Kansas City Summer Transportation Institute


The goal of the Summer Transportation Institute is to create a national model for the inclusion of high school students with disabilities within the National Summer Transportation Institute system that results in an increase in the number of students with disabilities pursuing transportation related careers. Summer 2014 is the eleventh year of this Institute in Kansas City.

  • Project Contact –
  • Project Period – 2003-2018
  • Annual Funding – $55,000 (FY2014)
  • Funding Source – Federal Highway Administration

Core Functions

Applied Research

The Institute for Human Development measures the effectiveness of the KCSTI pipeline program. Students will be tracked to determine if they chose a career in the transportation industry

Community Services and Supports

Students with and without disabilities participate in a four-week institute that exposes them to career opportunities in transportation. During the four-week institute the students have the opportunity to meet transportation professionals and explore career opportunities in four modes of transportation; water, land, air and safety. The institute includes self-discovery activities designed to enhance teamwork, leadership, and provide students with an introduction to college life. Students also participate in academic learning through experiment-based and individual research projects.

Information Dissemination

Students and their families are provided information on educational services offered on campus, mentoring opportunities and internships in the field of transportation.

Program Need and Historical Context

In support of the New Freedom Initiative, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, set as one of its strategic goals the implementation of recruitment strategies to encourage more people with disabilities into the transportation field. The Institutes are designed to address critical workforce needs in the transportation industry through career education that encourages secondary school students to consider related courses of study. This program is designed to support high school students with disabilities to participate alongside peers without disabilities in Institutes, and increase the number of people with disabilities entering transportation related careers.

Consumer and Community Involvement

  • This project targets 9th, 10th, and 11th grade high school students with a wide variety of disabilities within the greater Kansas City area who are interested in careers in the transportation.
  • The graduates and their parents assist in the recruitment of future students.
  • Presentations are given to community-based organizations to increase the awareness of the program.
  • Selected students attend a four-week Institute that exposes them to college life and assists them in exploring transportation-industry career opportunities.
  • Local transportation organizations volunteer staff time to do planning, host students during field trips and make presentations to the students

Institute’s Role

  • Develops annual grant proposals and manages the development, administration, and delivery of Transportation Institute courses
  • Evaluates effectiveness of the project by conducting satisfaction evaluations of consumers, community organizations, and parents/family members
  • Recruited faculty and students to participate in the program


  • 193 graduates of the KC-STI program during the first ten years; approximately 20 participants per year
  • Students with disabilities and their families are assisted in the development of an individualized career plan
  • Promotional information disseminated widely in the community
  • Summer Transportation Institute Curriculum
  • Annual Report



Increases the number of people with disabilities in the transportation field and expands the range of career opportunities for people with disabilities.


IHD staff provide training, group facilitation, youth leadership curriculum development, and program evaluation.


IHD provides this project annually and is collaborating with stakeholders to identify and secure additional project resources.