UCCONNECT builds upon the legacy of the degree and non-degree programs across its consortium. Our goal is to ensure that our Center is helping to prepare the next generation of professionals to tackle the complex challenges confronting our region’s and country’s transportation networks. Our consortium collectively features university degree programs at the bachelors, masters and doctoral level.
The programs within our consortium that directly address transportation topics are impressive in their size and breadth. More impressive still, they represent some of the country’s finest departments that engage in the study of transport. Upon finishing their degrees, graduates routinely secure key entry-level positions in the field and in short order, are often promoted to leadership ranks. This tends to be true of our graduates whether they pursue careers in industry, the public sector or academia. Hence, our consortium enjoys an expansive network of alumni who work across the country and around the world.
UCCONNECT continues in the tradition of its predecessor, UCTC, by directing substantial financial support to graduate students. The funds go to the creation of research positions, and student recipients of the awards pursue the research under the direction of our affiliated faculty. Funds of this kind will also be given in the form of dissertation grants, awarded on a competitive basis throughout the entire consortium, to support doctoral students as they complete their theses.
As regards non-degree programs, the Center will be actively engaged in the continuing education of working professionals. To this end, UCCONNECT is partnering with the Technology Transfer program at Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies. The program has an impressive track record. For example, it offers more than 100 short-courses and seminars each year to transport professional around the region and across the country. The Center will also direct funds to our affiliate institution, Cal Poly Pomona, for the purpose of continuing education and outreach. Cal Poly has a long history of excellence in this area. For example, its GIS Research Center regularly offers training courses to professionals from local and regional transport agencies. Moreover, UCCONNECT also provides financial resources and human capital to support Cal Poly’s ongoing development of a transportation academy for high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School System and for students at select junior colleges in Los Angeles County. The academy will offer activities aimed at exposing these students to career opportunities in transportation.
Our Center’s performance in meeting its aspirations in the realm of education are assessed using metrics that include:
- number of graduate degrees conferred from each of our consortium’s transportation programs and the number of undergraduate students who choose transportation as their specialty area;
- number of registrants at UCCONECT-supported conferences, short-courses, outreach activities, and like events; and
- number of graduates from Cal Poly Pomona who pursue graduate-level study in transport at one of the UC campuses in our consortium.