Air Traffic Control Grad Rebecca Roberts Finishes On Time Because Of UND’s Online, Enroll Anytime Courses

University of North Dakota alumna Rebecca Roberts is a well-rounded individual.

Growing up in South Portland, Maine, she had an array of interests. She was a cheerleader, field hockey champion and was an aviation enthusiast, specifically, air traffic control (ATC).

It was in seventh grade when ATC caught Roberts’ eye.

“I was up in the Portland International Jetport tower and shadowed an air traffic controller for a day,” Roberts said. “I was able to see what they did, how they coordinated different flight paths and organized (what seemed like) a chaotic situation.”

Coincidentally, the air traffic controller she shadowed was also a female. Roberts credits this experience as the beginning of her career.

“The lady I shadowed was amazing, she loved the profession and was so excited that I wanted to one day be a controller myself, ” she said.

According to the Professional Women Controllers, only 16 percent of air traffic controllers are female.

Multiple responsibilities

Rebecca Roberts graduated from UND with a degree in Air Traffic Control in 2015.
Rebecca Roberts graduated from UND with a degree in Air Traffic Control in 2015.

Roberts graduated from UND Aerospace in 2015, with a concentration in Air Traffic Control. After graduating, she was selected for the ATC Academy in Oklahoma City to continue her dream of becoming an air traffic controller.

“I had to pass the biographical questionnaire, a series of questions about the applicant, as well as several other tests in order to be considered,” Roberts said. “Right now, I’m scheduled to partake in the January 2017 training class in Oklahoma. Just another step on my journey to become an air traffic controller.”

While waiting for her courses to start in Oklahoma, Roberts works as a flight attendant for a regional airline.

While at UND, Roberts was president of her sorority, worked at a local restaurant and was a full-time student. She credits online, Enroll Anytime courses through UND’s Office of Extended Learning for helping her graduate on time and providing her the flexibility to keep up with her multiple responsibilities.

“I had a lot going on, especially my junior and senior years when I increased my course load,” Roberts said. “Having the option to take some of my general classes online was a blessing. It helped me stay up-to-date with everything, as well as improve my time management skills.”

Roberts admits if it weren’t for the flexibility of online, Enroll Anytime classes she may have graduated a year later. It was important for her to graduate within four years to move on to the ATC Academy.

For those inquiring about online, Enroll Anytime courses, Roberts advises students to hold themselves to a strict schedule:

“Hold yourself responsible for getting assignments done on time,” Roberts said. “You really have to be a self-motivator. No one will remind you about upcoming assignments or exams. If you can stay on top of the coursework, I promise you’ll love it — especially if it is freezing outside and you can stay in bed and do your assignments.”

About the courses:

Enroll Anytime courses are self-paced, independent study courses. Students may enroll at any time and classes may take 3 to 9 months to complete. For more information, visit

Jessica Fushi, UND Office of Extended Learning student writer