For three weeks, 14 students are participated in the National Summer Transportation Institute at Johnson C. Smith University. JCSU was one of five Historically Black Colleges and Universities partnering with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to change the future of transportation.
“What we’re trying to do is build a pipeline. If we don’t begin to educate our students earlier, and earlier they won’t understand the tremendous amount of opportunities that exist in transportation,” said Al Austin, HBCU Outreach Director with NCDOT.
The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration, is designed to build relationships between students and faculty at universities. In addition, it addresses diversity and inclusion in transportation. As Austin added, “We need women and minorities in transportation.”
Throughout the program, students learned about computer programming, blockchain, supply chain and drone technology and visited various transportation sites throughout the region.
“We are excited to be selected to further our K-12 outreach and to increase promising high school students’ interest in the rapidly evolving transportation industry. This will be a program like no other,” said Anthony Howard, K-12 Program Coordinator of the Smith Tech-Innovation Center and NSTI Project Directo