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Transportation Education At Colleges And Universities In The Mountain States

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Current Issues in Aerospace Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1321.1 - 9.1321.15



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Paper Authors

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Wayne Cottrell

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This study investigates transportation engineering and planning education at two- and four-year colleges and universities located within the mountain region of the U.S. As of the 2003-2004 academic year, 40 of the 185 schools in the region were teaching at least one course in transportation; 36 of these were four-year institutions. A total of 32 of the 40 institutions were offering a degree in a transportation-related field. The combined results of three different surveys of transportation professionals, each performed by other researchers, along with input from the author, identified a set of 15 essential topics to be covered in a comprehensive transportation education program. None of the institutions in the study region were offering courses in all 15 areas, but four schools were covering over 50% of the essential topics. A total of 247 undergraduate and graduate transportation courses were being taught throughout the study region; the most “popular” type was in air transportation. Other common subjects were in pavement design and maintenance, highway engineering and construction, and traffic engineering. Economics and finance, public transit, and law and regulations were somewhat “unpopular” in that few institutions offered courses in these. Research activity was rated based on institutional involvement in the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board. A total of 18 schools participated in a session or workshop during the 2002 or 2003 meetings. Seventeen institutions were identified as representing the “top tier” of schools having transportation programs in the mountain region. Further study would be needed to distinguish between the quality of transportation instruction and research provided at these 17 institutions. Only two interdisciplinary transportation programs were identified, despite the recognized need for multidisciplinary approaches to addressing transportation problems. This paper may be of use to educators who are either developing or modifying their transportation programs, prospective students, and researchers who may be interested in doing similar studies of other disciplines or regions. Because of ongoing changes in faculty and courses, this and similar studies should be updated regularly.

Cottrell, W. (2004, June), Transportation Education At Colleges And Universities In The Mountain States Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13989

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