North Central College Introduces New Bachelor’s Degree Program in Nutrition Science
Jun 25, 2021
The program will focus on experiential opportunities that will prepare students to enter the job market earlier
Beginning in fall 2021, North Central College’s School of Education and Health Sciences (SEHS) will offer a bachelor of science degree in nutrition science. Experiential opportunities will be a hallmark of the North Central nutrition program, allowing students to be highly competitive for internships, graduate school and the job market, while at the same time giving them a wealth of practical knowledge.
The program is a didactic program in dietetics (DPD), which prepares students for dietetic internships and to sit for the registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) exam. After January 1, 2024, a master’s degree will also be required to become a RDN and North Central’s program will present students with several options. Students can apply for dietetic internships and graduate school with the goal of becoming RDNs or sit for the diet technician registration exam and/or the certified dietary manager (CDM) exam immediately after graduation to begin working as dietetic technicians or institutional food service managers.
“We’re very excited to bring a nutrition science undergraduate degree to North Central as part of our strategic plan to grow the College’s health professional degree programs,” said Dr. Marci J. Swede, dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences.
The SEHS faculty designed the program to take full advantage of various campus programs and facilities. Hands-on experience will allow undergraduate students to experience how nutrition can be applied in a variety of settings while preparing them to be successful registered dietitians or to excel in other entry level nutrition related jobs.
“The College’s learning spaces, including our new Health Sciences and Engineering Building, are designed to promote interactions with a variety of campus programs and stakeholders,” Swede said. “Starting as early as their first year in the Nutrition Science program, students will benefit from hands-on experiences across campus, including with the College’s on-campus dining services, community garden, the Dyson Wellness Center, and through Cardinal Fit. Many of these experiences would not typically be available to students until they entered a graduate-level program.”
The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) standards allow undergraduate nutrition students to work with clients under the direction of faculty who are RDNs.. This enables the new program to provide mutual benefit to nutrition science students as well as campus community members outside the program through Cardinal Fit.
“Cardinal Fit is a nationally recognized program that provides students, staff and faculty with fitness assessments and counseling, provided by exercise science students under the supervision of program faculty,” explained Kim Milano, visiting assistant professor of health sciences and director of the nutrition science program. “With the new nutrition science program, Cardinal Fit will be expanded to include nutrition assessments and wellness counseling following the same model.”
Nutrition assessments and wellness counseling represent important skills nutrition science students will need as they go on to the careers they are likely to find as registered dietitians.
For more information on North Central College’s bachelor of science degree in nutrition science, visit: https://www.northcentralcollege.edu/program/nutrition-science.