The evolution of education at the fall meeting.

Author:Varkonyi, Irvin

The 2017 NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting will present the third iteration of Transportation Academy, our educational course offerings in defense transportation and logistics. We launched the inaugural series of interactive classes in 2015 as part of NDTA's strategic initiatives to support members' educational and professional development needs.

The interactive classes provide opportunities for meeting attendees to delve in greater detail into subjects that impact their work, as well as their future careers. Part of NDTA's mission is to use its unique resources and coordination with Fall Meeting co-sponsor USTRANSCOM to create these opportunities.

The initial University Day in 2015 at the Gaylord in Washington, DC, offered 20 classes and was attended by approximately 250 students. Since we had strong demand from both participants and instructors, we dramatically expanded the number of courses last year in St. Louis, with more than 60 classes. All courses featured experts, including high-level instructors like then-Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen, and LTG (Ret.) Kathy Gainey. Almost 750 individuals participated in the 2016 Transportation University, representing a balance of active duty, civilian government and commercial sector attendees.

When we developed last year's course program, we added an important feature. We divided classes into topical tracks to help attendees select courses, with the option 'follow' a topic in-depth, or to mix and match. The 13 tracks included topics such as Global Logistics, which looked at global trends and their impact on DOD logistics requirements; IT Systems and In-Transit Visibility, which focused on systems capabilities to enhance visibility and tracking in the moving of freight; and Legislation and Policy, which delved into the impact on logistics by government through legislation, funding and regulations.

The 2017 Fall Meeting will continue to explore several of the tracks from last year's meeting. New tracks this year will include such timely focus areas as Innovation and Analytics. One distinguishing feature of this year's tracks is their ability to appeal to a broad cross section of professionals of varying career-levels, across modes, and from military, government and industry. Learning alongside such a spectrum of people will allow attendees to learn from and alongside individuals outside their normal sphere of the transportation and logistics industries.

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