Vaughn College is excited to announce its Spring Open House happening on campus on Saturday, April 9 at 10 a.m. This in-person event is a fantastic opportunity to discover all the benefits of a Vaughn degree. See how one of our valuable degree programs in engineering, technology, management or aviation can lead you to an exciting, in-demand career.

So, who is “the future you” going to be? We’ll help you find out at our Open House.

What are the benefits of a Vaughn degree?

Futureproof guarantee

Vaughn graduates leave with more than just degrees. They leave with exciting, in-demand careers. We call it being futureproof. And we guarantee it. If you aren’t employed within one year of graduation, we’ll reimburse one year’s worth of federal Direct student loan payments. Now, that’s a guarantee!

Our stats: The numbers are stacked in your favor

Vaughn is ranked as among the top colleges in the country. We have raised the bar to provide an unprecedented education that will set you apart from the rest. Check out our fast facts:

  • Ranked number one in upward mobility in a study conducted by The Equality of Opportunity Project and reported by The New York Times. This proves Vaughn’s ability to move students from the bottom percentiles in income to the top.
  • Ranked in the top 4 percent of colleges with the highest ROI for low-income students. (Source: Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce)
  • Vaughn has been ranked as a best regional college in the North by US News and World Report for twelve consecutive years and a best college for social mobility (Source: US News and World Report Best Colleges)
  • Vaughn is one of only four colleges in the US that has an ABET-approved mechatronic engineering
  • 88 percent of Vaughn graduates―75 percent in their field of study―are employed or continue their education within one year. In recent years, outside of a pandemic, Vaughn’s outcomes for students typically average more than 95 percent and have been 99, 98 and 97 percent for the three prior years.
  • Vaughn’s career services team is dedicated to helping students find internship and career opportunities through networking events, employer connections, professional associations, conferences and through the help of our caring and committed faculty, advisers and career services team.
  • Vaughn has small class sizes with a 14-to-1 student/faculty ratio. Committed faculty provide the personalized attention that students need to succeed. With experience working in the industry’s they teach, an added layer of inside knowledge and expertise gives students a competitive edge in the market.
  • More than 90 percent of Vaughn students receive some type of financial aid, and there are many financial aid and scholarship options available for incoming students.
  • Vaughn has a highly diverse student body, serves many first-generation college students and is recognized by the US Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving institution
  • Vaughn is highly supportive of encouraging more women to enter the fields of engineering and aviation, which have historically been male dominated.

Where the jobs are

Vaughn graduates go further, faster. Our students go on to have exciting careers at some of the nation’s top companies in industries that include aerospace, engineering, airport/airline management and transportation. They also find rewarding opportunities in industries you may not expect, such as healthcare, utilities and sustainable energy. Here are some of the companies where Vaughn graduates have landed – you can click on the links to read the stories of graduates who have received employment at these companies.

What to expect at Open House


The morning will kick off with a warm welcome from President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo and Celso Alvarez, associate vice president of enrollment. You’ll learn about the College’s exciting degree programs and how Vaughn can help you be a part of the next futureproof generation. Additionally, you’ll hear firsthand success stories from some of our graduates—via our student outcomes video—on how their Vaughn degree landed them positions with some of today’s most sought-after industry leading companies.

Breakout sessions

You will have the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions in your program of interest. Led by the chair of each department, you will hear about Vaughn’s programs in engineering and technology, management, aviation or aviation maintenance (whichever you are interested in), learn about coursework and the types of jobs you’ll be eligible for upon graduation, see classrooms/labs and ask questions.

Closing presentation

The event will close with an admissions presentation, where you will hear about:

  • Campus life
    • Students can get involved in clubs such as robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
    • There are several student chapters of professional organizations such as the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
    • Become a Vaughn Warrior and get involved in athletics such as tennis, basketball, cross country and soccer.
    • Consider becoming a part of Vaughn’s residential community equipped with a full kitchen and TV lounge, multipurpose room and fitness center.
  • The admissions process
  • The student experience
  • Financial aid
  • How to apply for FREE – Open House attendees receive a $40 application fee waiver

“Open House is an exciting time when we see and meet the future faces of our Vaughn community,” said Alvarez. “We look forward to a fun, informative and engaging event.”

To accept your invitation to meet the future you, register here. For those who are unable to attend the in-person Open House, there will be a virtual event held on April 21.

Note: Vaughn College requires proof of vaccination to be permitted in a campus facility.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are revolutionizing the aviation industry as immersive technologies shape the future of aviation and aviation training as we know it. With wide applications in the global aviation market, growth in VR and AR is projected to reach in the billions over the next decade.

