With a greater demand for safety professionals to have broader environmental skill sets, the Safety Sciences Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) is anticipating changing its B.S. degree program from one in Safety Sciences to one that more predominantly encompasses the "Environmental" component. Thus, the current B.S. degree program in Safety Sciences is in the process of transitioning to a B.S. degree program in Safety, Health and Environmental Applied Sciences. The Department is also considering seeking Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation under Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) program criteria. Accreditation requirements will act as a framework for establishing curricula revisions as well as student outcomes.
Better preparing our students for a degree in not only safety but one that encompasses more of the environmental aspect is needed in today's marketplace. Students are being asked to assume more than just safety responsibilities in their jobs (Ayers, 26) and in an effort to respond to this reality our curricula needs to be revisited. By cross-referencing the ABET accreditation requirements for Safety programs vs. EHS programs, the gaps in the curriculum can be easily identified. Based on this gap analysis and resolving these deficiencies through curricula revisions, we can focus our program on a degree that effectively prepares students for the environmental aspects of their jobs while meeting ABET accreditation requirements for EHS. This paper will focus on identifying the differences between the ABET accreditation requirements for Safety vs. EHS and will look at how IUP has begun to restructure its coursework to reflect these necessary changes to better prepare our students for flexibility in the workplace.