The University of North Alabama (UNA) Industrial Hygiene (IH) Program is currently one of five baccalaureate programs in IH accredited in the U.S. UNA has earned a reputation for graduating a pool of qualified industrial hygienists who are providing valuable services to workers and employers in this geographical region and beyond. The continuation of the NIOSH Training Project Grant (TPG) is essential to maintain the current expectations of academic quality, to expand into new and promising foreseeable opportunities, and to be effective in recruiting and retaining students with good scholastic merits. Therefore, the objectives of this proposal for the continuation of the NIOSH-TPG are threefold: (i) support the efforts of continuous academic improvement;(ii) promote the recruitment of qualified students into the OH&S field;and (iii) expand the educational opportunities and services of the IH Program. Continuous improvement will be approached by periodic evaluations of program objectives, annual evaluations of educational outcomes and by timely corrections of shortcomings. Recruitment will be promoted by academic scholarships (NIOSH TPG and departmental) and planned activities to reach out potential candidates including minorities (mailings, presentations, participation in the annual UNA Preview Day and the annual Department of Chemistry and IH open house). Educational opportunities will be sought after to support international graduate program agreements (occupational health and safety, OH&S concentration in MBAs) and the new engineering technology option to be offered at UNA (service, delivering the OH&S component). The NIOSH TPG has been pivotal in helping this small baccalaureate program in IH, housed at a regional university, reach a noticeable role as a contributor to the national advancement of OH&S. The discontinuation of this grant will undoubtedly hinder our efforts, principally by affecting enrollment and graduation rates.
This project helps prepare professionals who are responsible for carrying out the mandate of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The project aims at providing education in occupational health and safety that is broad in scope so that the practitioner is prepared to contribute to the advancement of the profession above and beyond the requirements of the law. It is expected that after few years of practice, trainees will provide guidance and significant support to the development of health and safety in the workplace and will be resourceful in applying scientific principles for the diagnosis and control o occupational health problems.