Southeastern's occupational safety, health and environment program receives national accreditation
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s bachelor’s program in occupational safety, health and environment – the only one of its kind in the state – has been accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc.
ABET is the recognized accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology. Southeastern’s program is only the third environmental, health and safety and similarly named programs in the nation accredited under the Applied Science Accreditation Commission.
“Accreditation by ABET for this program is a seal of approval following an evaluation process intended to ensure the quality of a specific program,” said Daniel McCarthy, dean of the College of Science and Technology. “Accreditation is assurance that the program meets the quality standards established by the profession.”
The bachelor of science program at Southeastern was approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents in 2004 and grew from an associate degree program the university initiated 10 years earlier. The program was designed to meet the needs of industries in the region for trained and educated professionals qualified to work in the increasingly complex field of safety and health in the industrial setting.
“Safety and health in the workplace is highly regulated by state and national agencies and requires well-prepared professionals to protect the health and safety of many workers in Louisiana,” McCarthy said.
The program was developed with considerable input from managers at area industries that employ health and safety professionals, who reported a significant need for health and safety professionals in the regional and statewide workforce. The program prepares students for a variety of positions, including roles of safety engineers and safety supervisors.
Connie Fabre, executive director of the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance, which worked with Southeastern in developing its program, said the accreditation is good news for Louisiana industry.
“We congratulate Southeastern on the ABET accreditation, and we’re proud to have been a part of the program’s initial development,” said Fabre, whose association includes members from 53 area industrial plants. “Accreditation lends even more credibility to an already excellent program.”
McCarthy explained that the accreditation process requires programs to undergo a comprehensive self-evaluation and on-site visits conducted by teams of experts who work in industry, government and education. The review focuses on program curricula, faculty qualifications, technology and facilities available to students and other areas.
In addition to providing institutions a process to assess, evaluate and improve their programs, accreditation is also intended to help students choose quality college programs and enable employers to recruit graduates they know are well prepared, he added.
ABET is a not-for-profit organization that is owned and operated by more than 25 professional and technical member associations. With more than 1,500 volunteers, ABET has set higher education standards in various fields for nearly 75 years.