Campuses


Vision and Mission

Our Vision

Our vision is to be recognized worldwide for our excellence in high school concurrent enrollment aerospace education that will enable Embry-Riddle to be the world leader in providing the STEM industry with graduates who are explorers, pilots, inventors, entrepreneurs, astro-navigators, and leaders for the twenty-first century.

Our Mission

The Gaetz Aerospace Institute's mission is to positively impact the trajectory of high school students by preparing them to successfully complete an undergraduate STEM degree and connect them to a profitable career in the aerospace industry.

How does Gaetz Aerospace Institute accomplish this task? By providing rigorous curriculum and credentialed instructors. With this combination, high school students will have the following advantages:

College Preparation: College-bound seniors will transition from high school to college and be prepared for their first year of college work.

Great Expectations: Data show that dual enrolled graduates are highly motivated achievers. College admissions officials view these students as low-risk prospects who are unlikely to drop out, rarely pursue time-shortened degrees, and often go beyond the undergraduate degree to study at the graduate level.

Greater Challenges: Gaetz Aerospace Institute offers genuine Embry-Riddle courses, so the coursework is more demanding than the high school curriculum. Students will be college-ready by receiving the right college readiness tools, programs, and services. As a result, concurrent enrolled graduates tend to be more adaptable, self-motivated, reflective, and innovative. In other words, they are college-ready.

Quality Control: Gaetz Aerospace Institute continuously evaluates the quality of services it provides students, parents, high school administrators, teachers, and university faculty. With our evaluation process, we will continue to offer innovative and challenging Embry-Riddle courses to qualified high school students at their local high schools, during their regularly scheduled high school day.

Managing Growth: Every year, more courses are developed and field-tested for potential inclusion in a high school curriculum. Our program offers continuous professional development for high school teachers by providing training from Embry-Riddle instructors.

Our History

Our first aerospace career academy was established in 2004 as part of Okaloosa County School District’s CHOICE program, conceived by Don Gaetz, who was then Okaloosa County School District Superintendent of Schools and is now a Florida State Senator.

Gaetz Aerospace Institute has come a long way since the Okaloosa days. Our program is a concurrent enrollment model in which Embry-Riddle-credentialed high school teachers or Embry-Riddle adjunct professors teach high school students the actual college courses that are delivered at our Daytona Beach campus.

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Contact Us

Colleen Conklin
Executive Director, Assistant Professor, Aeronautical Science Department