This study will be part of an ongoing research project designed to compare and assess the different strategies used by accredited Occupational Safety and Health undergraduate programs to measure learner outcomes. This project will limit itself to institutions that have proven quality control by maintaining accreditation from the Applied Science Accreditation Commission (ASAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) approved accreditation status to the undergraduate Occupational Safety and Hygiene Management program at Millersville University (MU) in 1991. ASSE transferred accreditation to ABET in 1993. As one of the first ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science occupational safety programs in the country, the program flourished. In 2001, ABET accreditation status at MU was upgraded with the addition of environmental coursework, changing the program title to Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH). Every six years, the OSEH program is audited by ABET for re-accreditation.
"Continuous effort must be expended to maintain accreditation" (Boraiko, 2010). The Millersville University Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH) ABET reaccreditation process examines learning outcome objectives, and specifically, whether any learning outcome objectives are undergoing measurement and evaluation for continuous program improvements. Using an assessment of learner outcomes "is an integral component to ensure that quality learning is occurring" (Hill, 2012). The last piece, known as ‘Closing the Loop,’ is often remiss in the assessment process. Doing the assessment should result in changes towards continuous improvement.