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The National Academies

NCHRP 20-07/Task 078 [Completed]

Developing a Measurement System for the AASHTO/TRAC Program
[ NCHRP 20-07 (Research for AASHTO Standing Committee on Highways) ]

  Project Data
Funds: 50000
Research Agency: Pennsylvania State University
Effective Date: 5/1/1996
Completion Date: 6/30/1997
Comments: Completed

Task 78, FY 1996, "Developing a Measurement System for the AASHTO/TRAC Program" (Dr. John M. Mason). TRAC is AASHTO's in-school transportation education program currently active in 15 states and South Africa. The goal of this program is to increase awareness among students in high school and junior high school--especially minorities and women--about career opportunities in transportation and civil engineering. Although AASHTO had a feedback system in place where schools and state DOTs were asked to provide regular feedback on the program's use and effectiveness, it had proved to be an unreliable mechanism to effectively capture important data needed to evaluate the program. Accordingly, the objective of this task was to develop an annual evaluation process that will yield the following information: (a) TRAC's progress in elevating students' awareness of transportation and civil engineering and the impact of those professions on the quality of community life; (b) TRAC's success in influencing students' career decisions (i.e., influencing them toward transportation or civil engineering careers); and (c) data relevant to (a) and (b) above that will allow TRAC to make necessary adjustments in program content and delivery and to assess projected goals on the numbers of schools, students, and classroom experiences. Work on this task included the development of an evaluation system, a pilot collection and evaluation of data, and recommendations on system modifications based on the pilot experience. A three-part final report has been submitted and distributed to AASHTO National and Regional TRAC centers. (NCHRP Staff: C.F. Jencks)

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