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Masoud Motalebi Kashani 1 Article
Evaluation of an undergraduate occupational health program in Iran based on alumni perceptions: a structural equation model  
Semira Mehralizadeh, Alireza Dehdashti, Masoud Motalebi Kashani
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2017;14:16.   Published online July 26, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2017.14.16
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Purpose
Evaluating educational programs can improve the quality of education. The present study evaluated the undergraduate occupational health program at the Semnan University of Medical Sciences in Semnan, Iran, with a focus on the associations between alumni perceptions of the learning environment and the outcomes of the occupational health program. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted among alumni of the undergraduate occupational health program. We asked alumni to rate their perceptions of the items using a 4-point Likert scale. The associations between alumni perceptions of the educational program and curriculum, faculty, institutional resources, and learning outcomes were modeled and described using structural equation modeling procedures. Results: A descriptive analysis of alumni perceptions indicated low evaluations for the administrative system, practical and research-based courses, and the number of faculty members. We found that a structural model of the evaluation variables of curriculum, faculty qualifications, and institutional resources significantly predicted undergraduate educational outcomes. The curriculum had direct and indirect effects on learning outcomes, mediated by faculty. Conclusion: The findings of our study highlight the usefulness of the structural equation modeling approach for examining links between variables related to the learning process and learning outcomes. Surveys of alumni can provide data for reassessing the learning environment in the light of the professional competencies needed for occupational health graduates.

JEEHP : Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions