Today: Jul 08 , 2020

ERAU's New Chinese Track Enhances Global Security Careers

14 January 2010   Bill Thompson, Director Public Relations

The new Chinese Track in the Global Security & Intelligence Studies Program - supports the long-term need for government, military, security and intelligence personnel with critical language proficiency.erauchinese


erauchinesePrescott, Ariz., Jan. 11, 2010 – The Global Security and Intelligence Studies (GSIS) Bachelor of Science degree program at Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, Arizona campus has added a new track called GSIS/Chinese. Understanding China’s language, culture, economic impact, politics and foreign policy is of critical interest for United States and Asian policy makers.  These are some of the key factors underlining the need to add the Chinese Track to Embry-Riddle’s Global Security and Intelligence Studies Program next Fall. 

According to a recent article authored by eight former Secretaries of State, including Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, nearly 30% of positions at the Department of State that require foreign language proficiency are filled by officers that do not have the initial language skill set.  The CIA recently reported that only a fraction of its overall workforce is fluent in a second language.  Among officers of the Agency’s National Clandestine Service (NCS), which most foreign-deployed officers are assigned, the figure is about 30%. Further, CIA Director Panetta wants to increase by 50% the number of analysts fluent in the dialect of the culture or region to which they are assigned.  A New York Times article on homeland security dated January 3, 2010 estimates that 25% of government jobs will be security related within the next two years.  Graduates with critical language proficiency can increase their salary up to 25%.

 Dr. Philip Jones, Chair of the Department of Global Studies calls the GSIS/Chinese Track “a uniquely blended program that combines the knowledge and skills imparted by the GSIS Program with the acquisition of proficient language skills in a challenging, but critical language.  These are the skills we need to safeguard the homeland and advance the national security interests of the United States. These two tracks will markedly enhance the graduate’s attractiveness to the military services, international corporations and intelligence services. “Recently, our Air Force and Army ROTC detachments have approved this program as one of the areas where qualifying students can receive scholarships or pay incentives”.

erauchinese3Professor Robert Baker, Director of the GSIS degree program states, “The future for students equipped with knowledge and skill sets with increased Chinese proficiency is indeed bright.  U.S. Government Agencies such as the Defense Department, National Security Agency, CIA, State Department, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security are actively seeking applicants with language skills, particularly in critical languages such as Chinese.  In addition, many international businesses and non-government organizations such as World Bank, United Nations, Red Cross, etc. are seeking language qualified applicants to enhance their international operations.“

Students on the GSIS/Chinese Track will take the same subject courses as students on the standard GSIS Track with over 35% of the credits taught in Chinese or with a significant Chinese component.  The new Track includes nine Study Abroad credits to be taken during a student’s sophomore summer.

To speak directly with a professor about the new GSIS/Chinese Track, contact Dr. Leeann Chen at 928-777-6682 or email at  Individuals interested in learning more about Embry-Riddle’s programs, admissions standards, and available scholarships can visit or call the Admissions Office at 800-888-3728 or (928) 777-6600.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus at more than 170 campus centers in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East, and through online learning. For more information, visit