EHS History

Eastern Iowa Community College's (EICC) Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) program is now entering its third decade of providing quality training to students both locally and around the world.

The EHS program dates back to 1986 when, thanks to funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EICC began work on what was then known as the Hazardous Materials Technology (HMT)  program. The name was later changed to Environmental Compliance and Technology (ECAT).

Working with local and national professionals in the field, EICC identified and validated the job skills required in the field of hazardous materials handling and management.  That work meant that the curriculum was specifically designed to develop those student job skills. 

The district received approval from the Iowa State Board of Education in 1986 for an Associate in Applied Science degree program and a certificate program and, following a year of curriculum development, began delivering college credit programs to students at Clinton, Muscatine and Scott Community Colleges in 1987.

Also in 1987, EICC and Kirkwood Community College (in Cedar Rapids, Iowa) cooperated in establishing the Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute (HMTRI) for the purpose of designing and disseminating community education training programs. 

In September of 1991, EICC and HMTRI provided the opportunity for students to earn a HMT certificate for college credit through correspondence study. Additional courses were added, enabling students to achieve a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree through this program.

To more accurately reflect the purpose of the programs and needs of the industry, the Environmental Compliance and Technology (ECAT) program was updated in 2003 with several new courses and was renamed the Health, Safety and Environmental Technology (EHS) program. Currently, the EHS program is offered online. 

The Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists (CCHEST) has granted graduates of our program a waiver of requirements toward the Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST) certification.  The EHS program meets the requirement for having coverage of three of the five subject areas. 

The other two areas may be covered through earning an Associates in Applied Science degree.  Completion of the EHS program also leads to a waiver of ¾ years of experience toward the OHST certification.  For more information regarding the OHST certification, refer to EHS Careers – Certification along the right side of the EHS home page.