Roads Scholar  |  Advanced Roads Scholar  |  Master Roads Scholar

Roads Scholar LogoLocal government agencies in North Carolina who have the responsibility for streets and roads are entrusted to see that these streets and roads are safe and properly constructed and maintained. Employees must be trained in the basics of construction and maintenance as well as staying current in the latest practices. As budgets are always tight, cities and towns need to provide this training in an efficient and cost effective manner.

The Roads Scholar and Advanced Roads Scholar programs provides special training programs administered by North Carolina’s Local Technical Assistance Program (NC LTAP) that allow local government agencies access to high quality training for their employees at a reasonable cost.

Roads Scholar

NC LTAP’s first level of recognition is the Roads Scholar Program, which provides a curriculum of training to enable transportation workers to study road fundamentals, safety, drainage, snow and ice removal, and training management. Being a Roads Scholar can help employees develop professionalism and advance in their careers. Courses can be taken in any order from any level at any time. You must meet the requirements of a Roads Scholar first, in order to move on to receive recognition as an Advanced Road Scholar.

The Roads Scholar Program consists of one- or two-day training sessions, regularly offered through NC LTAP each year. To become a Roads Scholar, 7 of the offered training sessions identified below must be completed.  Click the course title for more information.


Asphalt Pavement Maintenance

This workshop covers pavement evaluation, asphalt mix materials, hot plant mix production and pavement construction methods, routing pavement maintenance techniques, and pothole patching.


Basic Computer Skills: Reports and Presentations

This full-day workshop is entirely focused on practical applications of spreadsheets, reports, and presentations in your organization. The workshop will demonstrate the effectiveness of various computer programs with actual files that you use regularly. The workshop will include:

  • Classroom instruction and discussion
  • Hands -on computer usage
  • The computer programs that are helpful in making spreadsheets, reports, and presentations, such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
  • Calculations and analysis which can provide useful information for your organization
  • How to present your information in an effective way

Participants are strongly encouraged to bring (or email in advance of the course) examples of files to review and improve during the workshop.


Basic Concepts of Supervision

The Basic Concepts of Supervision focuses on the elements that new supervisors should be aware of: tasks of a leader, being a role model, motivation techniques, communication skills, problem solving and decision making, conflict and time management, customer service and stress management. The workshop is interactive with lecture, small and large group exercises and skill practices. Participants will have opportunities to ask and answer questions related to the subjects as described.


Basic Drainage/Roadway Drainage Maintenance

There are three things you need to have a good road: drainage, drainage, and drainage. This program covers drainage principles, drainage policy, ditches, pipes, and other drainage features, including installation maintenance and construction of drainage components.


Basic Work Zone Installer

This workshop teaches the basics of work zone traffic control. The course covers short-term operations (no longer than one work shift) and focuses on daytime activities. This course must be completed before taking Intermediate Work Zone Safety Training.


Chain Saw Safety

Use of a chain saw requires a whole host of special personal protective equipment, including special glasses, gloves, chaps, and more. This hands-on class will cover basic chain saw operational safety awareness (e.g. proper protective wear, starting, kick back prevention, cutting do’s and don’ts) as well as body position during cutting and a few advanced topics. Each attendee will don the proper PPE for a routine sawing operation of felled trees, inspect the condition of the saw, check fluid levels, crank the saw and perform a successful cutting operation.

Concrete What, When and How

This class features the basics of concrete installation from the composition of concrete to an actual student hands on session demonstrating placing and finishing techniques. This course is geared to anyone interested in improving concrete skills and will provide students with a general knowledge of concrete. Part of this workshop will be hands-on with real concrete so please dress appropriately for being outside for several hours and also working with concrete. 


Construction Mathematics for Transportation Personnel

This class will cover very practical areas for those who need to solve problems dealing with materials and supplies. Measurements using scale and Calculating area- discussion: work examples from sample plans. Materials factoring – discussion: asphalt – discussion, conversion of area to weight (tons); concrete – discussion, Conversion to area to volume (cubic yards); Stone – discussion, Conversion of area to weight (tons). Sample problems – Asphalt, Concrete, Stone Estimate areas for odd shapes- for example circles and triangles.


Excavation Safety

This workshop will not only teach the participants to recognize danger, but will equip them with the tools to prevent dangerous accidents.

You may also recall that this abbreviated class:

  1. Reviews the competent person information to refresh their memory about requirements of the standard,
  2. Shows the attendees other new approaches to comply with the standard not covered in the first, comprehensive course, and
  3. Discusses the other items that NC OSHA compliance officers have indicated that most trained competent people tend to forget.

So, this course is designed to be both an ADVANCED COURSE – presenting new shoring alternatives for those already having completed the full-day comprehensive course AND ALSO serve as a REFRESHER COURSE – hitting the high spots on many of the most important aspects from the full-day class.

Just to be crystal clear about the title and scope of the course, because this is an abbreviated course, stressing some of the most important aspects of the OSHA Trenching Standard and NOT a comprehensive course involving hands-on soil classification along with many of the other nitty-gritty details of the standard, each of the wallet cards are appropriately titled “Excavation Safety Awareness” rather than “Competent Person.”


Flagger Training

This workshop is designed to train participants to be effective flaggers by teaching the basics of flagging operations and procedures.


Intermediate Work Zone Safety

This workshop builds on the information covered in the Basic Work Zone Installer course, with particular emphasis paid to multi-lane urban streets. Multi-lane intersection work zones, detours, and mobile operations are covered in detail. Basic Work Zone Installer Training is a prerequisite for this course.


Low Cost Safety Improvements

Each year, motor vehicle crashes on US roadways, claim on the order of 40,000 lives and 3 million injuries and involve $230 billion in costs. The Federal Highway Administration and AASHTO, among others, have identified roadway safety as a high priority. The consequences of motor vehicle crashes would not be nearly so high if programs, tools and technologies that have been developed were more extensively deployed to make roads safer for travel. This workshop emphasizes the application of traffic control devices, enhanced traffic control device application measures, low-cost safety improvements, and their specific safety benefits in terms of crash modification factors. Signing, marking and illumination are highlighted. The information is directly applicable to addressing requests and comments from the public.

Topics covered include:

  • Overview of highway safety and focus on what can be done now
  • Identification of high-crash locations
  • The Tools
    • Mitigating Roadside Hazards
    • Signing
    • Marking and Delineation
    • Lighting
    • Enhanced Applications of Signing and Markings
  • Case Studies
  • Unsignalized Intersections
  • Signalized Intersections
  • Innovative Applications of Traffic Control Devices
  • Case Study Exercises

Who Should Attend: This workshop should be of interest to state and local roadway agency traffic engineers, those who design and install traffic control devices, public works directors, and others involved in the roadway element of traffic safety.

Instructor: The instructor for this workshop is Ronald W. Eck, PE, Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at West Virginia University and former Director of the West Virginia LTAP Center. He currently serves as Senior Advisor with the WV LTAP Center. Ron has been involved in traffic engineering and traffic safety for over 30 years.


Maintenance and Repair of Utility Cuts

This workshop expands on the discussion of utility cut repairs presented in the Asphalt Pavement Maintenance workshop and includes an in-depth review of the use of flowable fill concrete for utility cut maintenance and repair.


Managing Conflict with the Public and Employees

This class will focus on three primary topics: conflict styles, strategies for de-escalating conflict, and steps for negotiating a mutually beneficial resolution to conflict. Participants will have the opportunity to practice conflict management strategies in role-play situations.


Plan Reading for Transportation Personnel

Learn Blueprint reading, one of the foundational skills essential to a successful career in construction. Gain an elementary level of understanding of blueprint reading and how to apply it to construction projects.

Class will include:

  • Basic plan package understanding
  • Types of drawings
  • Key universal blueprint information
  • Understanding lines and symbols
  • Dissecting and interpreting blueprint information
  • Plans, elevations, sections, and details
  • Scale and applications
  • Job layout and orientation


Road Safety 365

A one-day workshop, that focuses on processes for incorporating safety into all aspects of local and rural road projects, and on making safety a priority through inclusion in the traditional decision-making process—365 days a year. The main goal of this workshop is to raise the safety awareness of practitioners on how to incorporate safety into project development and everyday work. It stresses the importance of road safety, and illustrates how it can be integrated into rural/local transportation project development at all stages: planning, design, construction, implementation, operations, and maintenance. After completion of the workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the need for making roads safer
  • Separate safety myths from reality
  • Demonstrate how to “read the road”
  • Describe practical and low-cost countermeasures to improve safety, both on existing roads and during the design stage
  • Identify ways to plan, implement and fund low-cost safety measures
  • Access existing resources to find the answer and/or data to address a question or problem that comes up on the job
  • Identify effective ways of encouraging communities to make their roads safer
  • Create an action list for implementing at least one safety improvement at their local agency
Roadside Safety Fundamentals

This course is intended for road supervisors, maintenance engineers, and maintenance level personnel in rural areas and small urban communities and others who have responsibility for operation and management of local roads. Superintendents and safety officers will benefit from this overview. Course topics will cover: the basics of road safety, identifying and solving traffic safety problems, traffic control devices, roadways, design standards, curves and surface condition, improving roadside safety, and intersections, railroad grade crossings and driveways.


Snow and Ice Control

In this workshop, participants will learn snow and ice control procedures, properties of snow and ice and appropriate treatments, common deicing chemicals and alternative materials, winter storm preparation, and storm removal equipment and operations.


Soils Fundamentals

This workshop focuses on the important aspects of highway sub-grade preparation, including soil classifications, compaction of fills, soil compaction tests, proof rolling, and the importance of proper drainage.


Roads Scholar Completion

Roads Scholar graduates are recognized for their training and expertise. Upon successful completion of the program participants will receive:

  • Roads Scholar certificate of training
  • Roads Scholar cap
  • Recognition at the APWA-NC Streets Division Annual Conference
  • Recognition on the NC LTAP Web site and in NC LTAP’s Transportation Tracks newsletter
  • Letter of commendation, copied to particpants supervisor and mayor
  • Press release announcing your achievement to participants local newspaper

Roads Scholar graduates are also eligible to participate in the Advanced Roads Scholar Program.

See a list of Roads Scholar Graduates

For questions about the Roads Scholar program, contact:

Bill Woods, Program Coordinator

919-515-8033 |