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Volume

13

Issue

1

Publisher

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Abstract

Over 89% of the sophomore aerodynamics students (182 out of 207) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University were surveyed during Spring Term 2003 to explore student preferences relative to instructor qualifications in the Aeronautical Science Program. The study was initiated because of the great difficulty that particular department, as in many aviation-focused universities, has had recruiting PhD credentialed faculty with significant professional or military flight experience. To perhaps aid in the hiring process, a tough question was asked: Do students prefer PhD level faculty with limited flight experience or Masters level faculty with significant professional or military flight experience? Results indicated that although students would like to see both PhD credentials and significant profession or military flight experience, when given a choice they prefer faculty with significant professional or military flight experience, even if the faculty member has only obtained a Master's degree. It is speculated that the reason might relate to the evidence that shows, "... students engaged in pursuing collegiate aviation programs are 'different' from traditional college students. Aviation students are not searching for a career; they have found one and are taking steps to realize their dreams. They approach learning as an adult." (Brady, Stolzer, Muller and Schaum, 2001).

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