Affording a college education may be easier than you think. The window to complete your Federal Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA®, begins on October 1 for the 2022-2023 school year. College students currently enrolled for 2021-2022 have until June 30, 2022 to file their applications. Start filling out your FAFSA application here.

At Vaughn College, we are committed to making our degree programs affordable to all students by offering a wide range of financial aid options to help them on their paths to success. In fact, 90 percent of our students are eligible for some type of financial aid, with the average package totaling more than $15,000 per year. We are dedicated to working with every student to help them get the assistance they need to pursue their education, but there are some things students need to do first to make this happen. Here’s what you need to know:

What must be done first?

Completing the FAFSA is the first step in applying for grants, student loans and other types of financial aid. The FAFSA is not only your gateway to applying for federal aid, but it also opens up opportunities for institutional aid in the forms of scholarships and other financial aid programs. Vaughn offers federal, state and institutional funds to help students pay for their education.

Important deadlines for completing your FAFSA application

Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year begins October 1, 2021. Students who plan on attending a four-year college, university, community college or career school are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as close to October 1 as possible to improve their chances of qualifying for the most aid.

Students seeking financial aid who are currently enrolled in the 2021-2022 school year have until June 30, 2022 to complete their FAFSA applications.

Learn about all important FAFSA deadlines.

How the process works

All student applications submitted for admission to Vaughn go through one of two processes to be considered for financial aid:

Merit Aid: All student applications are considered for an academic merit award based on a holistic evaluation of their academic profiles. Due to the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, some student credentials have changed. Vaughn typically requires that all applicants for a Bachelor of Science degree must submit SAT or ACT test scores. In lieu of those scores, applicants will take a Vaughn-administered assessment test to determine their program acceptance and course placement. Grade point average as well as other academic factors may qualify potential candidates for merit awards ranging from $2,000 to $15,200 per academic year.

Need-Based Aid: All students applying for admission are encouraged to complete the FAFSA. This form is filed with the U.S. Department of Education and is used by aid providers to determine the amount of the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC)—which is how much money the student’s family can expect to contribute toward their child’s college education.

The amount of aid is then determined by calculating the difference between the cost of the education and the family’s EFC. This gap is covered by offering qualifying students’ money through Pell grants, scholarships, work-study programs and low-interest loans that are either subsidized or unsubsidized. For students who qualify for a Pell grant, Vaughn offers grants based on need, among other forms of financial aid.

In New York State, students can also qualify to receive aid from the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which helps eligible residents pay their tuition at approved schools located in the state.

Another option is a Parent PLUS Loan, where parents with established credit can borrow enough money to pay any educational cost (e.g. flight fees) not covered by other types of financial aid.

We are here to help

We understand the challenges that students are facing as they try to navigate through the pandemic. To address the concerns of face-to-face interactions, we are encouraging the use of digital tools to support our students. Offices are currently operating with limited staff on-campus, and Vaughn is utilizing Zoom as an alternative to face-to-face meetings.

If you need help with financial aid, one of our representatives will assist you and your family with information on deadlines for student aid applications, submitting applications and ways to help pay for your education.

How to connect with a financial aid representative from Vaughn

  • Email  and one of our financial aid representatives will set up a time to contact you.
  • Call 718.429.6600, extension 100 and someone will get back to you within 24 hours.
  • We have a Financial Aid Zoom Room with set hours which you can join at any time, here’s how:
      • Visit: and enter meeting ID: 678 686 441
      • Hours: Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
      • Note: In-person service is offered by appointment only.

Don’t let the cost of a college education get in the way of pursuing your dream career. Vaughn offers degree programs in engineering and technology, management and aviation. Discover the possibilities of where a futureproof degree from Vaughn can take you.

Welcome back to a new school year! If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that we are more resilient than we ever thought. So, give yourself a pat on the back as you prepare to make this year the best one yet.

In this blog, we outline important information you need for the upcoming year, along with some great tips to help you kickstart a successful semester. It’s time to reset your mind: “New Year, New Me!”

What you need to know for the fall semester at Vaughn

Beginning this fall, we are implementing a flexible approach to learning. Students and faculty members will have options that best suit their learning styles and modality of instruction. Most students will have the option to attend class either in-person or via Zoom. As for instruction, we are planning for on-campus, online synchronous (learning together) or online asynchronous (self-paced) options. Check out our complete list of schedules, courses and important campus information here.

Returning to campus safely

Vaughn is committed to maintaining a safe educational environment. Our president, Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo, stresses the importance of returning to campus safely amidst the ongoing pandemic.

Beginning on the first day of class, students will not be permitted in any campus facility without at least one vaccine shot. Everyone will need to be fully vaccinated no later than Monday, October 4. Everyone will need to keep their masks on when moving through the campus and in classrooms. To help in this effort, Vaughn has partnered with VitalCheck, a telehealth screening program, to certify vaccination status, as well as exemptions, and to perform health screenings of all students, faculty and staff. You will need to have uploaded your vaccination status no later than Wednesday, September 1. For more information on vaccination rules, click here.