This month, Vaughn College explores the excitement surrounding VR and AR and how these technologies are rapidly becoming valuable assets for today’s aviation giants.

Billion-dollar game changer

According to a new aviation report by Visiongain Research Inc., where the aviation market is concerned, the industries of AR and VR are set to grow to $4.6 billion by 2030. This impressive growth is setting the pace for unprecedented training and maintenance practices that are streamlining operations and making the industry safer—not to mention reducing costs.

Virtual reality vs. augmented reality

Before we dive into the amazing advantages of virtual and augmented reality, it’s important to understand the differences between virtual reality and augmented reality.

  • Virtual reality: VR allows users to be fully immersed in a virtual world where everything they see is virtual. For example, in a flight simulator, a pilot-in-training will see the runway, the sky and flight controls all in a virtual world.
  • Augmented reality: AR involves providing the pilot, for example, with real-time data and digital elements on condition such as terrain, weather, navigation and traffic—all via a headset. This technology can significantly improve aviation safety during takeoff and landing.

Technology on the ground brings safer skies

Airline travel is considered one of the safest methods of transportation. But did you ever wonder what it takes to earn this reputation? From pilots to aircraft mechanics—and every job in between—the lives of millions of people rest in their hands on every flight, each day, around the world. Today, VR and AR are taking a front seat to traditional aviation training methods of these critical jobs. Here are some of the ways in which VR and AR aviation training practices are transforming the aviation industry to keep travelers safer in the skies:

VR flight simulator training

There’s no denying that pilot training is a costly, risky and time-consuming process. Today, simulating the pilot experience using VR and AR is providing pilots with “in-flight” training where they don’t need to leave the ground, thus making the process safer and more cost-effective. For example, VR flight training can simulate difficult and dangerous scenarios without putting anyone’s life at risk. In the past, traditional pilot training in a real aircraft would put lives and millions of dollars at risk in the event of pilot error. Today, with VR and AR, pilot error is considered an on-the-job teachable opportunity. Have you been considering a career as a pilot? At Vaughn, you can “take off” in our $1 million flight-simulator lab with a member of our professional and experienced flight faculty by your side. You’ll experience a fleet of training devices as you watch your career take off in this exciting and rewarding field.

System design AR training

Building and maintaining an aircraft is no easy feat. It requires highly skilled engineers, designers and aircraft mechanics (link this as well) who possess extreme precision and concentration. After all, there is no room for error, as one mistake can have devastating consequences. AR smart glasses are proving to be a real industry game changer for improving performance and minimizing losses. Aviation companies are getting on board as they are integrating AR with human support. Boeing, for example, is experimenting with AR glasses that are designed to assist technicians with interactive, hands-free, 3D wiring diagrams that can adjust in real time. On the engineering side, AR technology is being used to improve aircraft wiring repairs, which can keep a plane in the air longer and grounded less. Even Lockheed Martin has developed AR technology that is assisting NASA to fasten the construction of the Orion spacecraft! Check out our blog to learn more about how AR and AI is transforming the aerospace industry.

Aviation maintenance

Aircraft maintenance technicians (AMTs)―also known as airframe and powerplant (A&P) technicians―work around the clock for the safety of travelers by ensuring every plane passes inspection before leaving for its destination. Up until now, AMTs would gain experience by working on the actual aircraft that was in need of repairs. Today, VR and AR training simulators allow aviation mechanics to learn and inspect parts of an aircraft remotely in a completely immersive environment. Airbus mechanics, for example, are using VR technology via a VR headset, touchpads and infrared cameras to inspect and repair their aircrafts. Did you know that over 626,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed to maintain the global commercial fleet over the next 20 years according to Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook 2021–2040? If becoming an aircraft maintenance technician is your calling, then the ATI Program at Vaughn is the perfect launching pad where you can earn your Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved A&P certificate to prepare for a high-paying career. Vaughn offers many degree programs in this exciting, high-paying field that can open many doors for students interested in aviation careers. You can also read about many Vaughn student journeys to becoming aircraft mechanics including Angela Wright ’20, Mahdi Machahi ’13, Daniel Cianov ’21 and others.

