From transportation management to urban planning, University of Texas at Arlington students are getting real industry experience in a new academic program focused on developing future leaders within the transit sector.
The Transportation Leadership Academy, a joint venture between UTA and Dallas Area Rapid Transit, melds academic and on-the-job learning. Its goal is to push students to develop forward-thinking transport measures in North Texas.
“The critical thinkers who graduate from UTA will be uniquely prepared to compete for jobs in the transit sector in Dallas-Fort Worth or anywhere in the world.”
Gary Thomas, DART president and executive director, said in a release that the transit agency is searching for engineers, planners, and designers to make up the “next generation.”
“By launching this partnership, we are building a new talent pipeline. The critical thinkers who graduate from UTA will be uniquely prepared to compete for jobs in the transit sector in Dallas-Fort Worth or anywhere in the world,” Thomas said.
The academy targets students from the university’s colleges of Business; Engineering; and Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs.
Out of 100 applicants five students have been selected to work alongside DART executives, according to The Shorthorn, UTA’s student publication.
“Our students experience academic rigor here in Arlington, but we need to make sure they experience the real world, as well,” Ashley Purgason, UTA’s assistant vice president for strategic initiatives, told The Shorthorn.
After the first year, DART and UTA plan to expand the program to include a paid summer internship for students in between their junior and senior years.
The next round of applications is expected to open in spring 2018, Purgason said.
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