Getting back in the campus groove

Returning to campus is an exciting time, as students will reconnect with friends and classmates while meeting and making new ones. It’s normal to feel a bit uneasy. After all, most have been attending classes remotely. You may have lost that mojo to get back to the classroom. Did you know that Vaughn’s office of counseling and wellness (OCW) provides counseling and other supportive services for the overall health and well-being of students? If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or just need someone to talk to, we invite you to visit the office of counseling and wellness and speak with Dr. Stacey Dutil.

Tips to reboot your mind

To help you get back into the campus groove, we have put together five helpful tips to reboot your mind for a successful semester:

  1. Go to orientations—Familiarizing yourself with the campus and the latest rules will help to ease your mind and make you better prepared for the semester.
  2. Get organized—Preparing for your classes now will make life easier once they are in full swing. Be sure to have everything you need so that you’ll be ready to go without any delays.
  3. Attend all your classes—Set your alarm clock! Attending all your classes regularly will keep you on track with assignments and prevent you from falling behind.
  4. Meet with professors and advisors—Getting to know your professors and advisers is a key part of building strong relationships for success.
  5. Don’t procrastinate—A wise person once said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Tips for personal growth and well-being

Life is all about balance. Yes, it’s important to study and earn good grades, but cutting loose and nurturing your inner self is just as important. Here are some tips to help create a happy mind and spirit:

  1. Create a playlist of your favorite songs—It’s been known that studying to music can relax your mind, increase concentration and improve your focus, among other benefits. Check out our blog, “Studying to Music Can Put Your Brain in the Right Frame of Mind.”
  2. Expand your circle by joining clubs—Meeting new people, especially ones with similar interests, is a great way of taking your mind off the books and enjoying some camaraderie.
  3. Stay healthy—Getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising is more important than you think. It’s all about time management. Set a time to go to bed every night and stick to it. (We’ll give you a pass on the weekends.) Fill your fridge with healthy foods and make time to go for a quick walk during the day. (You’ll get your steps in on campus.) Or, hit the gym when you can.
  4. “Me” time—This may be the best one of all. It’s important to set aside time every day to do something that brings you joy and relaxes your mind.

A message from our president Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo on returning to campus

We are committed to maintaining a safe and high-quality educational environment for everyone and need your understanding to make it work as smoothly as possible. I ask for your patience and flexibility as we navigate this “new normal.” In the meantime, I strongly encourage everyone who can to get vaccinated. The latest variant of the virus is causing the rates to increase across the country and vaccination is the best possible option for a return to normal and the safety of the Vaughn community. The latest information can also be found here. Thank you for your continued cooperation.

Have you ever thought about becoming a pilot? There’s never been a better time—or place—to earn your wings. Vaughn College has an exclusive partnership with Heritage Flight Academy which gives Vaughn aircraft operations students a place to practice flying as they work to achieve their flight certificates and ratings in addition to earning their bachelor’s degree.

We had the privilege of speaking to Neil Visse, executive vice president of Heritage Flight Academy, to discuss how the College’s exclusive long-standing relationship with Heritage has been instrumental in paving the way for hundreds of Vaughn students each year to get their flight certificates and achieve their dreams of becoming pilots.

Why now is the best time to become a pilot

The ongoing pilot shortage is more prevalent than ever before. After the lockdowns due to the pandemic, travelers are taking to the skies sooner than expected, leaving airlines trailing behind the demand. “There’s never been a better time to become a pilot,” said Visse. “The aviation industry went through a dry spell when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Between pilots taking early retirement and those who were furloughed during that time, the industry is seeing a pilot shortage even greater than before.”

Pathway to becoming a pilot

Heritage plane in flightBecoming a pilot is an exciting venture. Students not only learn the academics of flight operations through programs like the aircraft operations degree at Vaughn, but they get to put that knowledge into action—at the controls and in the air—at flight schools such as Heritage Flight Academy. Since 2013, Heritage Flight Academy, located at MacArthur Airport on Long Island, has trained hundreds of Vaughn aircraft operations students as part of its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved Part 141 training operation. “We have seen substantial growth over the years,” Visse said. “We have invested not only in our state-of-the-art aircraft but increased our professional staff and operating space. Currently, we have between 100-120 Vaughn students enrolled in our program at any given time.”

The process to make it happen

Students enrolled in the four-year aircraft operations (flight) degree program at Vaughn can begin their training at Heritage in their freshmen year. Visse walked us through the process of how students can begin earning their certificates and ratings:

Freshman year—Achieving a private pilot license

Required flight time: 35 hours, which includes time with flight instructor and solo flight time.

Students will take their first private pilot course (two semesters) at Vaughn simultaneously with the flight-training course at Heritage. This allows students the benefit of demonstrating their academic knowledge as they apply it to their flight lessons. Students can expect to complete their private pilot license certificate by the end of their freshmen year.

Sophomore year—Instrument rating/commercial rating

Required flight time for instrument rating: 35 dual hours with instructor, including flight simulator time.

