Reviewed by The Fold
Posted on 04-30-2009
Where to start. I graduate in 5 days with a degree in Aeronautics. It's a Bachelors, and I've graduated "With Honors", which I find isn't that hard for Riddle. I have three minors, Air Traffic Management (ATC), Meteorology and Homeland Security.
I started as a Pilot, majoring in Aeronautical Science. I soon found that the Flight School option on campus was a joke, I paid 8,000$ and hadn't ever set foot in a real airplane. I quit that, went to fly off campus, changed my major. The dorms arn't too shabby, and you get to know alot of people. I would say that this is a true "university" as I don't ever remember any older people ever being in my classes, my oldest friend was 28, but he was a transfer student. There were a couple guys that went to the military and then came to ERAU.
As far as it's ATC education goes, it's top notch. They teach people everyday how to go from Zero to a well qualified air traffic controller. I am a instrument rated pilot, so I started in the "upper" ATC classes, and didn't have to take the class that begins as "this is an airplane." The next class starts talking about Air Traffic Basics, what VORs are, and how it starts tying together. The next class is more involved, with regulation and 7110.65 topics.
Then, they take you into the brand new (As of 2006) TRACON simulator, where you sit on one side, while your pilot sits on the other. It feels very realistic. They teach Daytona Beach, and they make you learn the phraseology, and basic concepts of Approach Control. After that, you go to Orlando Approach, and they teach you 5 different sectors. W/E Departure, W/E Arrival, Satellite Arrival. It's pretty though, but they teach you the maps, and more advanced functions. Mostly advanced IFR stuff.
They have 4 other classes too, and it's your choice how you do them. The first being Tower, in a brand new tower Sim with 210 degree visuals, where they teach you the basics of local, ground and clearance. They have a step up experimental class where they amped up the traffic to 50 to 60 ops an hour.
The next two classes are based off en-route, and you use the brand new Center Simulators based off of Memphis Center. We learn the real maps that the academy uses, and work R-Side and D-Side as well as the Psuedo Pilot. Throughout the semester you get about 10 times on each position.
The next class, while I didn't take it, was Non-Radar, which I hear is terribly hard, but also very helpful.
The classes are great, and most of the instructors are extremely helpful. There are, like always, though, a couple instructors that arn't so great, but still up to par.
Daytona Beach isn't a bad place to live, but it's high in crime. There are tons of areas to live, and you can always go out to dinner in one of the many restaurants. It's a great area, and you can go to Orlando in an hour, or Tampa in 2.
As many other people have said, it's also a great area to hang out for the many events that we have.
One of the issues that we've had in the past 8 years was that the past administration (Pre 2006) raised tuition rates through the roof. Right now, it's at 900$ per credit hour (generally 15 a semester) so you can see tuition is high, but you can keep costs down by living off campus, and not buying lunch at school.
I highly recommend ERAU for it's CTI program, but there are some other things that I don't like, such as the unhelpful and ungrateful bursar's department, and financial aid departments.
Most classes are pretty easy, and I had two full time jobs throughout my entire college career, and also did flight training off campus. The workload is pretty light, and you have a ton of time to do other hobbies.
If you're looking to go here, PLEASE private message me, and I'll recommend you for a $500 to $1000 tuition scholarship per semester.
I'd recommend this campus versus Prescott, as they have a more developed atc program.