and powered lift. Here is how they compare:

  • Rotary wing aircraft or rotorcraft—These vehicles use lift to become airborne. Lift is generated from spinning rotor blades revolving around a central mast. The helicopter is a popular example of a rotary wing aircraft.
  • Powered-lift aircraft—These aircraft have a fixed wing design. Although they take off and land vertically, they perform differently than rotary wing aircraft when in flight. Some rely on the rotor for lift, and then switch to a fixed-wing lift while in flight, while others involve tilting the aircraft forward to achieve horizontal flight. Today, some powered-lift aircrafts are considered vertical and/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) vehicles that can switch to conventional takeoff and landing (CTL).

The history of VTOL technology

Most would never connect the dots between Leonardo Da Vinci and helicopters. But did you know the famous Renaissance painter sketched an image resembling a helicopter that he named the “aerial screw.” It is believed he made small models of the design but never pursued vertical flight any further. One Italian who did make his mark in vertical flight was Enrico Forlanini. In 1877, Forlanini became the first to build an unmanned steam-powered helicopter that remained in the air for about 20 seconds. This first flight laid the foundation of rotary aircraft for years to come. Test your knowledge on more historic first flights in our blog: “Greatest First Flights in Aviation History in Honor of Aviation History Month.”

Advancements in engineering and technology

From the 1920s through the 1940s, inventors across the globe attempted to design and fly their experimental helicopters. Unfortunately, some met with disastrous results. It wasn’t until the 1950s when the widespread use of turbine engines helped lead the way to building the helicopters and modern VTOL aircraft we know today.

Flying cars

The “flying car” concept was first introduced after World War II. Even Henry Ford predicted it would be a reality in the near future. Ford, along with several automobile manufacturers and the US Army, delivered prototypes of “flying jeeps” The Ford Motor Company created a personal aircraft named the Volante Tri-Athodyne—a 3/8-to-scale concept car model that used three ducted fans to enable VTOL. Unfortunately, Ford abandoned the project. In 1956, the US Army initiated the largest innovation when it began investigating “flying jeeps” as an alternative to helicopters on account of their smaller size and ease of flying. Although the research was dismissed, the concept still lives on today. Read more about the future of flying cars in our blog: “Urban Air Mobility: Transforming Sky Transportation.

Benefits of VTOL technology

Today’s engineers are designing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that use electric motors or batteries instead of fuel. This advancement is proving beneficial on several economic and environmental fronts. Here are some benefits of VTOL technology we are seeing today:

  • Lower overall vehicle costs due to a reduction in maintenance and fuel costs
  • Noise pollution and gas emissions reduction with more energy efficient vehicles
  • Combat or rescue situation usage stemming from more landing flexibility in small areas
  • Speed and accuracy due to wing optimization, since they do not control takeoff and landing
  • Faster aircraft due to less drag

The fast and futuristic

Aircraft racing is putting eVTOL on the fast track. Alauda Racing, an Australian aviation firm, is introducing the Airspeeder, the new electric VTOL that was modeled after the 1960s British Formula One race car. With original plans to race this year, Air Race E is organizing a World Cup of electric conventional takeoff and landing (eCTOL) aircraft. Pilots will experience onboard cameras and racing speeds up to 125 mph.

Closer to home at Vaughn

Vaughn’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Team has bragging rights of its own. For the past two years, the team placed first and second place, respectively, at the 2018 and 2019 Micro Air Vehicle Student Challenge Competition. They developed two drones to compete in both the manual and autonomous categories. Both drones were designed to perform VTOL with onboard flight-stabilization and camera. Way to go, team!

Are you ready to pursue a futureproof career? Discover all that’s possible with a degree in engineering and technology, management, or aviation. Apply today.