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Southeastern Occupational Safety Department marks 1,500 Graduates

A milestone will be reached with the conclusion of the 2013 Spring semester as the Department of Occupational Safety & Health at Southeastern exceeded 1,500 graduates The program began as a traffic and general safety department in the 1960’s and 1970’s but was converted to its present focus of worker safety in the industrial, manufacturing, transportation, insurance and construction industries in 1989.

Since that time the program has seen steady growth and now averages over 300 students majoring in OSH, almost 80 graduates each year at the bachelors and masters levels, and over 500 students enrolled in occupational safety courses each semester. In addition, the American Society of Safety Engineers student chapter consistently places among the nation’s best and accumulates thousands of dollars in scholarships each year for Southeastern occupational safety students. Southeastern Occupational Safety students have earned over $175,000 in national scholarships and grants in the past five years alone.

In 2007 the program experienced two major milestones with the creation of the masters program and an OSH building renovation which doubled the academic spaces and added significant lab spaces. Additional grants by various companies, including the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Granite Construction Company, Raytheon, and SKC added much needed lab equipment and training exercises bringing the program to a competitive level with any occupational safety program in the country. The Master of Science program is a primarily online program which allows students to participate from as far away as oil platforms off the coast of Africa, Middle Eastern countries, and from states all over the country. The program has grown to over 80 students. Over 25 students have graduated from the program.

The program is up-to-date with the latest technology, industrial hygiene, construction and noise and vibration labs, and confined space training. The program offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in occupational safety & health, and satisfies the needs of the profession in numerous ways. Dozens of companies recruit from the department every year and several companies come back year after year for Southeastern Occupational Safety graduates. Our graduates fill the ranks of many Fortune 500 companies and governmental agencies around the world. A small sampling of the worldwide companies with Southeastern occupational safety graduates include Alcoa, Conoco-Phillips, Exxon-Mobil, BP, Texas Instruments, Alcon Labs, NASA, Tyson, The Hartford, Kiewit, Granite Construction Company, Anheuser-Busch, OSHA, Burlington-Northern, Pratt & Whitney, Peterbilt, Chevron, Baylor Medical Center, BNSF Railway, Raytheon, the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. The department has graduates in almost every state and numerous countries overseas. We have graduates working in all areas of industry, government, and education.

The Southeastern name is everywhere in occupational safety. With more emphasis on occupational safety than ever before, the legal and moral imperative that companies employ safety professionals and the lack of universities with occupational safety as a degree choice, the program is poised to grow larger with each passing year.