Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a private institution offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs in aviation related fields. Members of the staff of Embry-Riddle's Flight Technology Department were concerned about the department's continued ability to attract sufficient quantities of qualified applicants for flight industry faculty positions given current trends in the industry. In response to those concerns a comprehensive plan for the recruitment of flight faculty was developed to meet both present and future departmental needs. The research question investigated as a part of this developmental project was what steps need to be taken to ensure that Embry-Riddle is able to attract sufficient numbers of qualified instructors to meet program needs over the next ten to fifteen years? The final plan addresses {1) The recruitment of flight specialists; (2) The recruitment of tenure-track faculty; (3) The career development of flight faculty; (4) The career development of flight specialists with potential for tenure-track faculty positions; (5) The establishment of an accelerated certification program; and (6) The establishment of a fellowship teaching opportunity for flight students. Included in the final product are specific strategies for implementation as well as criteria and procedures for continuing assessment of the various components of the recruitment plan. The plan itself addresses advertising, recruiting goals, personnel qualifications, evaluation, selection, training, initial performance monitoring, and career development opportunities. A review of programs and procedures established by other industries and institutions to resolve similar recruiting problems provided the basis for developing a plan which meets the specific needs of Embry-Riddle's flight training program. Following a comprehensive review of available literature, structured telephone interviews were conducted with representatives of those institutions which have faced recruiting problems most closely resembling those experienced by Embry-Riddle. In addition, separate questionnaires were administered to all currently enrolled upper-level Embry-Riddle flight students, all currently employed flight specialists, and all current flight faculty members. The questionnaire results were used to determine attitudes toward instructing and to identify determine potential opportunities for enhancing the attractiveness of a career in flight training. A series of both non-directive and focused group interviews were conducted using volunteers selected from the three groups previously identified as well as key administrative personnel from both the Flight Technology and Human Resources departments. During the developmental phase, key decision-makers, including the department chair, the dean of the college, and the executive vice president for academics were involved in discussions regarding each aspect of the project. The final plan submitted to the president for approval assigns responsibility for implementation as well as for ongoing program assessment to specific action agencies. Success of the plan will be measured in terms of acceptance by the administration, subsequent implementation, and the successful accomplishment of predetermined recruiting goals. Success of specific advertising strategies will be measured in terms of quantity of total applicants and quantity of successful applicants. The final plan identifies those specific strategies for recruitment which were found to hold the greatest potential for success at Embry-Riddle. Included are the identification of recruiting sources, advertising strategies, and a plan for the dissemination of career information. In addition, the final plan details a comprehensive flight fellowship program, job enhancement strategies, faculty career development opportunities, and an accelerated certification program for industry professionals and educators. It was recommended that the recruitment program developed as a result of this Major Applied Research Project be implemented at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the final plan was submitted to the president for his review and approval. It was further recommended that the president commit appropriate resources to the implementation of the plan and that specific action agencies be assigned responsibility for implementation including ongoing program assessment and monitoring. Additional recommendations included the dissemination of the final plan to other university departments, flight training programs and to various internal provisions for feedback from schools implementing suggested strategies, and continued efforts at establishing cooperative agreements with industry which will enhance the recruitment and retention of flight faculty.

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