Dr. Rawlins and Dr. Spurlock shares how EKU prepares students to make a smooth transition from student to safety professional.
What EKU does to prepare students really well is we take care in constantly evaluating our courses and what students need to know. Our faculty, I would put them up against any faculty in the country. We have CSPs, we have attorneys, we have two people that work for OSHA. We’ve got something other department faculties don’t have, we have practical real world experience that we apply to the classroom. Theory is a good thing, but a lot of times theory isn’t what’s practical in the workplace, so you have to have a combination of both in order for students to be prepared, which is one of the things that I think that we give to students that makes them marketable and more prepared than other universities.
We have associations or relationships with various employers that come to us to get the best students. They also have input into our curriculum, they don’t control it, they have input. They can tell us, “This is what we need students to know,” whereas other universities, I’m not sure if they can get that.
Our primary focus is teaching and getting students prepared for the workplace.
I’m trying to build a better safety professional. Leaders within the industry, leaders within the organization, that’s my passion, that’s my goal.
I think one of the things we do exceptionally well in preparing our students is allowing them to understand the importance of interacting with people, ’cause a lot of this profession is about people and interaction. We focus on that, we focus on that personal element here that students need to understand the audience, the end users of the products they make as safety professionals. Whether it’s written programs, or whether it’s training that they provide, that they look at the worker level, but then they also know how to change and adapt when they’re talking to management, and when they’re talking to executives. Understanding the overall business picture, and being able to speak the business language, and the risk language with employers. I think we do that really well.
We try to make sure that they are people centered leaders, that they understand the audiences that they’re talking to, but they also understand the importance of assessing risk, and how they fit into the overall organizational picture. We think that will make them more successful than being technical experts that limits their career.