Instrument rating—During the first semester of sophomore year, students will work toward earning their instrument rating, which permits them to take off, fly and land using the instruments in their aircraft—under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). Students who pass their instrument rating tests will then earn a private pilot’s license with instrument rating.

Required flight time for commercial rating: 120 total hours (65 hours of dual flight time and 55 hours of solo flight time).

Commercial rating—During the second semester of sophomore year, students can work toward earning their commercial pilot rating. This rating requires the most hours and allows them to fly for hire. The flight-training program at Heritage includes ratings for both single and multi-engine aircraft at the commercial level.

Junior year—Certified flight instructor airplane and certified flight instructor instrument ratings

Heritage plane cockpit and controlsRequired flight time: 35 hours.

During their junior year, students will work toward earning the next two licenses with the objective that during their senior year they build up flight time by serving as flight instructors, where they will teach skills to new students interested in earning their flight ratings. According to Visse, the goal is for students to complete all their flight training by the end of their junior year—including their flight instructor airplane and instrument ratings.

With all of these ratings under their belts, students can complete their degrees and be well positioned to enter the workforce. “Students will not have any problem finding a job as a pilot today,” Visse said.

There are certain things to keep in mind when considering whether or not to become a pilot, including the additional cost and time it takes to earn required certificates and ratings. Visse suggests that students speak with a financial aid counselor to discuss their opportunities for financial assistance as well attending a Vaughn open house or information session to talk to student pilots about their experiences. Students can also schedule a virtual meeting with an admissions counselor to discuss their questions and next steps.

The Vaughn/Heritage advantage

There’s no denying that becoming a pilot can be time intensive—not to mention expensive. Visse explains how Heritage shares Vaughn’s passion of seeing students succeed. That’s why this is the only flight school to offer ‘flexible scheduling’ which is a huge advantage for students with busy schedules. Heritage will work around work or class schedules so students can train whenever it’s convenient for them – schedules can change weekly. Additionally, Heritage offers a flat-rate program for Vaughn students when purchasing flight hours, which means after students pay for a certain number of hours, they earn free hours – this makes it much more affordable. “The resilience of our students throughout the pandemic has been amazing,” Visse said proudly. “We are proud to offer unique programs designed to not only help our students succeed but relieve some of their stress at the same time.”

A rewarding partnership

Four Vaughn flight students at HeritageFor the past 15 years, Visse has been an integral part of the aviation industry. While he has enjoyed flying as a pilot, over the years his path has “detoured” to the operational side of the business. “There’s never been a time that I didn’t think about flying,” he said. “My dad was a pilot. I guess you can say it’s in my blood.” Visse said Heritage has seen its fair share of changes over the years. “Thanks to our incredible partnership with Vaughn College, Heritage Flight Academy is now the largest operator at MacArthur Airport,” he said. “Watching our students move on with their careers is bittersweet, but we are proud knowing that we—along with Vaughn—were instrumental in making their dreams of becoming a pilot a reality.”

There’s excitement in the air for aviation students, as Vaughn College announced its partnership with JetBlue Airways as part of the airline’s ‘University Gateway’ Pilot Pathway Program. This is the airline’s longest-running pathway program that allows flight students who attend Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI)-accredited institutions—such as Vaughn—to apply and interview for positions at JetBlue while completing their collegiate courses. Once accepted, students will follow a defined path to gain experience and build their flight time before joining JetBlue as a first officer upon completion of the program.

Snapshot of program requirements

Founded in 2007, the University Gateway Program is an invaluable resource for any aviation student attending an AABI-accredited institution who is seeking a career as a pilot. You can apply to the program if you:

  • Graduate from an AABI-accredited institution with a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in your major
  • Serve as a certified flight instructor for at least 500 hours

For more information visit: University Gateway — JetBlue Pilot Gateway Programs

Vaughn embraces partnerships to further students’ futureproof careers

As one of the country’s premier aviation and engineering institutions, Vaughn provides students with the education and opportunity of today in order for them to engage in the careers of tomorrow. The University Gateway Program is just one more way Vaughn students have a competitive edge to gain futureproof careers in aviation. Vaughn also partners with Delta Air Lines to give its aviation maintenance students an enhanced, hands-on, real-world education, and works with Heritage Flight Academy so Vaughn’s aircraft operations (flight) students have direct access to the latest technology, equipment and skilled flight instructors. Need more reasons to fuel your passion? Read our blog, “Ten Reasons for Landing a Career in Aviation.”

“Vaughn has a long and accomplished history in educating students in all aspects of aviation including flight training,” said Domenic Proscia, vice president of training at Vaughn College. “The need for well-trained pilots to fill the looming shortage is crucial and working with an aviation leader like JetBlue to prepare candidates for successful careers is an incredible opportunity for Vaughn students.”

Do you have a dream of becoming a pilot? An aviation degree from Vaughn College can be your pathway to the skies.

The dream of earning a college degree is becoming a reality for students, thanks to opportunity programs that include the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and the Collegiate Science and Technology Program (CSTEP), both of which are funded by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Through a partnership with Vaughn College, these programs are giving New York State students a jump-start on their future—a futureproof education that begins at Vaughn.

