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Nutrition and Dietetics

Academic Program

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), 120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois, 60606-6995, (800) 877-1600 ext. 5400, Initial accreditation for the program at the baccalaureate level was granted October of 2005. 

Program Philosophy and Mission

The mission of the College: “To provide a Christian education for youth of both sexes, especially those found worthy but who are without sufficient means to procure such training” (Rev. James Forsyth, founder of the school, in 1906).

The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at College of the Ozarks is to prepare graduates of Christ-like character for acceptance into accredited internship programs and for entry-level careers as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.  The program will equip graduates for their roles as active citizens, ethical decision makers and servant leaders committed to empowering their communities to live healthfully.

Program Goals, and Outcome Measures

 Goal 1
The nutrition major will prepare graduates for their roles as active citizens and lifelong learners.

Outcome Measures

1.  Over a seven year period, 90% of graduates who respond on a survey will agree that they were adequately prepared to be active citizens.

2.  Over a seven year period, 90% of graduates who respond on a survey will agree they were adequately prepared to be lifelong learners.

3. Over a seven year period, 70% of graduates who respond to a survey will state that they have participated in continuing education, training, or schooling their first year post-graduation.

Goal 2
The program will prepare graduates for entry into dietetic supervised practice, graduate programs or nutrition related employment.

Outcome Measures

1.  Alumni will achieve an 80% pass rate over a five year period for first-time test takers of the Registered Dietitian (RD) exam.

2.  Over a seven year period, 80% of graduates accepted into DI will be working in nutrition related fields within one year of DI completion.

3.  Over a seven year period, 70% of graduates not completing a DI will be employed in nutrition related fields within one year of program completion.

4.  Over a seven year period, 60% of DPD graduates will apply to supervised practice programs the academic year they complete the program.

5.  Over a seven year period, 65% of DPD graduates applying to DI will be accepted within 1 year of graduation.

6.  Over a seven year period, 75% of year 3 DPD students will earn a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics within 3 years.

7.  Over a seven year period, 80% of DPD graduates will have a least 1 years' experience in a food, nutrition or leadership position while attending college.

8.  Over a seven year period, 60% of graduates applying to graduate or professional schools will be accepted.

Goal 3
The program will prepare graduates to be servant leaders who participate in community service and leadership activities and who are committed to ethical practice.

Outcome Measure

1.  Over a seven year period, 90% of graduates completing a survey will agree that they were prepared for and committed to ethical professional practice.

2.  Over a seven year period, 75% of employers who respond to a survey on program graduates in the first year of employment will rate them as 'satisfactory' or 'more than satisfactory' in leadership skills.



Deborah Piland Ph.D, RDN/LD
Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
Assistant Professor of Family and Consumer Science


 Program Admission and Policies

Students interested in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) should meet the admission criteria to the College. The founding charter commits the College to serving “especially those found worthy but who are without sufficient means to procure such training.” See the College Catalog at

Students interested in becoming a nutritionist or pursuing a career in nutrition and dietetics should contact the Registrar’s office to declare Nutrition and Dietetics as a major and the Program Director for advisement as soon as possible. The advisor will help plan an individual course schedule designed to meet program requirements. It is important to begin promptly on the dietetics schedule as sequencing of courses is required.

Success as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) or nutrition professional depends on having or being able to acquire certain characteristics including:

  1. Concern for people,
  2. Assertiveness and confidence,
  3. Ability to communicate well in written and verbal forms,
  4. Scientific aptitude in chemistry, biology, and math,
  5. Organizational and time management skills. 

The Didactic Program in Dietetics will follow all policies of the College and utilize all student support services available at the College.

The program will follow the College calendar with the possible exception of Independent Study courses and/or 48V Internship/Practicum courses.

Those earning a nutritionist degree will not make nutritional assessments, plans, perform specific diet instructions or personalized education without proper supervision or co-signature of a registered dietitian or nutritionist who holds liability insurance or is employed by an organization that holds professional insurance.

Nutrition and Dietetics Handbook


While completing the Dietetics program curriculum, students will be instructed on :

  • The scientific aspects of foods,
  • The relationship of food and its components to health,
  • Food systems management,
  • Accounting and personnel administration,
  • How people make health and dietary decisions,
  • How the nutrition care process and medical nutrition therapy may assist them.

Students pursuing a Nutrition and Dietetics degree at College of the Ozarks have the advantage of a low student/faculty ratio. This enables students to receive more individualized assistance with course work and program requirements. The faculty also provide personalized assistance in achieving  specific career goals. At College of the Ozarks, opportunities are available for Nutrition and Dietetics majors to complete practicum work for course credit at local area institutions and programs, such as a community hospital or the Woman, Infants, Children (WIC) clinic.

