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.

Since the coronavirus pandemic struck the United States earlier this year, engineers and technologists have remained in high demand. Dice, a leading technology career hub which connects employers with skilled technology professionals, analyzed the job positions and skills that rose highest in demand between February and March of 2020.

According to the results of the Dice Tech Job Report*, the need for technologists is more critical than ever, as technology plays a key role in making this unexpected transition to a remote workplace a smooth and successful one.

Why techies are critical employees

Source: Labor Insight Jobs (Burning Glass Technologies)

The shift from businesses operating from their headquarters to a remote workplace had employers— almost overnight—examining their remote frameworks. Technologists were needed just as quickly to execute critical components to expedite the widespread conversion.

Here are some examples of how businesses pivoted to maintain communication and operations between employees and clients:

  • Meetings became video calls (Zoom being one of the most popular)
  • Conferences turned into webinars
  • Conversations shifted to instant messaging

To keep business flowing as usual, engineers and tech professionals were needed to work behind the scenes to meet the demands of a changing world and workplace. Here are a few job titles of the tech professionals needed to make all of this happen:

  • Engineers
  • Cloud architects
  • Systems administrators
  • Cybersecurity experts
  • Application designers/developers

And, here are two critical components that tech professionals addressed to keep the remote workplace running smoothly:

  • Ensuring remote frameworks and infrastructure are secure
  • Ensuring employees had reliable connectivity to work from outside the office

Where the jobs are 

Source: Labor Insight Jobs (Burning Glass Technologies)

Technology, or tech giants, consulting agencies and government contractors top the list of tech employers who were hiring during the first quarter of 2020, according to the Dice report. This is great news for Vaughn College students who are currently pursuing engineering degrees, as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and the Boeing Company fall among the list of the top 25 tech companies listed in the Dice report.

Read about Vaughn graduate Atif Saeed ’20 who started a job at Lockheed Martin this summer working as a mechanical engineer.

Engineers and tech professionals may be interested to learn that between February and March of this year, online retail giant Amazon increased its technology job postings by 110 percent—looking specifically for software developers and network engineers. This comes as no surprise since consumers used Amazon as an alternative to shopping at grocery stores and other essential retailers during the lockdown. Walmart increased its technology postings by 64 percent in March—in addition to the 150,000 employees they pledged to hire—and specifically sought to hire software developers and project managers.

Source: Labor Insight Jobs (Burning Glass Technologies)

According to the Dice report, different states showed varying growth, depending on how each state reacted to the COVID-19 lockdown. In New York, for example, the state was quick to enforce a stricter “stay at home” order, compared to other states that were slower to require that non-essential employees work remotely.

Shift in job postings due to pandemic

Cybersecurity engineering jobs topped the list of having the most uptick in job postings, according to the Dice report. Cybersecurity engineering job postings surged by 20 percent during February and March of this year, as businesses took a proactive approach to combating pandemic-themed phishing and cyber-attacks. System engineers were also in demand, having placed at 11 percent, and showing a clear indication that companies were concerned with maintaining their network and computer infrastructure.

Discover a futureproof career at Vaughn

The job outlook for the engineering and technology fields remains bright, and will remain so, despite the recent surge in demand during the pandemic. If your passion lies within these futureproof fields, then now is the time to capture this opportunity by earning your engineering and technology degree from Vaughn College.

Discover all that is possible. Apply today.

*Source: Dice Tech Job Report

Preparing for life after college can be an exciting time for students. With nearly four million students receiving their diplomas this past spring—and several more over the coming months—having a clear game plan is key to planning a successful future. We can’t ignore the fact we are in the middle of a pandemic; however, with some clear guidance and determination, you can be well prepared to land a job and begin your career.

This month, Vaughn College has outlined five tips to help you prepare for life after college graduation.

