August 21, 2014  

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Universities Unite Expertise to Benefit Mississippi Education, Business, Industry

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The University of Southern Mississippi Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation (CLTT) and the Mississippi State University - Research Curriculum Unit (RCU) are partnering to develop an “Intermodal Transportation Curriculum for Secondary Education” as a pilot study.

 “This is a fascinating project that will bring important knowledge into the classroom for our children’s bright minds for them to engage and benefit from this important sector for Mississippi,” said Dr. Tulio Sulbaran, director of the Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation.

 “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in this sector is expected to grow faster than average and therefore it is important for our schools to share this knowledge to give additional job opportunities to our children.”

Lemond Irvin, assistant research professor and the RCU instructional designer who created the intermodal curricula added, “Students will now be able to pursue transportation logistics as a career starting at the high school level. There is no better time than the present to prepare our future workforce for many high-skilled, high wage jobs in Mississippi.

“Through both classroom and on-site visits, teachers will gain first-hand experience and incorporate resources from many world leaders and transfer that knowledge of transportation logistics into their classrooms.”

Mohammad Rahman, CLTT affiliated faculty, noted that “in this project we will discuss intermodal facility as a state of the art transportation center interface that combines different mode of transportations (rail, ship, truck and barges) in one place to facilitate direct transfer of freights between the modes, which is an important milestone for 21st century economy and trade promotion.”

The pilot project is part of a state initiative to increase awareness of intermodal transportation education among K-12 stakeholders. The CLTT, located at Southern Miss., will host a customized two-day technical workshop for selected K-12 educators. The center designed six interactive workshop modules where teachers will work with university faculty and industry practitioners to prepare lesson plans to implement in the classrooms.

The workshop is designed to provide basic understanding of fundamental concepts of: intermodal transportation, career opportunities and the importance of intermodal education, freight forwarding and international shipments, modal selection process and transportation decisions, successful handling of intermodal operations and transportation rules, regulations, and their combined impact on Mississippi’s global competitiveness.

 “This educating the educators’ project will serve as a stepping stone and has the potential to create a future generation of intermodal transportation experts to perform challenging jobs in the industry,” said CLTT Assistant Director MD Sarder. “This pilot project is designed not only to educate but also to motivate K-12 teachers to design and implement intermodal transportation curriculum among their students through project based learning.”

The workshops along with three virtual reality mobile units will be ready for Mississippi students in the spring. For more information regarding the CLTT and the Intermodal Curriculum for Secondary Education project, please contact Sulbaran at 601.266-6419 or Tulio.Sulbaran@usm.edu.