This month, we are proud to share the amazing educational opportunities these programs offer and spotlight some of the success stories of Vaughn students who are pursuing their dreams because of these programs.

About HEOP

HEOP was designed for New York State residents who, without academic and financial support, might not be able to attend college. This program is an important part of life at Vaughn. The primary objective of HEOP is to help provide a broad range of services to help students enroll and succeed in college, which aligns with Vaughn’s mission and vision – to inspire a diverse community of students to achieve success with a transformational education that creates a lifetime of opportunity. Some of the academic and financial support services HEOP offers include the summer immersion program, tutorial services, counseling services and financial assistance.

Who is eligible for HEOP?

Individuals must meet certain criteria to be eligible for HEOP. These include:

  • Being a New York State resident for at least one year prior to enrolling in a post-secondary institution
  • Being a first-time freshman student
  • Being a graduate of an approved high school, or having obtained a high school equivalency diploma
  • Meeting the economic eligibility guidelines established by NYSED
  • Meeting the academic eligibility guidelines established by Vaughn College HEOP program

Vaughn students find success through hard work and HEOP

Vaughn is proud to be a part of the success of its students. Through hard work and the help of HEOP, students like Xylene DeCoteau ’20 and Zarin Tasnim ’21 are one step closer to living their dreams.

Xylene DeCoteau

In May 2020, Xylene DeCoteau received her bachelor’s degree in aircraft operations after an impressive academic career at Vaughn. While she was a student, she earned several licenses, which included her private pilot license (PPL), instrument rating (IR) and commercial pilot license (CPL) for both single and multi-engine aircraft. She has also earned her certified flight instructor airplane (CFIA) and certified flight instructor instrument (CFII) certificates, and she currently teaches and supports other students at Vaughn on a part-time basis.

“Everyone at Vaughn has supported my success, and I am happy and honored to have achieved so many of my goals. HEOP and hard work really made a difference. Plus, I get to fly and go to college at the same time. What can be better than that?”

Zarin Tasnim

Zarin Tasnim ’21 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in airport management. She overcame many cultural barriers, which included learning to speak English after having moved to New York from the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. After enrolling at Vaughn in 2017, the hard reality of not being able to afford the program forced her to begin the process of withdrawing from the College. HEOP provided Tasnim with the financial assistance she needed to remain a student at Vaughn.

“Without the support and guidance from HEOP and the Vaughn family, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Working as an airport manager will give me the experience that I need—right out of college—to help lay the groundwork for my future.”

Applying for Vaughn’s HEOP Program

If you are interested in applying for Vaughn’s HEOP program, you can start the process by sending an email to Melissa Teixeira at or Lauren Cajade at . They can help you determine if you are eligible and walk you through the various steps for admission.


CSTEP is intended to enable students to apply to college-level academic programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. Last fall, Vaughn implemented CSTEP to serve 100 students—at any given time and who are enrolled full-time—in a STEM-focused bachelor’s degree program. Like HEOP, CSTEP provides students with specific services related to the program. Depending on the student’s college level, the program will provide the following services to those enrolled:

  • Mentorship by professors at the College
  • Free gateway courses designed to increase student academic performance in fundamental courses
  • Supporting extracurricular activities, such as participation in student-led clubs and activities
  • Priority course registration for each semester the student is in CSTEP
  • Opportunities to participate in professional conferences, seminars and networking events
  • Opportunities to participate in career development events provided by the engineering department and the career services office
  • Eligibility to participate in the summer research program – a paid research program that is supported by CSTEP and Vaughn College under the supervision of faculty members
  • Participation in supplemental instructors’ program and tutoring services

Who is eligible for CSTEP?

The eligibility requirements for CSTEP differ from HEOP. A student who is eligible to be part of the CSTEP must be:

  • A New York State resident
  • In good academic standing (high school cumulative GPA of 3.0, or college cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher)
  • Enrolled full-time in an AAS or BS program in engineering or engineering technology at Vaughn

Additionally, the student must be one of the following historically underrepresented minority groups:

  • Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian or Alaskan Native


Applying for Vaughn’s CSTEP Program

If you meet the eligibility requirements and are interested in applying for the CSTEP program, fill out an application. For general inquiries about the program, please send an email to . For specific inquires or assistance, please reach out to Dr. Amir Elzawawy at or Cecelia Izzo at .

In summary, if you have your sights set on attending college – reach out to us and we can help you determine your eligibility for these programs and get you the support you need to achieve your dreams.

At Vaughn College, we provide students with the education and opportunity of today so they can be ready for the careers of tomorrow. We think of it as preparing our students to be futureproof and able to withstand anything that’s thrown their way. Our dedication to our students’ success speaks for itself. Did you know 99 percent of Vaughn graduates—89 percent in their field of study*—are either employed or continue their education within one year of graduation? And here’s how we do it:

Career Services                         

We can all use a little guidance once in a while. Think of our office of career services as your career GPS system—guiding you every step of the way through your education and on to your next steps, creating a unique pathway to achieve your goals. Did you know Vaughn students are required to complete a career development course? This course is instrumental as it lays the foundation for landing a job. Students learn vital skills that include résumé and cover letter preparation, interviewing techniques, networking and various job search strategies.