  1. Stay connected
    Social distancing limits face-to-face interaction, but thanks to modern technology, staying connected is easier than ever. Reaching out to mentors, former classmates and your alumni association network are great ways to strengthen your relationships. Just like the expression, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” keeping connected can make all the difference.
  2. Learn to budget
    Living within your means is an important way to be fiscally responsible. Even if you have not yet landed your dream job, learning to budget your money now will likely keep you ahead of your finances down the road. And don’t forget to keep an eye on your credit score. Knowing your score is essential when you’re ready to lease an apartment, a vehicle or apply for a credit card. Tools like Annual Credit Report are a great way to keep track of your scores.
  3. Perfect your interviewing skills
    Now is the time to practice your interviewing skills. In light of social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, employers are opting to use video conferencing software, such as Zoom, to connect with job candidates instead of holding traditional in-person meetings. Take the time to record yourself and remember to dress professionally. And don’t forget to update your resume! You can read more in our blog, “Tips for a Successful Zoom Interview.”
  4. Improve your social media pages and email
    This one is important and could potentially make or break you when it comes to getting the job. Be sure to:

    • Remove any inappropriate photos and posts on your social media pages. Employers may check your profile and could eliminate you from their potential list of candidates based on your content.
    • Create or improve your LinkedIn profile.
    • Create a professional email address
    • Customize your email signature to include your name and/or professional brand. Be sure to add your LinkedIn address and any other contact information.
  5. Know your value
    You may not have a world of experience in your field just yet, but what you do have is a body of knowledge and skills that you’ve learned throughout your college career. Internships, college work study programs and other field experience adds to your value. It’s important to stay calm, confident, and focused. And as challenging as it may be during these uncertain times, try not to let the news or headlines affect your outlook on starting your career.

We hope these tips were helpful in preparing you for life after college. Vaughn’s dedication to its students’ success begins with a futureproof education and the support you need to succeed every step of the way.

Are you looking for a futureproof career? Discover all that’s possible with a degree from Vaughn College. Apply today.

Cultural differences have proven to play a role in pursuing a career. For 20-year-old Zarin Tasnim ’21, her dream of becoming a doctor was quickly replaced by pursuing a bachelor of science degree in airport management and taking air traffic control courses after she attended an Open House at Vaughn College in 2017.

Learning from a cartoon

Born in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Tasnim moved with her family to Queens, New York when she was nine years old. She recalls life being difficult then as she did not know how to speak the English language. This obstacle kept her from having many friends. “I knew even at an early age that I needed to learn how to speak English,” said Tasnim. “Believe it or not, I credit the cartoon character ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ for helping me learn English,” she said laughingly. “I watched the show every day and before I knew it, I was able to speak the language well enough to make myself understood.”

Breaking cultural barriers

Growing up, Tasnim aspired to become a doctor but she said something did not feel right about it. She believed she had a different path to take. When she entered high school, she enrolled in the science technology engineering and math (STEM) program. She admits biology was not her favorite subject and soon realized the medical field might not be the right path for her. She switched her focus toward mechanical engineering and decided that would be her track when she moved onto college. Tasnim thought her future was set. She received a full-ride, four-year scholarship to Brooklyn College and was ready to dive into her engineering degree—until she heard about Vaughn. “In my country we are encouraged to become doctors or engineers,” Tasnim said. “I always thought becoming a doctor would be my path. That all changed when I discovered Vaughn.”

Changing paths

Even with the full scholarship in place at Brooklyn College, Tasnim wasted no time attending an Open House at Vaughn. “From the minute I saw the radar and tower control simulators, I knew Vaughn was the perfect college for me. It felt like home,” she said. At that moment, Tasnim was at a crossroads. Her parents were excited that she was considering a college closer to home, but the financial hurdle came into question. She had her tuition covered at another college, but her heart was set on Vaughn. The question Tasnim asked herself: “How can I afford to attend Vaughn?”

Finding Financial Opportunities

In the summer of 2017, Tasnim attended an express registration event and was accepted on the spot. She enrolled in the airport management program for the upcoming fall semester. Soon after, Tasnim realized she and her family could not afford the program. With a heavy heart, she began the process of withdrawing from her fall classes when Vaughn approached her about the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) which provided her the financial assistance to remain a student at Vaughn. One of the requirements of HEOP is to complete a summer semester. Vaughn enrolled her right away and Tasnim was on her way to pursuing her dream.
The HEOP program is an important part of life at Vaughn, and its mandate closely follows the College’s own: Providing economically and educationally disadvantaged and underrepresented students the possibility of a college education. The primary objective of both HEOP and Vaughn is to help provide a broad range of services to students who—because of academic and economic circumstances—would otherwise be unable to attend college, yet have the potential and desire to obtain a college degree.

Balancing work and studies

Although Tasnim is pursuing a degree in airport management, she is focusing on air traffic control to be her ultimate profession. With help from Vaughn’s career services department, she was hired by the Washington Center for a summer internship, where she works at LaGuardia Airport’s air traffic control tower. “It’s important that I position myself wisely to prepare for my future in aviation,” Tasnim said. “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. I hope to be hired as an air traffic controller after graduation to land my dream job.” In addition to her internship, she holds a second part-time job working as a receptionist at the security desk at Vaughn.

