Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health
Montana Tech’s program in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) leads to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Nearly all graduates have rewarding careers as OSH professionals working in positions aimed at helping employees perform their work safely in a workplace free from recognized hazards. Core functions for OSH professionals include developing, implementing, and evaluating health and safety programs.
Three national organizations recognize the quality of this degree program:
- The OSH degree is accredited as a safety program by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.
- The Board of Certified Safety Professionals designates the OSH degree a Qualified Academic Program—a designation that qualifies graduates for a credential called Graduate Safety Practitioner.
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recognizes the quality of the OSH program by providing funds for scholarships, travel, and faculty development through a Training Project Grant.
Many employers visit the campus to recruit students for internships and career positions. More than half of the graduates start their career in one of three industrial sectors: construction, mining, or oil and gas. Nearly all large industrial companies and governmental agencies have OSH programs with career ladders providing opportunities for promotions and increased salary.
The curriculum provides students a sound technical foundation with courses in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics. Communication skills are strengthened through courses in writing and oral presentation. Of the 128 total required credit hours, 48 are in OSH. Most of these include experiences working in small groups, writing assignments, presentations, and problem solving. Students and their faculty advisor track progress using a curriculum form found in the applicable Montana Tech annual catalog. The catalog provides a suggested course sequence for completing a B.S. in OSH degree in four years.
For information on enrollment levels and graduations during the past few years, visit the Montana Tech Institutional Research Office web page.
Individuals most suited to succeed in the courses and in their early careers are people with sound technical capabilities who like to interact with others. In order to complete the B.S. in OSH degree in four years (eight semesters), a new student should have a sound background in high school chemistry, writing, and mathematics. Individuals who are not ready for one or more of the first year courses on the OSH curriculum worksheet may benefit by enrolling in the Highlands College of Montana Tech for one or two years to build their capabilities for higher-level courses. At Highlands College, students can earn an Associate of Science degree by following an OSH Pathway designed to enable the student to smoothly transition to the B.S. in OSH program.
The curriculum requires an internship in OSH or work experience closely related to OSH. These often require the student to relocate for two or three months. Many employers recruit on campus for internship positions, but students who are unable to get one of these internships are responsible for finding an acceptable position on their own.
Program Educational Objectives
Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) are broad statements that describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years after graduation. The B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health degree program has adopted the following three PEOs:
- Graduates will establish a firm foundation for an OSH-relate career throughout the first four years after graduating.
- Graduates who follow an OSH-related career path will use their education to competently provide OSH services appropriate to their employment.
- Graduates will act professionally by engaging in career development, recognizing ethical responsibilities, supporting the profession, and being an informed and involved member of their community.
Student outcomes are statements of what each graduate of the program is expected to achieve at the time of graduation. The curriculum and the OSH course are structured so each student will have built the knowledge, understanding and skills in all 21 Student Outcomes.
At the time of graduation, graduates will:
- Have abilities to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and applied sciences.
- Have abilities to design and conduct common experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
- Have abilities to formulate or design a system, process, or program to meet desired needs.
- Have an ability to function effectively on multidisciplinary teams.
- Have the ability to identify and solve applied science problems.
- Have an adequate understanding of ethical standards applicable to the practice of occupational safety and health.
- Have the ability to communicate effectively.
- Have the broad education necessary to understand the impact of solutions in a global and societal context.
- Recognize the need for and have an ability to engage in life-long learning.
- Have knowledge of contemporary issues in occupational safety and health.
- Have abilities to use the techniques, skills, and modern scientific and technical tools necessary for professional practice of OSH.
- Be able to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and develop control strategies for hazardous conditions and work practices.
- Have abilities to apply business and risk management concepts.
- Have an understanding of the fundamental aspects of industrial hygiene, environmental science, and hazardous materials management.
- Be able to understand industrial safety, fire science, and emergency management.
- Have an understanding of occupational ergonomics.
- Have abilities to design and evaluate programs applicable to industrial safety, health, and/or environment.
- Have the ability to develop employee training programs using adult learning theory and understanding of training methodology.
- Have the ability to identify and apply applicable standards, regulations, and codes.
- Have the ability to conduct investigations of harmful incidents, analyze causation, and identify appropriate system improvements.
- Be able to apply principles of safety and health in a non-academic setting through an internship or supervised experience.
The Career Services Office at Montana Tech surveys all graduates each year. The purpose of the survey is to provide employment information and facilitate the career decisions for prospective and current students, in accordance with Sections 485 and 486 of the Title IV Higher Education Reauthorization Amendments of 1986. The Graduate Survey is published annually. 2011 Graduate Surveys are pending.
For more information, view the Career Services Graduate Surveys
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