Ramp handling training

You may never have given the ground crew too much thought—until your luggage gets lost. The reality is that ramp handling is so much more than just cargo handling. This specialized staff is responsible for the plane while it’s still on the ground. Here are just a few of the responsibilities of ramp handlers:

  • Ground handling—Boarding services, catering, cleaning, etc.
  • Ramp services—Involves everything related to aircraft maintenance, including drainage, refueling, deicing and cargo handling that encompasses luggage loading and air freight, among other tasks.

So, how can VR and AR assist with the training of ramp handlers? Workers can wear headsets that immerse them in a visual airside which allows them to interact with virtual aircrafts and various scenarios.

Cabin crew VR training

An airplane’s cabin crew does so much more than serve refreshments and demonstrate safety instructions. They are responsible for your safety and ensure that all the equipment on board—such as life vests and extinguishers—are present and in working order. Additionally, members of this crew are required to monitor the cabin for any suspicious behavior. Now, imagine VR training where cabin crew members can immerse themselves in medical emergencies or dangerous or difficult real-life situations, such as hijackings or an imminent crash? This technology can be a true lifesaver, as VR flight training technology allows for virtual mistakes—with no harm done—and provides the needed experience when it counts the most.

Interested in a cool technology job? Check out our blog, “Top Technology Trends: The Jobs to Look for.”

Make your futureproof career a reality. Discover how a degree in engineering and technology, management or aviation from Vaughn College can set your on a path of success. Apply today!

In honor of Women’s History Month, Vaughn College celebrates the extraordinary lives and achievements of women who have paved the way for future leaders from all walks of life. In this special edition, we spotlight four inspiring women who have made their marks in the fields of engineering, management and aviation.

Aprille Ericsson-Jackson—Aerospace Engineer Who Has a Career of Firsts as a Black Woman

Aprille Ericsson
Photo Copyright: KEVIN ALLEN

With a distinguished career marked by “firsts,” Aprille Ericsson-Jackson, 58, has made impressive advancements as an aerospace engineer. Born April 1, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York, Ericsson-Jackson is the eldest of four sisters. She credits her achievements to her mother, who—from an early age—supported her career decisions.

After graduating high school with honors, Ericsson-Jackson attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering. She overcame racial and gender bias to become the first African American woman to receive both a master’s degree in engineering from Howard University and a doctorate in engineering at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Ericsson-Jackson recalls watching the Apollo missions growing up, which inspired her passion for science and space.

During her 25 years at NASA, she has held the positions of aerospace engineer, technologist, project and program manager and executive. She is credited with adding to the existing knowledge of our solar system and helping the effort to lead us to the future of space flight. Her work has included the design and development of instruments for spacecraft and satellites geared to help gain a better understanding of the Earth. In addition to her work as an aerospace engineer, Ericsson-Jackson teaches mechanical engineering and mathematics at Howard University and has also instructed at University of Maryland and Bowie State University.

Her dedication and excellence in the field has earned her a number of accolades. The National Technical Association named her one of the “Top 50 Minority Women Working in the Fields of Science and Engineering,” and in 2016 she was ranked number eight of 20 on the list of the “Most Powerful Women Engineers” by Business Insider. Her many honors and awards include an Honorary Doctor of Science from Medgar Evers College, The Women’s Network “Top 18 Women Who Will Change the World,” and the Tau Beta Pi Alumni of Distinction. But the one honor Ericsson-Jackson considers her most prestigious is being the first person of color to receive The Washington Award from the Western Society of Engineers.

Beverly Burns—First Female Pilot to Fly a Boeing 747 Jet

Beverly Burns
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

If you ever needed inspiration to become a female pilot, Beverly Burns would be it. Born in Maryland on August 15, 1949, Burns, 72, is best known as the first female pilot to command a Boeing 747—despite the rampant bias and chauvinism of the 1970s and 1980s. On July 18, 1984, she took her historic flight as a captain from Newark to Los Angeles.

As a young woman with a passion for aviation, Burns held several job titles in the industry—which included aircraft dispatcher, gate agent and baggage handler—before becoming a pilot. It wasn’t until she became a stewardess for American Airlines that her life took a drastic turn. One day, while listening to an American Airlines first officer giving a speech to fellow crew members, she heard him say: “Women are just not smart enough to do this job.” That statement fueled Burns’ determination to become a captain. During her seven years working as a stewardess, she attended flight school—where she unfortunately was faced with more bias. She went through eight instructors until she found one who took her seriously: Captain Robert Allen Burns, whom she married in 1972. In 2008, Burns retired after having worked for 27 years with People Express, which merged with Continental Airlines in 2000. Over the years, she operated some of the industry’s most impressive aircraft, including the DC-9, DC-10, Boeing 757 and Boeing 767. Then, in May 2001, her ambition and superior cockpit skills landed her in the captain’s seat of the Boeing 777—the most technologically sophisticated aircraft of its time. Over the course of her career, Burns received several awards and commendations. These include the Amelia Earhart Award for her historic flight, a congratulatory letter from President Ronald Reagan (along with an invitation to the 50th American President Inaugural), a 2001 citation from US Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and a letter of congratulations on her service from President George W. Bush, among many others.

