Graduation After Two and a Half Years at ERAU

To earn a university degree is a huge accomplishment. People who make the choice to get their degrees begin a long journey which they hope will end with graduation and earning a successful job. All students throughout their years of study dream about this goal.

For seniors, this goal is almost a reality. Just several more classes, several more exams, and they can celebrate their achievement. But this year, the seniors have to complete those classes and exams in extreme conditions. Their everyday lives and studies are affected by the restrictions due to COVID-19.

This generation of seniors will be able to give unusual descriptions to give of the last year of their educational journeys. Riley Coder, a senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a major in Global Security and Intelligence Studies (GSIS), describes his last year as “unconventional”. Coder was able to take all the necessary classes for his degree in two and a
half years and is graduating this Winter. Coder specified that, after finishing here, “I intend to complete my graduate education and then move on to work in the US national security establishment or for a related contractor.”

After graduating from ERAU, Coder is planning to “celebrate graduation by starting grad school and moving across the country.” In the meantime, he is “spending time with friends and making the most of a challenging situation.” Besides school, Coder is also involved in the Eagle Eye Intelligence (EE) magazine: “As the current Editor in Chief, I spend a considerable amount of time editing and preparing the weekly publication for dissemination. I have also worked to improve the organization’s processes and content during my tenure so that EE can continue to

After leaving ERAU, Coder says he will “miss my friends and professors most of all, but I will also miss the weather and proximity to great hiking spots.” However, he does plan to stay in touch with many of his old friends and professors, maybe even meeting them at alumni events.

Coder says that ERAU has helped him prepare for his work in the real world and for grad school. Ultimately, he describes his time here as “valuable and surprising. I believe that I took full advantage of my time at ERAU to better myself despite a shorter-than-normal time here. I have grown a lot through my experiences despite the unexpected challenges of the past two semesters.” Although his time at ERAU has not been flawless, Coder is sure that Embry-Riddle would still be his number one pick over other universities.