Wayne Edward Hartz is a 2014 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership & Change at Antioch University.

Dr. Hartz [Left] at his Dissertation Defense in Yellow Springs, Ohio with his Dissertation Chair, Dr. Jon Wergin [Right]

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How can the public be assured of competency in those professing to protect its occupational health and safety (OSH)? Currently, in the U.S. there are 193 higher education OSH programs, 186 with baccalaureate degrees with over 55 different degree titles. This research seeks to define minimum OSH baccalaureate graduate core competencies across all programs by asking: What would employers look for in a portfolio to demonstrate competence in a new OSH graduate? Professional members of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) participated as subject matter experts in an anonymous online survey to provide framing data. The ASSE Educational Standards Committee and Framing the Profession Task Force engaged in an action research method of facilitated discussion and consensus building, (Modified Nominal Group Technique), distilling 741 portfolio examples to 22 competency themes, and 11 learning outcomes. Recommendations include: establish a standardized set of core competencies of evidence based learning outcomes across all OSH and related programs; look to the Nursing and Education professions' processes of shifting from prescribed courses to a learning outcomes model; shift pedagogy to student-centered, highly engaged, outcomes-based approach; enhance educational content for 21st-century knowledge and skills, including: teamwork, internship experience, organizational skills, ethics, critical thinking, scientific method, continuous improvement, systems thinking, sustainable applications, and strategic planning; enhance partnerships between professional safety associations and higher education for collaboration and consensus building; and collaborate with global OSH associations. The electronic version of this Dissertation is at the Ohio Link ETD Center at


Dr. Wayne Hartz is presently serving as Interim Dean of Professional and Graduate Studies at Keene State College, Keene, NH. Prior to his interim role, he served as an Associate Professor of the Safety and Occupational Health Applied Sciences program at Keene State College where he focused student learning on applied safety management systems by co-creating a senior capstone experience which directed student teams to serve as real-time Safety and Health consultants Before joining higher education in 2004, he was a Sr. Manager of Employee Health and Safety at LLBean, Inc, where he facilitated cultural change that assured leader values were matched by their actions, resulting in a sustained injury prevention process. He is a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and serves on the Educational Standards Committee He holds board certification as a safety professional (CSP)