Grateful to Vaughn

Without the support and guidance from HEOP and the Vaughn family, Tasnim said she wouldn’t be where she is today. “It’s important for me to break the stereotype of working in a predominantly male profession,” she stated. “I still pinch myself every day that I’m where I am now. Even my parents can’t believe it.” She explains how the professors at Vaughn have been instrumental in helping her on her journey, but the driving force is her close relationship she has with her siblings. “My younger sister and brother look up to me as a role model,” Tasnim said lovingly. “I need to show them that anything is possible and not to settle in life. It’s acceptable to change your mind. Change is a good thing and I’m living proof of that.”

Job numbers are on the rise as the economy begins to open up after the economic shutdown due to COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, several industries actually saw a rise in demand as they became an essential part of assisting in critical operations.

This month, Vaughn College is spotlighting three industries that are thriving during these uncertain times. The exciting news is how the College’s futureproof degrees in engineering and technology, management and aviation are showing their value, even during a pandemic, as some of these essential industries made the list. Read on to learn more about them. We have even matched up the degree you will need to land the job. Which one suits you?

Cargo Aviation

The air cargo market has seen a recent surge in demand, as airfreight and cargo companies have become an essential part of transporting medical supplies and other life-saving equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a recent market report—“Global Air Cargo Market 2020-2024”—released last month by Technavio (a global technology research and advisory company), the air cargo market is expected to grow by 16.75 million tons during the four-year time frame. It is reported that an increase in e-commerce sales has been a key factor in driving the growth of the cargo aviation market. Airlines that include The Emirates Group, United Parcel Service (UPS) Inc., Delta Air Lines, FedEx Corp., and others are among the market participants.

Boeing is also finding its way back to the runways as the revival of the air cargo market is fueling new deals for its cargo planes. With three different types of cargo jets and converted passenger-to-cargo planes in its fleet, the company is receiving orders from delivery service giants like UPS and FedEx.

Closer to home, Vaughn’s long-term relationship with Atlas Air has resulted in several alumni landing internships and ultimately full-time positions with this renowned aviation cargo company. Karen Batson ’04, Vaughn alumna and adjunct faculty member, has been instrumental in hiring more than 30 of the College’s graduates to work at Atlas Air because she knows how Vaughn prepares graduates for the aviation field and successful careers. Last year, Vaughn honored William J. Flynn, chair of the board and chief executive officer of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. at their annual gala that celebrates professionals in the industry. In his speech, Flynn stated: “Ten percent of our workforce in our New York headquarters are Vaughn College graduates. Many more graduates work elsewhere across our company. Several of our employees are now teaching at Vaughn. And countless more have mentored Vaughn students through our ongoing internship program. The work that Vaughn is doing is so critical to propelling this industry forward. Vaughn is developing some of the best and brightest minds in the workforce today.”

Interested in working in cargo aviation? Vaughn offers the following degree that could land you a job in the field. Which will you choose?

Aircraft Operations

Aviation Maintenance Certificate Program

Airline Management

Airport Management

Engineering and Technology

The urgent demand for medical technology during the pandemic has placed engineers front and center, as their skills and knowledge continue to play a significant role in patient care. From building life-saving ventilators to managing and tracking medical technology in hospitals, engineers are proving to be more essential now than ever before. Biomedical engineers, along with engineers who specialize in the mechatronic or robotics field, are also making their marks.

The use of robotic technology is on the rise, aiding the medical profession in ways that we once thought of as futuristic possibilities. Robots are stepping up in a big way as COVID-19 has shifted us from being a “hands-on” society to a “touchless” one. In fact, it’s believed the longest lasting effect of the coronavirus will be the use of automation. So, what does this all mean? To reduce human exposure in high-touch areas, robots are being used to disinfect and deliver goods and services, among other tasks. Additionally, robotics technologies are being valued for their profitability and are now viewed as critical components in a company’s infrastructure, similar to the way organizations may see computers and other key infrastructure.

Do you have a passion for robotics and engineering? Vaughn offers New York’s first bachelor of science degree program in mechatronic engineering, a unique curriculum that combines mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. This degree program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET (

In addition to robotics, Vaughn offers several engineering and technology degrees that can set you on a path to a futureproof career. Are you ready to join one of the world’s fastest growing fields? See which one is right for you?

