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Long Term Impact of New Jersey National Summer Transportation Institute Hosted at Rowan University on Career Choices of Cohorts (Evaluation)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Technical Session 9

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Kristine Rivera Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems

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Kristine Rivera is the Administrative Assistant for CREATES and supports the department with all issues of procurement, maintaining grants and executing our many workshops and tours. She has assisted with development of the Center's NSTI program since its initiation in 2017.

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Ayman Ali


Yusuf Mehta P.E. Rowan University

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Dr. Mehta is a Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University and Director of the Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation engineering Systems (CREATEs). Dr. Mehta has extensive experience in teaching constructon materials, pavement design, and transportaiton engineering. Dr. Mehta has published several technical and educational papers in leading professional organizations.

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Shivani D Patel New Jersey Department of Transportation

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In the summer of 2017, 2018, and 2019, the Center for Research in Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems (CREATEs) at Rowan University hosted the National Safety Transportation Institute. The goal of this program is to provide an exposure to high school students to transportation engineering. More than 50% from underrepresented minority groups, including women, African American, and Hispanics/Latinos attended the twoweek program. In the summer of 2017 and 2019, the program was non-residential lasting four and two weeks, respectively. In summer 2018, the program was two-week residential. In all programs, the students got a chance to explore different modes of transportation, such air, road, rail, water, with an overarching theme of safety and sustainability. The experience was provided through: a) hands-on experiments; b) field trips; and c) federal, state and industry speakers. The goal of this paper is to evaluate how this program impacted their career choices. A total of 36 students have graduated from high school out of the total enrollment of 58 students. The authors reached out to all parents whose students completed the program and have graduated from high school. Of the 36 students, at least 20 indicated that they are pursuing a degree in engineering in college. Although the remaining 16 were unresponsive, it is most likely that the majority of high school graduates who participated in NSTI went on to pursue further engineering education. The authors will continue to reach out to the remaining students. The overwhelming response was one of appreciation at the opportunity provided their students to attend college-level engineering lectures, hands-on demonstrations and field trips to industry partners to which they would not otherwise have access. More specifically, many parents expressed confirmation that participating in the program opened their students’ minds to opportunities in engineering which they had not otherwise considered. In some cases, it was determined that participation simply confirmed the engineering field already chosen when the student entered the program. Another promising response was that several students expressed interest to return as speakers at future NSTI sessions. These NSTI graduates will be amazing role models for future participants of the NSTI program. The paper presents the findings about the career choice of the students and what aspects of the NSTI program, if any, impacted them the most. This paper will provide a blueprint to other NSTI programs across the country as they design their own curriculum.

Rivera, K., & Ali, A., & Mehta, Y., & Patel, S. D. (2021, July), Long Term Impact of New Jersey National Summer Transportation Institute Hosted at Rowan University on Career Choices of Cohorts (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37462

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