The New England Center schools provide a wide variety of course work that blends traditional transportation study, such as civil engineering, with other fields, such as psychology, public policy, and environmental studies. MIT transportation students routinely cross-enroll at Harvard University to study transportation policy and Harvard University students pursue transportation planning and engineering work at MIT. The Universities of Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts offer an array of programs that enable students to study across fields that are transportation-related, including psychology, mechanical engineering, and design.
Experiential learning is key to effective transportation education. MIT begins at the undergraduate level offering Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROP Program) which enable undergraduates to participate in transportation research, working with faculty, graduate students and, frequently, in the field with sponsoring agencies or companies. Likewise, each of the proposed New England Center universities requires research-based theses for the Masters or Doctoral level of transportation study, ensuring that graduates are educated in theory but exposed to practice early in their career.
Each of the proposed universities is committed to education across the transportation career lifecycle. MIT offers selected executive education programs including transit operations, logistics and supply chain management. Harvard University has a well-established midcareer Masters program in Public Policy that has introduced the most current thinking in public management to practitioners in transit, selected state DOTs and Federal service.
The Universities of Maine and Massachusetts sponsor two Transportation Institutes for middle school and high school students. The Institutes are co-sponsored by the Maine Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. They are designed to introduce students at an early age to jobs and careers available in the region’s transportation industry.