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    DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDITY INQUIRY OF A RUBRIC FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY COMPETENCIES IN OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH IN CAPSTONE PROJECTS OF CARERC PROGRAM GRADUATES

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    Emerging demands in the field of interdisciplinary studies reveal a need for competent professionals who can apply their skills and experience to solving complex tasks of the workplace. This has placed inevitable demands on training institutions to adequately equip graduates to deliver on their mandate. Competency appraisal is an effective way to ensure proficiency in graduates. Meanwhile, transparent and valid rubrics provide opportunities for both students and trainers to continuously assess and evaluate the transfer of necessary skills. This study focused on evaluating interdisciplinary competencies in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the capstone projects of the CARERC program, a graduate and continuing education package that combines the academic resources of seven colleges of two major universities in Kentucky for research and training in the region. An Interdisciplinary Competency Evaluation Rubric in OSH (iCER-OSH) confirming the “presence” or “not” of the relevant competencies in the final projects was developed from literature and program core-syllabi and was tested and calibrated using Rasch model. The psychometric evaluation of the rubric also supports the use of this tool for research and formative assessment in this population and related programs
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