Connie Palacioz—A Real-Life “Rosie the Riveter”

Connie Palacioz
Photo courtesy of

At 95 years young, Connie Palacioz is known as a real life “Rosie the Riveter” for her amazing work on the B-29 Superfortress at Boeing in Wichita, Kansas during World War II. Born in Peabody, Kansas (but raised in Newton), Palacioz worked hard for her family, working as a laundress earning $0.25. per hour.

After graduating from high school in 1943, Palacioz joined the war effort at the age of 18, where she trained for three weeks to work as a riveter, earning $0.50 per hour. Helping with the war effort was important to Palacioz, as she had several family members in the service, including her brother who was serving in the United States Navy. Her first day on the job was also the day when the B-29 was introduced. She and her bucker, Jerri Warden, were assigned to work on the noses of the B-29s. Together with their team, they produced four B-29 nose sections per day. Her hard work earned her a raise to $1.00 per hour—which was considerably more than she was earning as a laundress only a few years before.

In 1944, Palacioz was asked to be part of the team that manufactured the famous B-29 known as “DOC.” When the war ended, she was laid off from her job. In 1946, she married her fiancé and moved to Emporia, where she and her husband attended college through the G.I. Bill and started a family. Nearly 60 years later, she was surprised to learn that the B-29 nicknamed “DOC”—which she worked on decades earlier—was discovered in the Mojave Desert after having been there for 42 years. Interestingly, DOC was found in pieces—except for the nose of the plane, which only suffered a broken window! In 2000, DOC was returned to Wichita, where Palacioz and other volunteers formed a team and worked for 16 years on its restoration. In 2016, they witnessed how their work paid off when they watched DOC return to the skies. Today, Palacioz not only remains an active volunteer at the DOC hangar in Wichita but is a regular member of the team that travels with DOC to airshows around the country.

Marillyn Hewson—Former CEO of Lockheed Martin

Marillyn Hewson
Fortune Magazine, Women in Defense

Born in Junction City, Kansas on December 27, 1953, Marillyn Hewson, 67, is the former CEO of Lockheed Martin and arguably recognized as one of the world’s most powerful women. She credits her mother’s resilience, hard work and determination for teaching her the leadership skills that brought her where she is today. After Hewson’s father died when she was only nine years old, her mother, a former member of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC)—the women’s branch of the United States Army—raised her and her four siblings. Hewson is quoted as saying: “My mother did what all great leaders do: She sparked the growth of future leaders.” She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and her Master of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Alabama. She eventually went on to attend the Columbia Business School and Harvard Business School executive development programs.

Prior to joining Lockheed Martin in 1983 as the company’s senior industrial engineer, Hewson worked as an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics for four years. She held several executive positions that included president and chief operating officer (COO), executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Electronic Systems Business Division, president of the company’s Systems Integration and executive vice president of Global Sustainment for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, among others. In 2012, Hewson was elected to join the company’s board of directors. She eventually accepted the position of chief executive officer (CEO) in 2013, a position she held until June 2020. It’s impressive to note that during her tenure as CEO, Lockheed Martin’s stock value increased by more than 300 percent.

On March 1, 2021, she retired as the company’s executive chairman and board member. Hewson’s stellar leadership achievements have placed her among the most powerful women in business. Fortune magazine named her as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” in the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and most notably, 2015—when she ranked fourth place. In 2018, Hewson took the top spot with Fortune, which named her as the “Most Powerful Woman in the Business World.” That same year, Chief Executive Magazine named Hewson “CEO of the Year,” and she was awarded the Edison Achievement Award for her leadership skills and achievements in making a lasting contribution to the world of innovation. In 2019, Time magazine named Hewson in its list of the “100 Most Influential People of 2019.”

We hope you enjoyed reading about these extraordinary and inspiring women. What inspires you to be your best? A degree from Vaughn College can get you there. Whether your passion is in engineering and technology, management or aviation, Vaughn will be by your side throughout your journey. Apply today.

Want to learn more about Women’s History Month? Check it out here.