The overarching goal of the Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC) Continuing Education Program (CE) is to serve the needs of occupational safety and health professionals in our region through innovative learning opportunities that are accessible, effective, culturally appropriate, and which address student needs. Our objective is to serve as a major resource for training and continuing education in the fields of Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Medicine, Occupational Health Nursing, Safety, and allied disciplines. We have two aims: 1) To increase the availability, quality, accessibility, and relevance of continuing education for students and practitioners in the fields of OSH in our seven-state region of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota and;2) To coordinate education and training for OSH practitioners, resulting in a higher percentage of practitioners that utilize cutting edge research, standards, and evidence-based practices (r2p). The CE Director (Gilkey), an occupational health expert and ergonomist with extensive experience in defining, implementing, and evaluating occupational health and safety educational programs in the MAP ERC region, will be assisted by the Assistant OHS/CE Director (Tenney) who has significant expertise in distance education and in the development and delivery of innovative occupational health and safety training. The MAP ERC has established itself as a Center that can deliver high quality and cutting edge educational programs. In addition, the MAP ERC CE Program has played a leading role in the development of the Western States Occupational Network and plans to expand that work in the next two years. We have developed several partnerships with stakeholders such as the Association of Occupational Health Professionals, American Society of Safety Engineers, and the American Industrial Hygiene Association - Rocky Mountain Sections, as well as with neighboring ERCs in Utah and Minnesota, to identify existing needs and gaps in CE;develop courses/seminars based on NORA objectives and regional needs assessments;maintain the successful framework for online courses;produce online educational offerings as part of a systematic program;explore additional methods for reaching remote areas and isolated individuals that may not have online capabilities;develop and implement outcomes assessment strategies, methods, and content to measure impacts of CE;and establish methods and framework for sustainability and growth of CE within the MAP ERC.
Occupational safety and health professionals need continuing education in order to provide the highest quality of service to American workers and to maintain credentials. The OHS/CE addresses these needs by identifying and supplying accredited educational opportunities across a seven-state region.
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