The suggested sequence of courses for the Didactic Program in Dietetics at College of the Ozarks:

Freshman Year - Total Credit Hours: 33-35

1st Semester
PSY 103 Introduction to Psychology or SOC 103 Introduction to Sociology
FCN 104 Introductory Food Study
CHE 134 General, Organic, Biochemistry I
ART 103, DRM 103 or MUS 103
ENG 103 College Composition
ART 103, DRM 103, MUS 103
17 hours
2nd Semester
SPC 103 Public Speaking
HST 153 Western Civilization I
IDS 103 Patriotic Education
MAT 133 College Algebra
CHE 144 General, Organic, Biochemistry II
PED 101 Lifetime Wellness
17 hours

Sophomore Year - Total Credit Hours: 32-34

1st Semester
BIO 164 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
FCN 201 Food Safety and Sanitation
ENG 163 Readings in Western Civilization
BTS 103 Christian Worldview I
HST 163 Western Civilization II
CSC 253 Informatics or LSC 213 Information Literacy
17 hours
2nd Semester
FCN 203 Contemporary Nutrition or FCN 303 Fundamentals of Nutrition
BUS 213 Principles of Management
HST 253 The American Experience
ENG 253 American Rhetoric
BIO 174 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
16 hours

Junior Year - Total Credit Hours: 32-35 hours

1st Semester
FCN 374 Food Systems Management
FCN 263 Child Nutrition
BIO 214 Medical Microbiology
MAT 143 Statistics
BTE 383 Christian Worldview II
17 hours
2nd Semester
FCN 323 Nutrition Care Process/Education/Counseling
ACC 203 Elementary Accounting I
FCN 311 Medical Terminology
FCN 404 Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism
PED Activities Course Elective (1 cr)
Electives 3-6 hours
15-18 hours

Senior Year - Total Credit Hours: 30-36

1st Semester
FCN 384 Medical Nutrition Therapy
FCN 412 Senior Seminar in Dietetics
ENG 333 Technical Writing
Electives 6-9 hours
15-18 hours
2nd Semester
FCN 393 Community Nutrition
FCN 383 Practicum
FCN 363 Food Science
Fine Arts General Education course 3 hours
Electives 3-6 hours
15- 18 hours


Graduation requirements for the Nutrition and Dietetics Degree Program are identical with the requirements for a baccalaureate degree which includes the completion of a minimum of 125 semester hours of credit, of which 36 hours are upper division credit, with a 2.00 or higher cumulative grade point average. Students shall satisfy the general education requirements and the degree requirements in effect at the time of admission.

In order to receive a Verification Statement, which is required for application to Dietetic Internships and Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) registration exam eligibility, the student must earn at least a 3.0 overall GPA in courses required for the major. Students wishing to receive Verification Statements are required to complete a Verification Statement Request Form and complete a Program Assessment Exit Survey.  Both of these documents are available from the DPD director.  Verification Statements will be completed after a B.S. in Dietetics or program completion is recorded on the final transcript. For those students participating in the Dietetic Internship Central Application Service (DICAS), the Verification Statement will be completed electronically.

A Verification Statement which includes the original signature of the DPD director should be submitted with applications to dietetic internships, to the AND as a part of the active membership status application and may be requested by employers or graduate schools.

A Declaration of Intent form will be provided to students by the program director for those who apply to a dietetic internship before required coursework is completed.  This form substitutes for the Verification Statement and lists coursework in progress which fulfills didactic program requirements.  Upon completion of the DPD course requirements, a final Verification Statement will be awarded upon written request by the student.  For those students participating in the Dietetic Internship Central Application Service (DICAS), the intent form will be completed electronically.

DPD graduates who receive Verification Statements are eligible to sit for the Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) Exam.  See for more information on the option.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Credentialing Process

Nutrition and Dietetics is a very challenging and diverse field. There are a wide range of career opportunities in this ever-changing profession for students who graduate with a nutritionist degree. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, there are an impressive array of options and exciting opportunities in a variety of settings. There are opportunities to work in a health care position providing nutritional services for patients. There are RDNs who work in the community, counseling individuals and groups on nutrition practices to prevent disease and promote good health. Food companies hire RDNs to help develop or market healthier food products and many businesses hire RDNs to help their employees and customers live healthfully.  Additional opportunities include working in food service management, supervising the planning, preparation, and service of meals, along with other management tasks, in settings such as universities, schools, and hospitals.

The credentialing process:

To become a nutritionist or registered dietitian (RDN), specific requirements must be met. Current requirements include completion of a Bachelor's degree academic preparation, supervised practice, and passing the Registration Examination for Dietitians to become credentialed as an RDN. These requirements are periodically reviewed by the AND and are subject to change. The College of the Ozarks Didactic Program in  Dietetics is accredited by ACEND and upon successful completion of the program, a Bachelors of Science in Dietetics and a verification statement stating current DPD requirements have been met, will be granted. Students are eligible to apply to accredited supervised practice programs during their last semester.

An accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) program provides opportunities and experiences for the achievement of performance requirements for entry-level dietitians through a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice. The DI follows completion of the Didactic Program in Dietetics and a baccalaureate degree. Some programs may be combined with graduate degrees and some may be completed part-time. For more information and listing of accredited supervised practice programs see

In addition to RDN credentialing, many states have regulatory laws for dietitians and nutrition practitioners.  Licensure for dietitians in Missouri has been required since August, 2004.  Information for Missouri licensure of dietitians may be viewed at

 During FCN 412 Senior Seminar in Dietetics, students receive information on the application process for dietetic internships.  Many programs now use the Dietetic Internship Central Application Service (DICAS) online for this process.  In addition, students register with D & D Digital in order to participate in the computer matching process.  This process is used to match internships top choices with the student's top choices.  The student must rank the internships in order of preference.  There is a $50 fee for the matching process.  Postmark dates are in February and September and notifications are made in April and November. Students will receive their match by email on the match date.  If the student is matched with an internship, the student must contact the internship director within two days to accept the position.  If the student is not matched, the students can access the D & D Digital website two days after the matching date to view a list of internships with space available.  Students who are not matched are encouraged to contact the program director as soon as possible.  The D & D digital website can be found at and the DICAS Online site at for more information.

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