Financial Aid

Don’t let the cost of an education get in the way of pursuing your dreams. Did you know more than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid—with the average package totaling more than $15,000 per year? Easing the overall educational costs and college expenses is another way that Vaughn helps its students prepare for success.

Professional Conferences

Vaughn encourages and provides resources for its students to attend professional conferences where they can position themselves for the right job, meet the right people and even receive interviews from employers for available internships and jobs. Attending and participating in conferences is one more way that students can up their game for a successful future and set themselves apart from the competition. Some meetings and conferences our students have attended include: American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education (AEEE). (Many of these organizations are now hosting virtual conferences.) Here are some of the benefits students receive from attending one or more conferences:

  • Priceless job exposure
  • Expansive networking opportunities
  • Unparalleled learning experience in the field
  • Opportunity to present their papers or projects
  • Learning about jobs in industries worth pursuing after graduation

Hands-on Coursework

Learning is complex. If you are a student, you know that it’s not always what you learn from books that gives you knowledge but applying that knowledge to real-life experiences that brings a concept to life. At Vaughn, part of our students’ success comes from the hands-on experience they gain in our labs and flight simulator complex. To further that knowledge, our professors teach from experience, bringing years of working in an industry we serve to the classroom. As the COVID-19 pandemic has driven much of Vaughn’s coursework online, its professors have risen to the challenge and kept students engaged through asynchronous and synchronous learning, Zoom conferencing and D2L instruction (which is an online learning platform). They have found innovative ways to maintain the hands-on experience online. As one of our mechatronic engineering graduates, Jefferson Maldonato ’16 said: “The most important thing is to be able to apply what you have learned, stay true to your passion and maintain a solid work ethic. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. It’s not always about what you know but about the skills behind what you know that can make the difference.” Read more about Jefferson’s success story.


Internships are an asset to learning and gaining hands-on experience in your chosen field. Vaughn has secured relationships with a broad scope of industry partners that include the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), NASA, major airlines and airports and manufacturing companies with government military contracts, just to name a few. Read about Samantha Vitez ’21, and how Vaughn’ s career services department helped her land an “internship of a lifetime” at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

Career Fairs

Career fairs are exciting opportunities for students to meet and build professional relationships with employers in industries that Vaughn serves. Bringing today’s industry leaders and businesses to our students through career fairs is another example of how Vaughn prepares its students for success. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Vaughn has started hosting virtual career fairs which have been a huge success. Keep an eye on our events page for updates about the upcoming virtual spring career fair.

Are you ready to pursue your futureproof career? Discover the possibilities with an engineering and technology, management or aviation degree from Vaughn College.

If you are a prospective student, we welcome you to attend our Spring Virtual Open House on April 8 at 6 p.m. Learn more about the event and how you can register.


*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.

As 2020 comes to an end, the future can bring hope and a fresh outlook for a positive year ahead. Making resolutions is one way to keep on track while balancing busy lifestyles. Did you that know making small changes in your daily routine can lead to big results that can last a lifetime?

Listed here are some new year’s resolutions to help build your personal growth and nurture your well-being, especially during these difficult times. After all, having a positive mindset is the key to starting each day with motivation and determination. Vaughn has kept students and faculty connected and engaged throughout the pandemic by offering weekly virtual events such as yoga, dance sessions, warrior bootcamp, movie and game nights, sports discussions and more.

Let’s begin by taking a deep breath. Now, open your mind as we walk you through some simple ways you can calm yourself, stay focused and have the best year yet.

Schedule “me time”

African American girl relaxing reading book

As distance learning continues, you already know how important it is to keep a schedule. Taking your education seriously is important, but perhaps even more important is taking some time for yourself. Scheduling “me time” is the best way to recharge and reboot your mind before hitting the books again. And remember: It’s not wasting time. It’s your special time to unwind. Here are some ideas to add to your own list of favorite ways to spend your “me time”:

  • Schedule a workout. Exercising boosts both your physical and mental energy levels. Take a quick walk or run outside, do a yoga or pilates video, or create your own workout routine.
  • Catch up on your favorite TV shows. Everyone needs that “brainless” hour away from their studies. This is just the kind of break you need when your brain needs a rest.
  • Listen to your favorite music. Music soothes the mind and calms the soul.
  • Take a power nap. A quick 20-minute snooze is enough to recharge your body and mind for the rest of the day.

