Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities of Graduates from Accredited Environmental Health Science and Protection Undergraduate Programs. (Features)

By Silverman, Gary S.; Silverman, Marian K. | Journal of Environmental Health, March 2003 | Go to article overview

Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities of Graduates from Accredited Environmental Health Science and Protection Undergraduate Programs. (Features)


Silverman, Gary S., Silverman, Marian K., Journal of Environmental Health


Introduction

Assessment, outcomes, and accountability are words that may strike terror (or at least annoyance) into the hearts of professionals. Most professions have, however, accepted the importance of measuring outcomes, and environmental health cannot be an exception. The practice of environmental health is extremely diverse, and it requires a large variety of knowledge and skills. Determining the best course of study to prepare students to enter the profession is controversial and difficult. For the past 25 years, the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC) has attempted to determine the most appropriate course of study and has implemented guidelines for accrediting undergraduate programs in environmental health. The guidelines need to be evaluated regularly to ensure that they result in the desired educational outcomes. This paper reports the results of an evaluation of the EHAC accreditation guidelines as measured through a survey administered to program graduates and to th e graduates' supervisors. The authors also report on the graduates' perceptions about the value of their education and on the level of their satisfaction in working as environmental health professionals.

The findings should be useful to several communities. Individual academic programs can use the data to self-evaluate the quality of their graduates relative to the entire environmental health community. The broader environmental health community can use the results to help determine the utility of the accreditation process and evaluate the preparation of program graduates for contributing to the profession. Moreover, reviewing the results will provide the environmental health community an opportunity to interact with the academic programs striving to prepare tomorrow's workforce.

Methods

Academic environmental health programs seeking EHAC accreditation must follow the process and meet the requirements identified in Guidelines for the Accreditation of Environmental Health Science & Protection Baccalaureate Programs (EHAC, 2002). The Guidelines specify that accredited programs should promote critical thinking and development of professional skills and technical knowledge, and provide the tools for lifelong learning. Key competencies are specified to reflect technical competence and professional values. These competencies were identified and articulated by environmental health practitioners and academics on the basis of a variety of resources dating back to seminal work sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation (Hopper, 1951) and NEHA (1962, 1964). Specific objectives include the provision of course work in the basic sciences, communication, mathematics, and general education.

An outcome-assessments survey was developed in 1997 to measure performance of graduates with respect to the EHAC Guidelines. From 1997 to 2001, graduates of 10 accredited environmental health programs were mailed surveys and were asked to complete them and to have their supervisors complete them. By asking the graduates and their supervisors to respond independently to the same survey questions, the authors were able to determine the level of convergent validity Surveys were anonymous, using a coding system that linked graduates' responses with their supervisors' responses without revealing individual identities. Consequently, the results for graduates with supervisory ratings had two data sources.

The surveys contained a behaviorally anchored rating scale based on 16 key competency areas specified in the Guidelines. Behaviorally anchored rating scales were used because they have the advantage of describing each level of competence to each respondent and have been found to be highly reliable. For example, competency in technical skills was assessed according to the rating criteria given in Table 1. Each competency area had specific behavioral anchors that described the full range of possible professional behaviors on a scale of 1 to 5.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities of Graduates from Accredited Environmental Health Science and Protection Undergraduate Programs. (Features)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.