Electrical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Engineering and Technology

Utilities and Power Generation

Most of us do not think about how we get our electricity. We just flip a switch and expect it to be there. With the majority of us under quarantine and working from home due to the coronavirus, the demand for electricity is higher than ever. Utility workers have always had an essential role in our daily lives. Add a pandemic to the mix, and their roles are even greater.

Vaughn College’s Aviation Training Institute can prepare you for a high-paying career as a certified airframe and powerplant technician. Did you know there are many reasons to launch a career in aviation maintenance? Aviation maintenance technicians have well-rounded knowledge and skills to work in a variety of fields. And those who are trained with an airframe and powerplant certification can work on any turbine engine. This valuable skill opens the doors to work on aircraft, trains and automobiles, and in power generation for electric, solar and wind companies.

Are you interested in working in the utility industry? Vaughn offers programs that can help you secure a job in the field.

Aviation Training Institute

Aviation Maintenance Technician (Airframe and Powerplant)

In these times of uncertainty, one thing is certain. Now is the time to set yourself on a path to a futureproof career. See how a degree from Vaughn College can get your there. Apply today.

Are you prepared for your next job interview? You may be relieved to learn the commute may only be as far as your living room. Read on to learn the advantages of a Zoom interview and the best tips and practices to make it a successful experience.

Job interviews of today are getting more screen time as employers are opting to use video conferencing software, such as Zoom, to connect with job candidates instead of traditional in-person meetings. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing, Zoom interviews have become more popular than ever. If you have already been using Zoom to connect with family and friends, you may think you have a handle on using this video conferencing software. But how would you fare using it in a job interview?

Below we have prepared a checklist of tips to help you prepare for a successful job interview via Zoom. But first, let us start with some of the ways both employers and candidates are benefiting from screen-to-screen interviews in contrast to traditional face-to-face ones.

Advantages of Zoom Interviews

Interviewing for a job can be a bit nerve-wracking for some. And for the interviewers, scheduling them can be a challenge. Conducting interviews via Zoom can be beneficial for both parties, thus making the experience more convenient and less stressful. Here are some of the advantages of Zoom interviews over traditional in-person ones:

  • No face-to-face contact—which is particularly beneficial during COVID-19.
  • Reduces pressure and puts candidates more at ease, since they are in their own environment.
  • More convenient for out-of-town participants—both employer and individual candidates.
  • Interviews can be arranged and organized quickly.
  • Employers can screen candidates efficiently.

Ways to Prepare for a Zoom Interview

Preparation is the key to success, especially when preparing for a Zoom interview. Here are some helpful tips to prepare for a positive experience:

  • Conduct practice interviews and record yourself to evaluate and fine-tune your answers and screen appearance.
  • Update your computer with the latest edition of Zoom software.
  • If using a laptop, check that it is fully charged.
  • Be sure you have a strong internet connection.
  • Advise household members of the day and time of your call to limit distractions.
  • Close out everything on your desktop before the interview.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Choose a:
    • Professional background with limited clutter
    • Room with good lighting—facing toward a window is better than having the light behind you
    • Quiet space that is free of distractions – make sure children and dogs are secured in separate rooms

Tips for Success Before the Call

There are a few simple things to do right before the call that could make or break the interview. Be sure to:

  • Silence your phone and put it away until after the interview.
  • Turn off all notifications from social media websites and other distractions.
  • Use a desktop or laptop when possible instead of the Zoom mobile app. Computer cameras are more stable and also provide a better view for the interviewer.

Tips for Success During the Call

Now that you have selected the best space for your call, fined-tuned your computer and are dressed for success, here are some important tips to keep in mind during the call. Remember, a Zoom interview is just as formal as an in-person one.

  • Use your mute button when you are not talking to eliminate any distracting background noises.
  • It has been proven that most people look at themselves during Zoom meetings, so you can hide your video from your display by right clicking on your video and selecting “Hide Myself.” This will enable you to focus on and make eye contact with the other people in the meeting.
  • Be aware of your body language. Maintain good posture and use non-verbal cues like smiling and head-nodding when listening to the interviewer.
  • Ask questions with confidence.

Vaughn College is dedicated to the success of its students. We hope you found these interviewing tips for a Zoom interview helpful. Remember: You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Now is your time to shine. Visit career services to learn more about how Vaughn College can help you on your path towards a futureproof career.

