I was looking at Embry Riddle a couple of years ago, but ultimately I did not choose them. I felt that, because Enbry-Riddle is only an Aviation school, you would not get as complete an education as you could. Sure, you may take an english class, but the professors know that none of the students are majoring in English. At a more comprehensive college, you take the same basic ed classes as other majors, and I feel that you get a more well rounded education.
That said, I can tell you that, as my name implies, I chose Purdue Unversity, located in West Lafayette, Indiana. They are a Big Ten school, and have an aviation department with three concentrations - flight, which is my program, maintenance, and administraion. A lot of students take two concentrations, with maintenance/flight being the most common combined program. I chose Purdue at the reccommendation of the Allied Pilot's Association, which represents pilots at American Airlines. They indicated to me that the APA, as well as AA itself, considers Purdue's program the best collegiate flight program in the nation. Now that I've completed a year, I can say that I am very happy that I chose Purdue. Our program really makes you learn until you can't learn any more, and the professors make sure that you know information well enough to be able to use it in an emergency... after all, isn't that why we want to know some of the stuff to begin with?
We have a fleet that currently consists of 13 Piper Cadets (PA28-161), 4 Piper Arrows (PA28R-201), 2 Beechcraft Duchess multi-engine trainers, a Chipmunk acrobatic trainer, 2 King Air 200s, a Beechjet 400A, and others, as well as a 727-100 and a 737-200 from United Airlines. We will be getting new Cadets, and I think new Arrows, in the 2000-2001 school year, as they are replaced every ten years. Our new Cadets will have GPS and other special instrumentation, currently our Cadets are VFR trainers only. The fleet is maintained exteremely well, and the instructors, professors, and AvTech office staff are all great.
We currently have several programs available to help students with their careers. One of these is the King Air program, in which each student builds multi-engine turbine time by flying copilot in the King Airs on staff transport trips. This is available for the last 2 years in the program. Also, a select few students (up to about 6 per year, out of about 50 in the program), are sent by Purdue to Flight Safety in Florida, where they train, at Purdue's expense, to earn a type rating in the Beechjet 400A. These students then build about 100 hours of multi-turbine time flying the president of the University around... This one looks GREAT on resumes! We also have a direct hire program with USAirways Express carrier Chautauqua, whereby students can be hired directly upon graduation at significantly reduced minimum requirements. Another direct hire program was established with American Eagle in May.
All in all, I would highly reccommend Purdue's program to anyone looking into an aviation degree. You can find information about the program at their website, http://www.tech.purdue.edu/~at
. Also, feel free to e-mail me
with any questions you may have.