Family and Consumer Sciences

Dietetics

The Henderson State University Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPND) is designed to help students build a foundation in nutritional sciences. Students are prepared for a career as Registered Dietitians (RDs) in health and food service industries through the application of food and nutritional science principles.

The program is designed to prepare graduates to enter a dietetic internship program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and become competent RDs. Henderson’s Dietetic program equips graduates for lifelong service to the community and profession through emphasis, encouragement and provision of guidance in relation to community and professional service activities relevant to the profession of dietetics.

In the program, students focus on:

  • Basic and Advanced Nutrition
  • Community Nutrition
  • Nutrition through the Life Cycle
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Food Science
  • Food Economics
  • Food Service Management
  • Sports Nutrition

Students receive individualized attention in dietetics classes, one-on-one academic advising with a Registered Dietitian and hands-on learning experiences at local health care facilities, food service organizations and other community settings.

Program Mission

The mission of the Henderson State University Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics is to integrate professional studies with the liberal arts to prepare graduates for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credentialing exam. Students will be motivated to value lifelong learning, as well as service to the community and profession.

Program Goals

The DPND at Henderson State University is designed to accomplish the following goals:

1. The program will prepare graduates to enter an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program and become competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists.

  • At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within six years (150% of program length).
  • 50% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
  • 50% of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists will be 80%.
  • At least 80% of DI Directors will indicate an overall “3” (average) or higher rating on a survey assessing satisfaction with graduates’ preparation for supervised practice.
  • At least 80% of graduates will “agree” or “strongly agree” with the following statement: “Overall, I would rank my experience in the DPD at Henderson as excellent."

2. The program will prepare graduates to engage in lifelong service to the community and profession through emphasis, encouragement and provision of guidance in relation to community and professional service activities relevant to the profession of dietetics.

  • At least 80% of DPD students will complete one or more community or professional service activities each year that are relevant to the profession of dietetics.   
  • At least 80% of graduates will indicate “strongly agree” or “agree” with respect to the overall preparation for community and professional service they received at HSU.
  • At least 80% of DPD students will indicate “strongly agree” or “agree” to receiving encouragement and guidance from the dietetics faculty in the areas of community and professional service.

Graduate outcomes monitored for program effectiveness include, but are not limited to:

  • Program completion rates
  • Graduate performance, including dietetic internship application and acceptance rates
  • Students’ first-time and one-year pass rates on the registration examination for dietitians
  • Graduate satisfaction with the DPND
  • Internship director satisfaction with HSU DPND graduates
  • Employer satisfaction with HSU DPND graduates
  • Graduate contributions to the community
  • Graduate contributions to the profession

Program outcomes data are available to ACEND, current and prospective students, and the public upon request.

Please refer to the HSU Registrar's website for the university's academic calendar and schedules.

Career Opportunities

A wide variety of career opportunities are available for Registered Dietitians:

  • Clinical Dietitians work in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities in specialty areas including cardiology, diabetes, nephrology, pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, and nutrition support.
  • Administrative Dietitians work in health care facilities, schools, restaurants, food production sales, marketing, advertising, public relations, and other nutrition industries.
  • Nutrition Educators work in colleges, universities, public schools, medical facilities, and government agencies.
  • Research Dietitians work in pharmaceutical companies, universities, medical centers, and government agencies.
  • Consultant Dietitians work in private practice, contract services, and physician offices.
  • Community Dietitians work in public health agencies, government-funded programs, health and recreational clubs, school lunch programs, and child and adult daycare programs.

Graduates not seeking a dietetic internship also have numerous career opportunities in health-related and foodservice settings, or they may sit for the Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR) exam.

Looking for something a little different? Check out alternative RD jobs and alternative jobs for the non-RD.

Please access the student handbook for a full description of all policies and procedures related to the HSU Dietetics program.

Program Director
Penny Whelchel
Assistant Professor
Dietetics Program Director
Proctor Hall, Room #105
870-230-5542
whelchp@hsu.edu

Accreditation

The Henderson Dietetics Program is currently granted initial accreditation by:
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995

(800) 877-1600
http://www.eatrightpro.org/ACEND/