Lacey McCormack, PhD, MPH, RD,LN, EP-C
Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences
Wagner Hall 415, Box 2275A
Dietetics is the education and practice of food, nutrition and wellness and offers a wide variety of jobs in the health promotion, wellness, nutrition care and foodservice administration areas. Registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) provide nutrition education and counseling and are pivotal in preventive health care and community nutrition programs. Additionally, a RDN is essential to the total care of a patient in a healthcare facility through nutritional assessment and medical nutrition therapy. Students develop an understanding and competency in food, nutrition, wellness, and management and a background in the basic and behavioral sciences to apply the science of nutrition for the promotion of health and disease prevention.
The employment opportunities are in health promotion and wellness programs, public health agencies, foodservice and food production industries, schools, universities, the armed services, hospitals, nursing homes, and state, national and international organizations. Governmental regulations require the services of dietitians in federally supported programs. The consulting services of a dietitian are often sought by architects and hospital administrators in planning and equipping food preparation and services facilities.
Mission and program objectives are available on the Nutrition and Dietetics homepage at www.sdstate.edu/health-and-nutritional-sciences/nutrition-and-dietetics. Program outcome data are available upon request from the program director.
Additional Program Requirements
Students must be current on immunizations and complete a criminal background check to complete education components of program. Additional costs may also be incurred for laboratory coats and student membership in the national organization of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Nutrition and Dietetics major, students will:
- Demonstrate how to locate, interpret, evaluate and use professional literature to make ethical, evidence-based practice decisions. (Cross-curricular Skill: Information Literacy)
- Use current information technologies to locate and apply evidence-based guidelines and protocols.
- Apply critical thinking skills. (Cross-curricular Skill: Critical and Creative Thinking)
- Demonstrate effective and professional oral and written communication and documentation.
- Describe the governance of nutrition and dietetics practice, such as the Scope of Nutrition and Dietetics Practice and the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics; and describe interprofessional relationships in various practice settings. (Cross-curricular Skill: Ethical Reasoning)
- Assess the impact of a public policy position on nutrition and dietetics practice.
- Discuss the impact of health care policy and different health care delivery systems on food and nutrition services.
- Identify and describe the work of interprofessional teams and the roles of others with whom the registered dietitian nutritionist collaborates in the delivery of food and nutrition services.
- Demonstrate an understanding of cultural competence/sensitivity. (Cross-curricular Skill: Intercultural Knowledge)
- Demonstrate identification with the nutrition and dietetics profession through activities such as participation in professional organizations and defending a position on issues impacting the nutrition and dietetics profession. (Cross-curricular Skill: Intercultural Knowledge)
- Demonstrate an understanding of the importance and expectations of a professional in mentoring and precepting others.
- Use the Nutrition Care Process to make decisions, identify nutrition-related problems and determine and evaluate nutrition interventions.
- Develop an educational session or program/educational strategy for a target population.
- Demonstrate counseling and education methods to facilitate behavior change for and enhance wellness for diverse individuals and groups. (Cross-curricular Skill: Diversity, Inclusion and Equity)
- Explain the processes involved in delivering quality food and nutrition services.
- Describe basic concepts of nutritional genomics.
- Apply management theories to the development of programs or services.
- Evaluate a budget and interpret financial data.
- Describe the regulation system related to billing and coding, what services are reimbursable by third party payers, and how reimbursement may be obtained.
- Apply the principles of human resource management to different situations.
- Describe safety principles related to food, personnel and consumers.
- Analyze data for assessment and evaluate data to be used in decision-making for continuous quality improvement.
A minimum final grade of “C” is required in all NUTR prefix required courses in the major to graduate.
Accreditation, Certification and Licensure
The program has been continuously approved/accredited since inception by the Accreditation Council for Education of Nutrition and Dietetics as a Didactic Program in Dietetics by the Accreditation Council for Education of Nutrition and Dietetics (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995), the accrediting agency for Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (http://www.eatright.org/resources/acend).
All students successfully graduating from SDSU with a B.S. degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and the courses required to receive a verification statement must have a “B” or better in NUTR 315 - Human Nutrition (COM) and “C” or better in all majors (course with NUTR prefix) coursework to receive the verification statement. To become a RDN, one must complete an accredited didactic program in dietetics, a bachelor’s degree, an accredited supervised practice (dietetic internship) and pass the Commission on Dietetics Registration examination for registered dietitian nutritionist. In 2024, a graduate degree will also be required to take the CDR registration examination. The dietetic internships are post-graduation, require additional fees, and are competitive. To practice in the state of South Dakota the RDN must apply for licensure through the State Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners (www.sdbmoe.gov).
Course Delivery Format
The program offers coursework through lecture, discussion, and laboratory experiences.