What Makes EHAC Accreditation Valuable to Your Students and Your Environmental Health Degree Program - Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
More accredited degree programs are needed in order to fill the demand for highly trained environmental health professionals entering the workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018), Occupational Outlook Handbook: Environmental Scientists and Specialists report projects growth of the profession to be faster than average at about 8% in the next 10 years. EHAC has accredited 37 degree programs throughout the United States. Many accredited programs report that the demand for their graduates is so high that most of their graduates have jobs within six months of graduation. The diversity of employment opportunities open to graduates of accredited Environmental Health degree programs is great.
Strengths of Graduates from EHAC accredited institutions:
EHAC accredited environmental health degrees are deemed the industry standard by environmental health leaders. This report, Career Resource Guide for Uniformed Services Environmental Health Practitioners, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provides valuable information on the rigor, quality and value of EHAC accreditation.
Value of a Graduate from an EHAC Accredited Degree Program to Employers (from pg. 21 of the DHHS report):
Although numerous environmental science and public health programs exist
across the United States, only 31 programs are accredited by EHAC. When
a new employee in environmental health already has the skills and abilities
needed for the job, employers save money they would have spent for the
extra training that might have been required if the employee had a different
educational background. This advantage often means that graduates of
environmental health programs are more competitive in the job market.
EHAC students graduate equipped with the skills and competencies to assess and address a myriad of environmental health issues as EHAC curriculum provides strong foundations in:
- Water/food safety
- Vector control
Science and Math:
- Algebra (college level)
Significantly, and of great value to potential employers, practical experience is a requirement as students must complete a 180 hour hands-on and practice based internship to graduate.
Value of EHAC Accreditation to Students
- Graduation from an EHAC - or selected ABET - accredited degree program is required to enter the US Public Health Service as an environmental health officer (EHO) if the applicant only possesses an undergraduate degree. Similar requirements for B.S. degree-holders exist for other uniformed services including the armed services. Undergraduate and graduate students from accredited degree programs are eligible to participate in the USPHS JRCOSTEP internship program, and no other accrediting body affords undergraduate students this opportunity. Long term careers often result for alumni of the JRCOSTEP internship program.
- Graduates of EHAC accredited degree programs meet the criteria to take the Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian (REHS/RS) credential examination through the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) upon graduation. Students from non-accredited degree programs must be employed in the environmental health profession for 2 years before taking the REHS/RS examination.
- EHAC students have exclusive access to the National Environmental Health Association’s (NEHA) National Environmental Public Health Internship Program (NEPHIP).
- EHAC students are eligible to compete for funding provided by AEHAP and NSF International, including a trip to NEHA’s annual conference to present their research, and are also provided with information about other internship and scholarship opportunities.