UNA Pressroom

Una's Industrial Hygiene Program Ranks Second Nationally

Oct. 14, 2019

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

FLORENCE, AL - The Industrial Hygiene program at the University of North Alabama has ranked second out of the top 25 Occupational Safety and Health degrees among colleges and universities across the United States. The ranking comes from valuecolleges.com, an organization that provides information related to college costs and programming.

"This well-deserved ranking reinforces the quality of our Industrial Hygiene program, which is one of the very few accredited programs in the country," said Dr. Ross Alexander, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. "It consistently produces graduates that fill high- paying, in-demand jobs in several growing sectors in Alabama and beyond."

The Industrial Hygiene program at UNA is one of only four programs in the U.S. to be accredited by the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission (ANSAC) of the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

The program, which offers a double major in Industrial Hygiene and general chemistry, has earned a reputation for graduating a pool of qualified industrial hygienists, according to Dr. Leshan Kimbrough, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Hygiene as well as the Industrial Hygiene Program Director.

"To be named among the top Occupational Safety and Health programs in the nation for best value is great news for students," she said. "Students who graduate from UNA with an Industrial Hygiene degree can be confident they received a quality education from a respected program at an affordable cost."

Further, many Industrial Hygiene students receive financial assistance as they work toward their degrees, Dr. Kimbrough said, which is thanks to long-standing funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Training Project Grant.

"This grant has been renewed four times for a total of 21 years, making UNA's one of the longest NIOSH-funded bachelors programs in IH," she said. "As a direct result of NIOSH funding, over 100 students have been awarded academic scholarships."

Students in this course of study (at UNA) will grasp the underpinnings of scientific principles emphasizing chemistry and the ways they are used to evaluate and anticipate health hazards in the workplace, according to the valuecolleges.com ranking for UNA. Students will be prepared to enter career paths related to industry, government, and related organizations.

The Industrial Hygiene program is in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dean Sara Lynn Baird said this program is a point of pride for the University.

"Students who complete the program are prepared for direct entry into the workplace or into related graduate programs," she said. "Our excellent faculty are devoted to student learning and student success, which continues to produce highly qualified graduates who move into successful careers."

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I's ASUN Big South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/