A significant increase in the recruitment of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU)-Prescott business majors and minors was a factor that prompted the ERAU board of trustees and the university administration to elevate the Department of Business to College of Business status.
Approval of the new school only occurred in late November, said Associate Dean of Business Robin Sobotta, Ph. D.
“The advantages of being a School of Business are many, including the prestige of putting the program in a competitive arena with major schools of business across the country,” Sobotta said. “Already, our industry partners such as Boeing have selected ERAU as a ‘focus’ school – a priority – for recruiting students in supply chain management. Boeing’s decision to place our program in the ‘top tier’ for their recruiting efforts puts us in the company of prominent schools such as Stanford.”
She noted that already Boeing had selected seven business students to be in the highly competitive summer 2018 internship program.
Expressing pleasure in the new designation as a School of Business, Chancellor Frank Ayers said the university was proud of being nationally recognized for the state and national achievements of students and faculty. “The school will continue to prepare business leaders in meeting the challenges of the future. We will graduate some of the best prepared young business majors in the nation.”
In recent years, enrollment in ERAU’s business program has grown to 180 business and accounting degree-seeking students, with another 250 students pursuing minors in the program. Beyond that, the business program serves another 1,100 students in business, accounting and economics classes. Many of those students come from degree programs such as Aerospace Engineering, Cyber Security, Industrial Psychology, Unmanned Aircraft Systems and many others, Sobotta explained.
“Something we’re really proud of,” she continued, “is that of the 30 or more institutions accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International, ERAU is the only one to offer an Aviation Business Administration degree. We offer the full suite of courses – accounting, marketing, finance, information systems, economics. Our graduates have a very broad skill set. That’s also probably why 90 percent of our graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate programs within one year of graduation.”
Sobotta said that prior to graduation, many students are selected for prestigious internships or employment by major airports and airlines such as American, Delta, Southwest and Allegiant. Aerospace and defense employers such as Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed routinely recruit ERAU students. So do governmental agencies such as the Department of Justice, the Federal Aviation Administration and others.
The new designation will put new demands on the eight full-time business faculty and equal number of adjunct faculty. In fact, Sobotta indicated that a new full-time marketing professor would likely be added in 2018, and two adjunct faculty members will likely be converted to full-time positions.
She also said that expansion of the program is necessitating exploration of more campus room for new technology, equipment, software and other resources.
“We’re always looking for qualified faculty members, too, so if anyone is interested in teaching in our new school, I hope they will contact me.” Sobotta can be reached at 928-777-6938 or in her office in the Academic Complex near the center of campus. QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
Photo by Ray Newton