Calling future engineers! Vaughn has pulled out all the stops as the College introduces its first-ever virtual engineering competition as part of its summer academy program. Imagine putting your ingenuity and problem-solving skills to the test while competing for a chance to win scholarship money to Vaughn? If you are passionate about engineering and have the competitive edge to show off your skills while solving some of the world’s most serious problems right now, then buckle up for a fun and exciting summer experience. Here is what you need to know:

Who is eligible?

The Engineering Innovation Summer Academy is open to local high school students and transfer students who have a passion for both engineering and problem solving.

About the program

The six-week program offers qualifying students a chance to earn three (3) Vaughn College credits at no cost, as well as a chance to win scholarship money to Vaughn. Here is what you need to know about the program:

  • Students will make a difference by tackling a contemporary problem related to modern circumstances—such as pandemics, societal issues, climate change and the like—that may have an engineering-related solution.
  • Students will work in small teams of three to create an idea and sustainable operations model that will take the form of a product or service that is responsive to clients and investors.
  • Classes will be synchronous and completed online via Zoom.
  • Webinars will feature guest speakers (engineering entrepreneurs) on a variety of topics discussing real-world experiences.
  • Students will pitch products/services to simulated investors on August 14 for the chance to win scholarship money to Vaughn.
    • First Place – $7,500 per team member
    • Second Place – $5,000 per team member
    • Third Place – $2,500 per team member

When is it?

The course runs Monday, July 6 through Friday, August 14.

Speaker Series Schedule: Fridays 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

  • July 10: Young Entrepreneurs Speak
  • July 17: Women Entrepreneurs Speak
  • July 24: Global Entrepreneurial Programs
  • July 31: IP and Standards Explained
  • August 7: Getting Financing
  • August 14: Summer Academy Pitches

NOTE: There is a nine-student minimum to run the program. Scholarship awards can be combined with current offers but cannot exceed the cost of tuition.

How do I enroll?

(Submissions are due no later than June 18 at 12:59 p.m.)

Eligible students should post a 30-45-second video on Instagram that details a world problem they are passionate about solving.

The following information should be addressed in the video:

  • A world problem that you are passionate about which could be solved with an engineering solution
  • How Vaughn’s Engineering Innovation Summer Academy would help you explore that world problem
  • Why you are excited about winning scholarship money to Vaughn College

The following criteria is required:

  • Tag @vaughncollege on your video to ensure we can access your video for consideration
  • Complete the required form on the Engineering Innovation Summer Academy page
  • After acceptance to the summer program, you will be asked to complete an application to attend Vaughn College, where your application fee will be waived.

Gaining a valuable experience

In such uncertain times, the summer academy program at Vaughn opens the door to students to gain valuable experience at both a personal and professional level. Here is what you will gain:

  • Making your mark among your peers by solving some of the world’s current modern-day problems
  • Studying locally, studying safe
  • Enjoying small class sizes and individualized attention

Engineering Entrepreneur Speaker Series

For those who want to hear from the experts but not compete, Vaughn is also offering a webinar speaker series where you can hear engineering entrepreneurs speak about their experiences. Webinars will be held every Friday from July 10 to August 7 at 12 p.m. You can listen to the webinars for FREE, or purchase access to the videos for a limited time, receive the ability to ask questions of the speakers and obtain membership to the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE).

Tier One Access: FREE

You will receive FREE live Speaker Series Webinar access every Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. from July 10 through August 7.

  • July 10: Young Entrepreneurs Speak
  • July 17: Women Entrepreneurs Speak
  • July 24: Global Entrepreneurial Programs
  • July 31: IP and Standards Explained
  • August 7: Getting Financing

Register Now for FREE Tier One Access

Tier Two Access: $50

You will receive:

  • Three-month access to all five webinars
  • Ability to submit one question per week after the webinar to the one of the featured speakers
  • Half-year Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) Student Membership

Tier Three Access: $100

You will receive:

  • Three-month access to all five webinars
  • Ability to submit one question per week after the webinar to one of the featured speakers
  • Half-year Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) Student Membership
  • Name will be added to a lottery for 10, 30-minute mentorship sessions with a member of the IEEE Entrepreneurship Committee of professionals

Register Now for Tier Two or Three Access

Change can be a good thing—and good things can follow. Are you thinking about transferring to a college that is closer to home? Now is the perfect time to consider transferring to Vaughn College. If you are looking for a local college that checks all the boxes, then we invite you to join us for a Virtual Info. Session specially designed for transfer students like yourself. We make the process easy so you can focus on more important things—like your education. Here is what you need to know:


Virtual Info. Session for Transfer Students

Wednesday, June 24 at 2 p.m.

