June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.125.1 - 14.125.14
A Systematic Process to Validate Safety, Health & Environmental Management Curriculum through Academic Advisory Committee Abstract
One of the main goals for academic institutions is to prepare students for employment in industry; not only to serve such industry but also to serve our community, country, and the world. It is essential for institutions to align their program outcomes and course objectives with customer (business and industry) needs. Not preparing our students to meet those needs could lead to an unsuccessful job placement and could also negatively affect the credibility of an intuition. Essentially, students who enroll in the program will need to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to become successful in their careers. Therefore in order for us to make our students ready to work in industry, educators will need to fully assess and understand the markets for Safety, Health, and Environmental Management graduates.
The concept utilized by Organizational Leadership and Supervision (OLS) is to request assistance from the professionals working in the field. Based on this concept, OLS program in the School of Technology at Purdue University Calumet (PUC), Safety, Health and Environmental Management has been working diligently with local safety and health professionals by forming an Academic Advisory Committee (AAC). AAC members help review the program to ensure its consistency between curriculums with those skill sets needed by industry. This process is in conformance with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Criteria 4 for 2009-2010 for accrediting applied science programs, which stipulates that each program must have a documented process to regularly assess its educational objectives and program outcomes, and to evaluate that these are being met.1 The process describe in this paper allows the program to meet this requirement.
Guidance in curriculum validation from professionals in industry is helpful because they know who they need to hire. As Gerald (ERIC) indicated, academic advisory members link the academic community to the external community by sharing their experience after gaining practical experiences.2 Although various literatures emphasize the essential part of academic advisory members, they have little information as to how to document members’ input into a program. In this paper, a systematic process and a tool utilized to validate our curriculum, and the curriculum enhancement process to keep the program current will be discussed. The core item in this paper will be the use of a curriculum matrix tool to identify program outcomes, competencies, and course alignment in the program. This process can be applied to the safety and health discipline and also to other disciplines in the higher education, where program improvements are needed.
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