DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center (NC OSHERC) is located at the University of North Carolina, School of Public with collaborating units at NC State University (NCSU) and Duke University. Academic training is provided in the core disciplines of Occupational Health Nursing, Safety and Ergonomics (NCSU), and Occupational Medicine (Duke University). In addition, specialized training in Occupational Epidemiology is available. An allied program in Occupational Exposure Science, replacing the former Industrial Hygiene program is proposed. Both master's and doctoral degrees are offered. There are more than 50 faculty within the NC OSHERC with more than 100 enrolled students each year in these programs. We also offer an extensive Continuing Education (CE) program and Hazardous Substance Training program.
The mission of the NC OSHERC at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is to provide high quality education, research training, and research in the occupational health and safety sciences to protect worker health. Research and multidisciplinary interactions are the foundation of this process. Education: Train occupational health and safety professionals to acquire an expanded knowledge base, provide occupational health and safety services, and develop research skills. Research: Define and develop the discipline of the occupational health and safety sciences to reduce work related health hazards and improve worker health and working conditions. The purpose of the proposed program is to:
1. Train practitioners and researchers in the academic disciplines of occupational medicine, occupational health nursing, safety/ergonomics, occupational epidemiology, and occupational exposure science in the field of occupational health and safety.
2. Provide interdisciplinary learning experiences through coursework, field projects, and seminars.
3. Provide a continuing education/hazardous substance training program to meet the needs of practitioners and those interested in occupational safety and health.
Proposed programs are offered at the master's and doctoral level in the different academic disciplines, or post-doctoral level in medicine. We anticipate admitting at least the minimum required number of students for each program area. Training activities include coursework, practica seminars, field projects, and research activities, many which are interdisciplinary in nature. Distance education is an option for the OHN Program.
A variety of individual CE interdisciplinary courses are offered on-site, on contract basis, or through our week-long summer and Winter Institutes. In addition to the continuing education, seminars with topics relevant to education, research, and practice in all disciplines are offered quarterly through the NORA (National Occupational Research Agenda) Interdisciplinary Seminar Series. Interdisciplinary collaboration is a key component of the NC OSHERC among faculty, students, and community partners engaging in joint projects to improve worker health and safety. Outreach to the local occupational safety and health community is an integral part of the NC OSHERC.