What you will receive

We invite you to join us for a fun and informative session that will be packed with all the information you will need to make the best decision for yourself. Plus, you will have the opportunity to apply to Vaughn for free and a chance to win a $500 scholarship.

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

  • An overview of Vaughn’s academic degrees and programs in Engineering and Technology, Management and Aviation
  • A preview of Vaughn’s financial aid options, scholarship opportunities and admissions process for transfer students

Vaughn College Virtual 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
  • Hybrid options available for fall to fit your needs
  • Ranked #1 in upward mobility*
  • Small class sizes—faculty know you
  • 15:1 student to faculty ratio
  • Ongoing career support services
  • Precollege prep programs

Did you know that 99 percent of our graduates, 83 percent in their chosen field, are employed or continue their education within one year?** By transferring to Vaughn, you could be among the next generation of futureproof Vaughn graduates. We welcome students from all walks of life. You could be next. See how easy it is to make the switch.


*The Upshot, January 18, 2017, “Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60.” **Outcomes include data within one year of graduation for graduates who reported via survey. There was a total of 282 graduates in 2018. 220 reported an outcome for a 78% response rate. The 2018 graduating class includes September 2017, December 2017 and May 2018 graduates.

Sometimes a perfect combination comes along. For example, a New York state grant program and a dynamic student with the academic rigor to take advantage of every opportunity it provides. That is exactly the case with the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and Vaughn student Xylene DeCoteau ’20, who received her bachelor’s degree in aircraft operations in May while also taking the set of air traffic control courses offered within her degree program.

HEOP is an important part of life at Vaughn, and its mandate closely follows the College’s own: providing economically and educationally disadvantaged and underrepresented students the possibility of a college education. The primary objective of both HEOP and Vaughn is to help provide a broad range of services to students who, because of academic and economic circumstances, would otherwise be unable to attend college, yet have the potential and desire to obtain a college degree.

“Mom One” and “Mom Two”

Melissa Teixeira, executive director, and Lauren Cajade, assistant director, run Vaughn’s HEOP office. In addition to helping students understand what is available to them, Teixeira and Cajade provide academic support and personal and social counseling. They are also hands-on advisers who make sure students are getting the support they need throughout their time at Vaughn, including special tutoring or financial guidance. The HEOP office is a unique space where students feel supported. According to Cajade, “This is a special place that is really different. Everyone, not just HEOP participants, enjoy the safe, family feel we provide.” It is no surprise that Teixeira shared that students refer to her and Cajade as “Mom One” and “Mom Two.”

Xylene DeCoteau: Student, Pilot, Teacher, Inspiration

Everyone who knows or has worked with DeCoteau knows that she is truly unique. She earned a place on the President’s List in the spring and fall of 2017, 2018 and 2019. That is a hard-earned honor — a student must maintain a GPA of 3.85 or above to be included.

While DeCoteau was a student, she already earned several licenses, including 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 currently teaches and supports other students part-time at Vaughn.

Throughout her impressive academic career, DeCoteau remains generous with her time and spirit and is committed to giving back to the community and to Vaughn. Teixeira says, “We’re here for her. She has a great support group of friends here and a determined focus on the future. We have no doubt that she will continue to accomplish great things.”

When asked about her Vaughn experience, DeCoteau said, “Everyone here 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?”

HEOP Information Session

You can learn more about Vaughn’s Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) during an Information Session on Wednesday, June 17 at 1 p.m. (register here) or Monday, June 22 at 6 p.m. (register here) or visit You can also contact Melissa Teixeira () or Lauren Cajade () from our HEOP office for assistance.

Part of knowing where you want to go in life is embracing where you have been. For Rafacely Brito ’21, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering at Vaughn College, accepting certain disadvantages as she grew up inspired her to encourage less fortunate students to follow their dreams.

For years, Vaughn College has been instrumental in preparing underserved middle school and high school students in the New York area for a brighter future. Through college readiness programs like Upward Bound and the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), the dream of receiving a college education, for low-income and disadvantaged students, is becoming a reality. This past February, Brito began working at Vaughn alongside a team that makes this happen. Here is her story.

