PUBLICATION

MTI Report 03-01
The Future of Transportation Education: A Needs Assessment of the Transportation Management Program at San José State University

The future of transportation education will continue to be shaped by internal and external influences. Student aspirations and identified needs interact with a competitive environment, industry requirements, and advances in technology to affect the ongoing evolution occurring in the content and delivery of transportation education. The Mineta Transportation Institute and the Graduate Transportation Management Program at San José State University (SJSU) have initiated the current project to determine how they should best proceed to meet the education needs of transportation professionals. To accomplish that goal, this research includes a web-based analysis of competitors; interviews, focus groups, and online surveys of current students and alumni; interviews of transportation professionals; and a review of the latest information concerning the delivery of distance learning education.

ABSTRACT

This research provides a comprehensive assessment of needs for the Graduate Transportation Management Program at San José State University. The study was commissioned by the Mineta Transportation Institute to examine the current graduate program in Transportation Management, including a Master of Science in Transportation Management and a Graduate Certificate in Transportation Management. The comprehensive needs assessment report investigates the best course for the future of the transportation management program at SJSU and provides advice regarding the manner by which the SJSU program may best proceed to meet the graduate education needs of transportation professionals. To achieve these ends, the overall analysis incorporated several components. These include a web-based examination of similar programs; a detailed analysis of student and alumni
experiences and opinions; in-depth interviews with transportation professionals from California and across the country; and, an overview of the current state of distance learning and distance learning technology.

These analyses reveal unique attributes possessed by the SJSU curriculum and programs, indicate areas in which the curriculum and programs may be expanded and improved, and specify ways in which the delivery of distance learning might be enhanced and made more competitive. Findings are directly applicable to the intent of the transportation management program to continue to
evolve and respond to student and industry needs in design, management, and implementation.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Dr. Linda Valenty is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she currently serves as Chair of the Planning Committee to design a new MPP (Master's in Public Policy) program and assists university administration as member of the Cal Poly Assessment Resource Team (CPART) consulting on all levels of assessment for departments and programs at Cal Poly. Dr. Valenty served as a member of the faculty in the Department of Political Science at San José State University from 1998 to 2002, during which time she was a member of the Provost's Task Force to Design and Implement the Survey and Policy Research Institute (SPRI) and functioned as its first Acting Academic Director from 2001-2002.

Dr. Valenty has also assisted the State of California as Chair of the Practical Issues Committee of the state's Internet Voting Task Force from 1999-2000 and by co-authoring California's Internet Voting Task Force Feasibility Report. She has authored and co-authored several journal articles and book chapters on the subjects of political behavior, public policy, and political psychology, and was recently elected Vice President of the Psycho-Politics Research Committee of the International Political Science Association.

Dr. Valenty holds a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA, an M.A. in Political Science from UC Davis, an M.S. in Policy Analysis and Public Management from CSU Sacramento, and a Ph.D. in Political Science (Public Policy and Political Psychology) from UC Davis.

TECHNICAL

MTI Report 03-01
The Future of Transportation Education: A Needs Assessment of the Transportation Management Program at San José State University
Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda O. Valenty
Published: June 2004
Keywords: College graduates; College students; Education and training; Education and training methods, Education and training personnel
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