Nurture your well-being

African American girl meditating

We all need some pampering once in a while. But did you ever think of ways to pamper your mind? Feeling calm and healthy begins with nurturing yourself from the inside-out. Here are some easy ways to stay in sync with your mind-body balance:

  • Read an excerpt every day from your favorite motivational book
  • Take a break from social media
  • Turn off the notifications on your phone
  • Carve out some quiet time for meditation or spiritual enrichment
  • Work on a puzzle
  • Start a new hobby, like yoga, knitting or cooking
  • Keep paper handy for drawing, coloring or doodling
  • Write in a daily journal to get your thoughts down on paper

Develop healthy eating habits

Students preparing healthy food

What you put “in” your body can make all the difference in how your body and mind perform throughout the day. Meal-prepping is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Having healthy snacks and meals that are prepared ahead of time makes eating healthy a piece of cake. (Yes, you can have your cake and eat it, too—in moderation.) Try preparing large meals on Sundays and Wednesdays. This is a great way to keep healthy grab-and-go snacks available and your meals prepared on busy nights.

Stay connected via Zoom or other platforms

Student communicating on Zoom

Keeping in touch with family and friends is an important part of personal growth. As the nation continues to practice social distancing, using platforms such as Zoom allows visiting “face-to-face” when meeting in person is not possible. Plan on setting aside a day and time when all members can join the call. Keeping connected with those close to you is one resolution that you’ll want to keep for years to come.

Have you made any new year’s resolutions for 2021? Hopefully these tips have been helpful in planning your year ahead. Vaughn College is excited to welcome back its students to the 2021 spring semester. Don’t forget to check out all the virtual health, fitness and counseling events Vaughn has to offer.

Discover all that’s possible with a futureproof degree from Vaughn, with programs in engineering and technology, management and aviation. Apply today!

With the fall semester in full swing, today’s college students are settling into their academic grooves as many continue to learn virtually in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through it all is an important part of keeping the body and mind in balance to ensure a successful and productive learning experience.

Did you know that your eating, drinking and sleeping habits have a big impact on how you feel throughout the day? If you’re thinking you could use a boost, you’re not alone. You may just need to tweak a few things in your schedule.

As part of Vaughn College’s ongoing commitment to our students’ success and well-being, we have outlined some beneficial lifestyle tips to help you wake up feeling great, boost your energy and bring you an overall sense of well-being. Think of it as a wellness check up—with no doctor visit required!

Wake up feeling great

Let’s face it. Unless you’re a morning person, waking up early is not fun. If you’re someone who has hit the snooze button one too many times, you know all too well how sleeping-in can throw off your day, causing you to then rush and stress out. Here are some habits to try that may help you wake up feeling great and ready to conquer your day:

  • Stretching—You don’t have to know yoga to reap the benefits of stretching. Setting aside about 15 minutes in the morning can provide positive energy and leave you feeling like a new person.
  • Relaxing “me” time—Enjoying a relaxing morning where you’re doing something that makes you happy is critical to setting a positive tone for the day.

(Just be sure to give yourself enough time. This may mean going to bed, and waking up earlier.)

  • Getting enough sleep—This can be easier said than done, but getting enough sleep can make or break your day. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. Experts say to avoid certain things before bedtime, such as caffeine, heavy meals and checking your phone or emails.

Drink this, not that

Experts agree: The first beverage you drink in the morning may have a lasting effect on how you get through your day—not to mention encouraging hydration and maintaining healthy blood pressure. If you’re a coffee drinker, relax. You won’t have to give up your coffee. Here are some beverages that our experts give a thumbs-up to, as well as what you should avoid drinking in the morning:


  • Water—Drinking water first thing in the morning can help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Coffee—Nutritionists agree morning coffee can boost productivity and contribute to a positive morning routine.
  • Tea—Tea, like coffee, has a similar effect with added benefits. Drinking tea has been known to help with diabetes management and prevention.

Don’t drink

  • Soda or energy drinks—These highly-processed beverages contain large amounts of sugar and can lead to a mid-morning sugar crash.
  • Fad drinks and detoxes.
  • High calorie or high caffeinated drinks—These beverages can make your body crave them all day long, thus causing you to possibly experience a sugar crash.

Food to fuel your mornings

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But if you’re like some people, eating breakfast may come later in the morning or not at all. Did you know that eating the right kind of food in the morning has an energizing effect that can last all day long? Here are some foods to try that can provide you with the morning boost you’re looking for:

  • Oats—Before you say, “boring” give oatmeal another chance. Adding milk, fruit or honey to your oats is a delicious way to enjoy oatmeal again while getting the added benefit of fiber, antioxidants and an added boost of energy.
  • Greek yogurt—This protein-packed food is a smart alternative to regular yogurt. Add fresh fruit, honey, oats or cereal to make it even more delectable.
  • Honey—You may think honey is only good when you have a sore throat or you’re not feeling well. But did you know honey is a delicious way to sweeten your breakfast naturally without using sugar? Try adding it to your oatmeal or yogurt. Honey will not only give you a lasting energy boost, but it will also help prevent a sugar crash.
  • Eggs—This one may not come as a surprise. Eggs contain protein and B vitamins that are known to maintain your energy level more efficiently. Additionally, they are versatile and can be prepared many ways. Try switching them up to give your meals more variety.
  • Salmon—You may not think of salmon as a breakfast food, but maybe it’s time you should. Salmon is a great alternative to more traditional sugary breakfast items. It’s nutrient-packed and helps boost your energy levels as you fight off fatigue.

Self-care tips to de-stress and stay focused

Social distancing and learning virtually may not be what you expected this semester. We understand it may be challenging at times. The good news is there are easy and inexpensive ways to offset your daily routine by adding fun activities to your daily lifestyle. The smallest distractions can lead to the biggest impacts on your mental health and well-being. Here are some fun things to consider that will help you take a break from your routine:

  • Watch your favorite shows, and try adding a comedy to your mix. Laughter is one of the best ways to bring positive vibes to your day.
  • Compile a mix of your top tunes. Music has a therapeutic affect on our emotions and can bring much needed stress relief after a long day.
  • Take a break from social media.
  • Get up and exercise. Remaining active helps to relieve stress, tension and built-up energy. Additionally, the release of endorphins can be a good mood-booster!

For more lifestyle tips, read our blog: “Is Distance Learning Closing in on You? Try These Mood-Boosting Tips.”

If you need help adjusting to distance learning or have other questions or concerns, you can find more resources, contact information and regular coronavirus updates on our website at Remember, we are moving forward together!

Vaughn Professor Draws from Years of Experience

Today’s young engineers are entering an unprecedented market, as their skills are in high demand due to the specific industry needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. It therefore comes as no surprise that with high demand comes a competitive climate. So, what does it take for young engineers to edge out the competition and land the job?

This month, we turned to Dr. Shouling He, engineering professor, adviser and program coordinator for the mechatronic engineering program at Vaughn College, for her advice and tips on how young engineers can become top contenders in today’s hottest engineering market.

Build from the basics

Dr. He began by reinforcing the basic building blocks for anyone with a passion for engineering. She said in order for students to be successful in the field, their work ethic must be deeply rooted in these fundamental elements:

  • Being a practical problem solver
  • Ensuring the solution to the problem makes sense, and particularly paying attention to units and the order of magnitude in engineering design and analysis
  • Breaking a complex problem into smaller and manageable pieces, and then solving them step-by-step
  • Ability to work in teams and being a good project planner

Top skills for today’s market

Today’s engineering market is fast-paced and changing before our eyes. Dr. He explained that for young engineers to capitalize on this trend, they should have a broad range of knowledge. She said Vaughn’s mechatronic engineering program is the perfect fit for today’s ever-changing market. The program focuses on mechanical, electrical and computer engineering, which are considered among the top skills that companies are seeking today. Were you aware that Vaughn’s mechatronic engineering program is one of only four mechatronic programs in the country accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC)? This distinction signifies the rigor of the program and is a reflection of Vaughn’s dedication of giving students the education and tools they need in order to have successful careers in the field of engineering.

Landing the job

In today’s COVID-19 era, competition may be more prevalent than ever. Competition can, however, be a good thing. It drives one to up their game and demands them to fine-tune their skills. Dr. He advises her students to focus on both their personal qualities as well as their professional ones. Here are some tips she offers young engineers to gear up for the job market:

Things to do during a job search:

– Read the job postings carefully

– Fine-tune résumés and prepare best samples from your course projects and labs

– Research the company


Key qualities to edge out the competition:

– Focus on strengths and do not feel intimidated

– Be an excellent communicator and share your thoughts and opinions

– Have confidence in your abilities

– Have hands-on experience

– Have a positive attitude and be willing to work in a team

In addition to the tips listed above, Dr. He emphasized the importance of students attending engineering conferences and job fairs hosted by Vaughn. Even in today’s climate, conference and fairs can be attended virtually. Did you know that more than 164 companies recruited at job fairs hosted by Vaughn last year? Vaughn students have landed jobs with industry leaders that include Lockheed Martin, Boeing Company and Daimler Trucks North America, just to name a few. Read the success story about recent Vaughn graduate, Atif Saeed ’20, and how his degree in mechatronic engineering landed him a job as a mechanical engineer at Lockheed Martin.

Attending conferences has proven to play a vital role in standing out among the competition. Read more about how attending these conferences can set you apart from the competition in our blog, “Top Conferences to Attend as an Aviation or Engineering Student.”

Standing above the competition

Will you be graduating soon? Earning your degree is a milestone and one to be proud of. Combining your knowledge with your unique personal strengths can prove to be a winning combination to a successful career. Here are some additional tips that Dr. He believes can position you for a chance to land your dream job:

  • Be willing to work hard
  • Complete tasks on time
  • Accept there will be challenges to face as technology changes rapidly
  • Have excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Have the capability to learn new things—and be prepared to learn them yourself

Dr. He’s Vision

With almost 35 years of experience in the fields of aerospace engineering and artificial intelligence, among others, Dr. He brings a host of knowledge to Vaughn and her students. During her nine years at Vaughn, she said nothing has made her happier than seeing her students follow their passion for engineering. As a woman engineer herself, she is proud to see more female students wanting to enter the field. “As a mostly male-dominated field, we are seeing women having an advantage over men in some aspects of engineering,” Dr. He explained. “Women pay more attention to detail and tend to be more consistent—especially when it comes to computer programming.”

As the world continues to change, Dr. He said one thing remains constant. “We give our students the knowledge and skills they can build on throughout their lives,” she said. “The exciting part is seeing how they will use them to develop and design new concepts and new products for our future.”

Discover all that’s possible with an engineering and technology degree from Vaughn College. Apply today. You can read more about the latest surge in demand in our recent blog, “Demand for Engineers and Technologists Surge Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic.”


It was an exciting time for Vaughn College as we welcomed back our students and faculty to the fall 2020 semester. We understand back-to-school is looking different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In keeping with our commitment to our students’ success and safety, as well as our dedication to a high-quality educational environment, Vaughn has worked diligently over the past months to make the transition to online learning smooth and convenient.

In addition to having moved all classes to an online format in a matter of just one week, Vaughn created a lineup of virtual sessions, events and services designed to not only give peace of mind to students and families, but to provide them with the information and tools they need to succeed.

The student affairs department hosted a virtual information session, which offered families and students a platform to ask questions about how Vaughn would be operating in the fall, and how it planned to ensure each child’s safety and success. Here is an outline of the College’s flexible approach to learning:

A flexible approach to learning

Through careful consideration, Vaughn planned a flexible approach to learning that gives students and faculty members some options that incorporated best matches to student learning styles with the modality of instruction. Four types of instruction exist that fall within two categories:  synchronous (at the same time) or asynchronous (self-paced). Here is how they break down:

  • Synchronous (at the same time)
    • Face-to-face—These courses are taught face-to-face in a traditional classroom setting.
    • Online—These courses will be taught fully online.*
  • Asynchronous (self-paced)
    • Hybrid—Hybrid courses are approximately 50 percent online and 50 percent on-campus.        Students can expect to attend lectures online while going to labs in person.*
    • Online (traditional online)—These courses operate fully online with all content delivered entirely asynchronously.

How virtual learning nurtures life-building skills

We understand how “going off to college” may currently mean staying closer to home. This could actually be a good thing. And here’s why: Did you know virtual learning could help with personal growth? It’s true. Here are some ways virtual learning can help you develop life-building skills:

  • Builds confidence
  • Develops discipline
  • Inspires independence
  • Creates organizational skills
  • Encourages becoming a self-starter

Here are some of the virtual experiences Vaughn has offered, and will continue to offer:

Virtual Information and Registration Events to Support Students

Express Registration Events—To ease the enrollment process for students, Vaughn hosted express registration events for continuing students and implemented a new ombudsman tool, named “the Zoom Front Desk,” to make registering for upcoming semesters simple and flexible.

College Success Programs—To help with college preparation, information sessions were hosted for prospective students interested in the Vaughn College Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP). This academic and financial support program helps students enroll in and succeed through graduation. The sessions provided insight to the success stories of current Vaughn HEOP students and the opportunities that are available. Read about HEOP graduate, Xylene DeCoteau and how the program helped her achieve her dream of flying and obtaining her bachelor’s degree in aircraft operations.

Transfer Information Sessions—An overview of Vaughn’s academic degrees and programs, a preview of the College’s fees, scholarship opportunities and the admissions process were presented during the sessions for interested transfer students. As a bonus, students in attendance were given the opportunity to apply to Vaughn for free as well as a chance to win a $500 scholarship!

Aviation Training Institute (ATI) Information Sessions—Designed for students interested in pursuing a futureproof career working as maintenance technicians in the fields of aviation, transportation and public utilities, this session explored the opportunities in this growing field, the aspects of Vaughn’s Aviation Training Institute and how to enroll.

 Fun events to reconnect are also in full swing at Vaughn

Wellness Sessions and Challenges

Wellness and nutrition go hand in hand to maintain a healthy body and mind. Numerous virtual events were led by the athletics, wellness and counseling departments to discuss these vital elements as they relate to the performance and health of Vaughn’s students and student athletes. Virtual counseling sessions with Dr. Stacey Dutil, director of counseling and wellness, are beneficial to students and provide another way Vaughn is helping support students’ well-being and success during this difficult time.

Read more about how you can improve your wellness and boost your mood while social distancing in our blog, “Is Distance Learning Closing in on You? Try These Mood-Boosting Tips.”

Here are some other great virtual sessions Vaughn has designed to keep students healthy and motivated while supporting academic success:

  • Workout boot camps
  • Tele-counseling
  • Tutoring
  • Academic services
  • Career services
  • Street hockey—residence hall parking lot
  • Volleyball tournament—residence hall parking lot
  • Welcome assembly—via Zoom
  • First-generation college mixer—via Zoom
  • Outdoor movie night—campus parking lot

A great year ahead

As we navigate through this “new normal,” we want to assure our students that their safety and education are our top priorities and we will continue to support them in every way we can. We look forward to a fruitful year for all, even during these challenging times.

Are you interested in pursuing a career in engineering and technology, management, or aviation? Today, Vaughn is more committed to your success than ever before. Did you know that 99 percent of our graduates—83 percent in their chosen field—are employed or continue their education within one year?

Discover all that’s possible. Apply to Vaughn College today.

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