Humble beginnings

At the age of 26, Brito believes that looking back on her childhood in Yonkers, New York has given her a greater appreciation of the path she is on today. Raised in a low-income family, Brito admits life was a bit challenging. Through it all, she always maintained excellent grades and excelled in math and science. As the time grew closer for Brito to attend high school, her parents decided to move the family to a better socio-economic area where she and her brother could receive a better education. “It was hard for me to leave my friends, but hindsight has shown me that my parents made the best move for us.”

College bound

After high school, Brito began a modeling career—all while having the desire to attend college. A few years later, she enrolled at Bronx Community College, where she earned her associate degree in engineering science. After graduation, she had her heart set on enlisting in the United States Air Force. “I decided to take a cruise with my friends before enlisting. That is when my life took a turn. That’s when I found Vaughn.” While on the cruise, she received an email from her high school guidance counselor about a mechanical engineering scholarship at Vaughn College. “I was so excited to learn of the scholarship,” Brito exclaimed. “The rest is history.”

Life at Vaughn

Brito embraced her engineering studies at Vaughn. She said having a curious mind made engineering the perfect fit for her career path. “I was always inquisitive,” Brito said. “I remember driving over a bridge at a young age and wondering how the bridge was built.” Although the course work is admittedly challenging, she said having professors who bring real-life industry experience makes all the difference.

Working at Vaughn

This past February, Brito began her part-time job at Vaughn as an administrative assistant for the STEP program, where she handles student outreach and administrative tasks. Little did she know that a few weeks later, the COVID-19 outbreak would shut down the campus and the country. “At first, I thought the timing couldn’t have been worse, but then I realized how the programs we offer are more important now than ever due to distance learning,” she explained. Balancing her new job with distance learning as a full-time student is challenging, to say the least. Brito thanks Vaughn’s outstanding faculty and staff, and believes the experience is better than she imagined it would be.

Positive Programs

Vaughn’s dedication to education is evident, as the College continues to run the Department of Education’s Upward Bound program and STEP, which is funded by the State of New York’s Education Department. Not sure what these programs offer? Here’s how college readiness programs help pave the way for students from low-income families:

Upward Bound

This federally funded program, also known as TRiO, provides high school students from low-income families or first-generation college students with the opportunity to sharpen their precollege skills in preparation for their college pursuits. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase secondary education completion and encourage students’ enrollment in, and graduation from, postsecondary education institutions. Vaughn currently has a five-year partnership with Richmond Hill, Grover Cleveland, and August Martin High Schools, which are all located in the Queens area.

Upward Bound helps students by providing:

  • SAT preparation
  • Tutoring and homework help
  • Counseling
  • Work-study programs
  • Cultural enrichment and field trips
  • Education and counseling services
  • College and financial aid application assistance


Founded in 1986, the purpose of STEP is to increase the number of underrepresented and disadvantaged students who are preparing to enter college by improving their readiness in the subjects of mathematics, science, technology, health-related fields and the licensed professions.

The program offers academic enrichment through services that include:

  • Core subject instruction/Regents exam preparation
  • Supervised practical training
  • Supervised research training
  • College admissions counseling
  • Standardized tests preparation
  • Career awareness/development activities

Student readiness components include:

  • Flight training
  • Robotics and coding—STEM focused
  • Hydroponics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Enriching science and mathematics instruction
  • Providing laboratories for supervised training in research method
  • Conducting summer programs
  • Providing standardized test preparation and practice
  • Assisting students with the college application process

Brito said that helping students through the STEP program is not only rewarding but it makes her realize how fortunate today’s students are to have access to college readiness programs such as these. “I didn’t have these opportunities when I was in high school,” she said. “I’m fortunate to have the chance to instill in today’s students the importance of getting the help they need now to prepare them for college and beyond.”

Summer Programs

Throughout the year, students who participate in the programs meet on Saturdays to get the help they need. Currently, the staff is gearing up for the summer program, which will meet Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, administrators are shifting gears by replacing field trips with virtual tours and providing offerings online. They are also planning fun and informative workshops to complement academic instruction.

“I’m proud to be a part of this program,” Brito said. “I believe we are making a difference in the lives of these students. The college readiness programs keep the students engaged, focused and off the streets. During these uncertain times, I can’t think of a better way to spend the days.”

Is a career in engineering in your future? Discover all that’s possible with a futureproof career from Vaughn College.