Program assessment: industrial hygiene and safety sciences
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Program assessment has long been a critical element for academic programs to ensure continuous quality improvement of their programs. More recently, occupational safety, health and environmental programs have embraced assessment by external groups as well. The University of Central Missouri, a mid-sized school in Western Missouri has produced 400 alumni with master's degrees in industrial hygiene. The program is accredited by ABET. To assess what alumni of the program think of their preparation by the Department, as well as their views on what courses and topics and skills and knowledge entry level industrial hygienists should have, a comprehensive assessment of the program was conducted. Assessment instruments used in this research study included an on-line survey and a review of historical documents. The results revealed that alumni overwhelmingly believe their preparation by the Department for their careers in industrial hygiene was above average. The skills and knowledge and courses and topics selected by alumni as essential for industrial hygiene graduate students included those in the practitioner category. The majority if alumni believed their preparation by the Department for their career in industrial hygiene was above average or excellent. Very few believed their preparation was poor. The methodologies used in this research are applicable for use by faculty from other academic departments.