|Title||Assessment of introductory transportation engineering course and general transportation engineering curriculum|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2013|
|Authors||Turochy R, Fricker J, Hawkins H., Hurwitz DS, Ivey S, Knodler J.Michael A, Young R|
|Journal||Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board|
Transportation engineering is a critical subdiscipline of the civil engineering profession as indicated by its inclusion on the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination and overlap with other specialty areas of civil engineering and as recognized by TRB, ITE, and ASCE. With increasing transportation workforce needs, low numbers of students entering the pipeline, and limited hours within undergraduate civil engineering programs, it is important to ensure that civil engineering students receive adequate preparation and exposure to career opportunities in the transportation engineering field. Thus, investigations into the status of transportation engineering within civil engineering programs and specifically the introductory transportation engineering course are essential for understanding implications to the profession. Relevant literature and findings from a new survey of civil engineering programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology is reviewed; that survey yielded 84 responses. The survey indicates that 88% of responding programs teach an introductory course in transportation engineering, and 79% require it in their undergraduate programs. Significant variation exists in the structure of the introductory course (number of credit hours, laboratory requirements, etc.). Common responses about improvements that could be made include adding laboratories, requiring a second course, and broadening course content. In addition, nearly 15% of instructors teaching the introductory course did not have a primary focus in transportation engineering. This finding should be investigated further, given that the course may be an undergraduate civil engineering student's only exposure to the profession.