WTI’s Community-engaged and Transformational Scholarship (CATS) program fosters course-based project partnerships between MSU faculty and students and public agencies or other community-based organizations. CATS provides a framework for agencies to harness students’ ideas, creativity, and energy while at the same time offering students the unique opportunity to work for a real client and to produce a mutually defined outcome that addresses important community needs.
Dr. Sarah Church, Assistant Professor in Earth Sciences, has been an active participant in the program since joining MSU as a faculty member in 2019. Through CATS, she has partnered with the City of Bozeman to engage her undergraduate and graduate students on a wide variety of course-based projects, exploring a range of topics from planning processes, neighborhood character preservation, and stormwater management, to public outreach and communication mechanisms. This spring, Sarah received the MSU President’s Award of Excellence in Service-Learning in recognition of her outstanding track record of fostering student learning through real world community projects.
The Small Urban, Rural and Tribal Center on Mobility (SURTCOM) hosted a University Transportation Center (UTC) -Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) Summit in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The October 21st event, sponsored by a CUTC New Initiatives grant, brought together representatives from UTCs and TCUs nationwide to discuss strategies for advancing partnerships that will help connect Native American students to transportation careers and higher education. Arlando Teller, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Tribal Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, opened with a welcome and overview of the UTC program as well as additional US DOT grant opportunities. Patrick Nemons, Director of the Office of Safety Programs with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, provided attendees with resources and strategies for obtaining federal grants, focusing on the important role minority-serving institutions play in advancing the nation’s transportation programs.
Representatives from UTCs provided attendees with an overview of their research themes and outreach and education efforts, highlighting any existing UTC-TCU partnerships. The majority of the Summit was spent on roundtable discussions with TCU attendees exploring themes related to research, training, and workforce development needs, linkages between two-year and four-year institutions, and education and outreach efforts to attract diverse students to transportation careers. The workshop wrapped up with a discussion on strategies and guiding principles for establishing mutually beneficial TCU/UTC partnerships.
In a recent feature article, Montana State University News Service detailed the contributions of MSU students to future plans for Soroptimist Park in Bozeman, Montana. The students are part of the Community-Engaged and Transformational Scholarship (CATS) program, led by WTI, which matches projects identified and prioritized by Montana communities with students and faculty in relevant disciplines at MSU to assist in making those projects reality. During the Fall 2020 semester, students in two undergraduate courses in the MSU College of Agriculture gained hands-on experience working with the city of Bozeman on research, site visits, and design workshops, which culminated in recommendations and designs for renovating the park into a multi-use urban plaza.
The West Region Transportation Workforce Center (WRTWC), which is based at WTI, will host a webinar on October 7 (11 am Mountain Time), which will focus on “Engaging Multidisciplinary Student Talent to Meet Agency Needs.” Four speakers from MSU and the City of Bozeman will highlight the Community-engaged and Transformational Scholarship Initiative (CATS), a successful 3-year partnership between MSU and the City of Bozeman that offers students the opportunity to work on community-based projects through their university courses.
Thanks to MSU News Service for highlighting the webinar with a feature article on its website! Read more about the CATS program, the upcoming series of webinars on workforce development topics, and insights from WTI’s Education Program Manager Susan Gallagher, who will be one of the featured speakers.
MSU Speakers will highlight successful program offering professional development and career exposure to university students
How do we inspire the next generation of transportation professionals and start filling growing workforce needs in the transportation sector? Join the National Network for the Transportation Workforce for a 4-part webinar series on how to achieve effective student career engagement and priority workforce development during the pandemic and over the long term.
The West Region Transportation Workforce Center (WRTWC), which is based at WTI, will host the first webinar on October 7 (11 am Mountain Time), which will focus on “Engaging Multidisciplinary Student Talent to Meet Agency Needs.” Four speakers from MSU and the City of Bozeman will highlight the Community-engaged and Transformational Scholarship Initiative (CATS), a successful 3-year partnership between MSU and the City of Bozeman that offers students the opportunity to work on community-based projects through their university courses. Speakers will include:
- Susan Gallagher, Director, West Region Transportation Workforce Center
- Susanne Cowan, Professor, Montana State University School of Architecture
- Larissa Morales, Grad Student, Montana State University School of Architecture
- Danielle Hess, City of Bozeman Neighborhoods Coordinator
Learn more and sign-up for this free event on the registration webpage. Future webinars in the series will include:
- October 27: State of the Transportation and Mobility Workforce
- November 18: The Role of Industry-Academia Partnerships in Preparing K-12 Students
for Transportation Careers
- December 3: Providing Training and Education During the pandemic:
Challenges and Solutions at State DOTs
To learn more about each
webinar in the series and to register, visit: https://www.nntw.org/nntw-fall-2020-webinar-series-empowering-the-new-mobility-workforce/
The West Region Transportation Workforce Center has released the University Partnership Playbook, a step-by-step guide for creating multi-project collaborations between public agencies and universities. The collaborations offer students hands-on transportation project experience within their university courses and provide agencies with added expertise and capacity for community-based projects.
The Playbook uses the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities (EPIC) Model, a framework for making university resources (faculty, students, laboratories, specialized and multidisciplinary expertise, etc.) available to public entities to help solve their priority challenges. At the same time, it promotes professional development and career awareness opportunities for university students.
Designed for public agencies and other potential partners who are interested in starting or expanding a partnership with a university, the playbook includes:
- Tried and true implementation steps for organizing a successful university partnership
- Common challenges and fixes
- Adaptations to the model
- Success stories from different locations around the country, which highlight potential outcomes and benefits
The University Partnership Playbook is available to read or download on the WRTWC Resources webpage.
A newly published book on training the next generation of transportation workers at all levels includes a chapter written by two WTI staff members. Empowering the New Mobility Workforce: Educating, Training, and Inspiring Future Transportation Professionals identifies strategies that education, industry, and government leaders can use to facilitate learning and skill development related to emerging transportation technologies and challenges. Susan Gallagher, WTI’s Education Workforce Program Manager, and former WTI Director, Steve Albert wrote a chapter on “Cultivating a rural lens: successful approaches to developing regional transportation corridors through professional capacity building,” which focuses on the unique workforce challenges faced by transportation agencies at the rural and regional level and describes relevant examples of incorporating professional capacity building into transportation projects.
The book addresses one of the most critical issues in transportation – the growing workforce shortage. Transportation industries project a need to hire more than 4 million employees over the next decade. Empowering the New Mobility Workforce has been endorsed by national transportation leaders, including former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta. It is available on the Elsevier Publishing website or on Amazon.com.
Citation: Reeb, Tyler (Ed.). (2019). Empowering the New Mobility Workforce: Educating, Training, and Inspiring Future Transportation Professionals. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing.
On November 7, WTI’s new grant from the National Science Foundation was highlighted in a feature article on the Montana State University website. The project will allow WTI’s West Region Transportation Workforce Center, in partnership with MSU’s College of Engineering, to offer a six-week summer program for high school and community college teachers. The program will begin in the summer of 2018 and will educate teachers on rural transportation research topics and will help them develop curricula for their own students.View the Recruiting Flyer Research Experience for Teachers