Vaughn College Steeped in Aviation History

November 30, 2016 Industry News

Celebrating Aviation History Month

For over 80 years, aviation enthusiasts have flocked to Vaughn College to study the field of aeronautics. In keeping with the spirit of Aviation History Month, we decided to chronicle the exciting pathway that has brought Vaughn College to the forefront of aeronautics education.

So, how did it all begin?

In 1932, the institution opened its doors as the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics and trained the first generation of aircraft maintenance technicians at a hangar in Newark Airfield, which was the world’s busiest airport at the time.

By the late 1930s, the New York area welcomed its first airport―LaGuardia―pioneered by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Coincidentally, LaGuardia befriended George Vaughn and Casey Jones during World War I, where he served in Europe as a member of the New York National Guard.

To align with his passion and dedication to aviation, LaGuardia wanted a world-class training facility to support his vision of a world-class airport. This idea inspired him to offer Vaughn and Jones space at the airport where they could expand their institution. This generous offer sparked their shared vision for keeping New York at the forefront of aviation. Vaughn and Jones accepted and the Academy of Aeronautics was born.

By the mid-to-late 1940s, after World War II ended, Vaughn and Jones decided to consolidate their operations at the Academy of Aeronautics at the LaGuardia location and permanently shut down their Newark campus.

In 2004, the College of Aeronautics officially became Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology.

Campus upgrades over the years

In 1998, the campus underwent a major transformation that included a 35,000 square-foot addition which consisted of a new lobby, an observation deck overlooking LaGuardia Airport, a two-story classroom and a hangar.

And in 2007, to broaden their campus community, a 200-bed residence hall was built for students.

Developing a growing program

In the early years, Vaughn decided to add aeronautical engineering technology and the nation’s first aircraft design program to expand their curriculum and draw a wider scope of students. This academic broadening was a critical move to position the institution as a full-scale college to serve not only the maintenance needs of the industry but the design, engineering and management aspects as well.

Over the years, the institution added numerous new bachelor of science (BS) degree programs in flight, airline and airport management, general management, electronic engineering, and mechatronic, electrical and mechanical engineering. The College also maintained its commitment to enhance its students’ learning experience with the addition of renovated laboratories and classrooms, a sophisticated flight simulator, an air traffic control laboratory and a 3D prototyping innovation center, just to name a few.

Long history of opportunities

Vaughn’s various industry connections―which include aeronautical design companies, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ)―and close relationships with area airlines and airports have set the pace for the College’s high job placement rate. You can find Vaughn alumni working at every airport in the area, including LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and Westchester County Airport.

More than 90% of Vaughn’s students receive some form of financial aid to make their dreams affordable and within reach.

Many things, including the name, have changed at Vaughn over the years, but its vision has remained the same: to train its graduates to enter the workforce with the education that their profession demands and the skills to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Have questions for us or want to learn more about our aviation programs?  Learn more