By Davis Erin Anderson, Community Engagement Manager, METRO
Living and working next door to an airport is challenging for most, but the students and faculty at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology have made the most of it. The college is close enough to LaGuardia Airport (LGA) that students can listen in to radio transmissions from a three story observation tower. And, according to library director Jo Ann Jayne, proximity to LGA is great for students who work part time while obtaining their degrees in engineering, technology, aeronautics, and management.
As of this semester, the library occupies a completely renovated space. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Federal Aviation Administration provided grants totaling $27 million to soundproof the main academic building, launching a full-scale redesign. The library is now steps away from the Teaching and Learning Center, ensuring that Vaughn’s students have everything they need to ensure their academic success.
Under Jayne’s leadership, the Vaughn College library continues to develop a singular database collection of aviation and engineering-related materials to support the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)-accredited mechatronic engineering degree and the six ABET-accredited engineering technology programs. The collection is so deep that the library fulfilled more than 1,600 interlibrary loan requests last year. In fact, pilots flying in and out of LGA have been known to visit the library for a quiet spot to read during layovers.
Vaughn is notable, even by New York City standards, for its diverse student population. It is ranked one of the best colleges for veterans: of 1,725 students, nearly 250 have served in the military. In addition, the college is ranked first in the North in diversity of the student population and second in economic diversity. Most impressively, 92 percent of Vaughn College’s students continue their education or find a position in their field within a year of graduation.
To fulfill the college’s mission to provide “a distinctive education to a diverse population of students,” the library works directly with students on research skills like forming a good research question and working with databases. To get to know students on an individual basis, the library throws informal gatherings for Halloween and other holidays and collects DVDs for movie nights in the residence hall.
Photo credit: Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, 2014.