North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State (N.C. A&T) University is hosting its 30th annual Summer High School Transportation Institute (STI). The 2022 session, which began July 11, is in-person for the first time in two years. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 schedules were abbreviated and held virtually.
11th and 12th graders from Greensboro, High Point, Elon, Gibsonville, Haw River, Kernersville, Mebane, and Whitsett qualified for the 2022 program. Students had to have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale and submit a typed 250-word essay.
Each year, the Federal Highway Administration, North Carolina Department of Transportation, and Center for Advanced Transportation Mobility sponsor STI in partnership with N.C. A&T to recruit talented young people and increase minority and female representation.
STI is offered through the A&T Transportation Institute in the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics and introduces high school students to career opportunities in public and private sectors of transportation and supply chain management.
The program focuses on demonstrating how transportation professions use science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills, familiarizing the students with the various modes of transportation – from air to highway and rail to water.
Students also participate in SAT preparation classes, learn basic computer coding, and practice presentation and public speaking skills. Each student receives a weekly stipend and a certificate of completion.
“As we all know, transportation touches every facet of our daily lives in very important ways as the supply chain issues have highlighted over the past couple of years during the pandemic,” Transportation Institute Director Rachel Liu said. “Transportation is a highly viable education and career path for these students to follow.”
During the four-week nonresidential program, students took part in classroom lectures and personal development workshops. They also saw transportation in action at the Port of Wilmington, Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Carolina Transportation Museum, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Virginia, and several locations in the District of Columbia.
Deese College Associate Dean Danielle Winchester encouraged STI participants to continue their education at A&T, noting that the college boasts 100 percent job placement yearly for graduates concentrating in supply chain management.
“Each year, we aspire to offer a robust program that introduces students to emerging technologies in the transportation industry,” said Nicholas Allen. He became the STI project director and program manager for the Transportation Institute in August 2021.