AHS Nutrition and Dietetics
Nutrition and Dietetics
Welcome to our home page! The Nutrition and Dietetics program results in a bachelor of science degree and helps prepare students to become registered dietitians/registered dietitian nutritionists (RD/RDN). This CFND concentration is structured within the major of Hospitality Management and Dietetics (HMD) at WKU. The major is within the Department of Applied Human Sciences.
What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists translate the science of food and nutrition to healthy lifestyles. In addition to disease prevention, dietitians are a trusted source to help people manage diabetes, heart disease, weight, and food allergies.
Students interested in becoming an RD/RDN should be committed to academic achievement and have a strong science foundation. Courses in food preparation, medical nutrition therapy, management, biology, and chemistry are taken. This vital and growing profession offers a variety of career opportunities that include nutrition counseling, wellness, and food service management.
- The Nutrition and Dietetics Program at WKU is currently accredited by the 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, 312/899-5400, www.eatrightpro.org/acend .
- The mission of the dietetics program at Western Kentucky University (WKU) is to prepare students to compete for ACEND accredited supervised practice experiences that lead to eligibility for the Commission on Dietetics Registration Examination, and thus, to "Registered Dietitian Nutritionist" designation. Students are provided educational experiences to prepare them to effectively fulfill duties of entry-level dietetics positions and to manage others who provide dietetic-related services. Students emerge from the program with information and management skills which enable them to creatively solve problems in the delivery of dietetic services.
- Students are provided educational experiences to prepare them to effectively fulfill duties of entry-level dietetics positions and to manage others who provide dietetic-related services. Students emerge from the program with information and management skills which enable them to creatively solve problems in the delivery of dietetic services.
- As a part of accreditation, the program has established goals for performance. Program outcomes data are available upon request.
Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
- Complete at least a bachelor's degree at an accredited college or university in the United States and complete course work in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Completion of the Nutrition and Dietetics concentration, within the HMD major, at Western Kentucky University allows for the completion of the bachelor's degree and the necessary course work.
- Complete an internship that is accredited by ACEND. Students apply to internship programs in their last year at Western Kentucky University and complete internships after graduating from the University. Entrance into internships is highly competitive. An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.3 to 3.5 and relevant work experience and/or volunteer experience aid in the preparation for a supervised practice program. Note: Nationally, there is a shortage of internships available; there are only internship openings for about half of the students which apply to internships. Some internships require the GRE for program admission.
- Pass the credentialing exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) following completion of an ACEND accredited internship.
- Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) in addition to the above requirements.
Maintaining registration status as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
- After becoming an RD/RDN, continued learning is required. This continued education involves the generation of a professional development portfolio. Dietitians must earn 75 hours of continuing professional development related to self-selected goals within a five year period. More about the process of professional development may be found on the website of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- In addition to earning registration status through the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, individual states may have laws regarding licensure/certification regarding dietitians and nutritionists. For example, the Kentucky Division of Occupations and Professions has a Board of Dietitians and Nutritionists. In order to be licensed in Kentucky, the RD/RDN Credential and 15 hours of continuing education per year are required.
Enjoy Career Opportunities
- medical nutrition therapy in hospitals and long-term care facilities
- sports nutrition and wellness
- public health nutrition
- private practice
- food service management in schools, hospitals, or long-term care
- business, research & education
Salaries and Job Outlook
- In a 2009 survey, among entry-level dietitians employed full-time four years or less, 50% earned between $43,400-62,200. Salaries increase with years of experience.
- The employment of registered dietitians is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations through 2022, (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). More information on careers, salaries and job outlook can be obtained from the website of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Applied Human Sciences Department
Applied Human Sciences
1906 College Heights Blvd #11037
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1037
photos by Sheryl Hagan-Booth