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Foods and Nutrition

The NCCU Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) will prepare you to become a registered dietitian. Registered Dietitians are the food and nutrition experts who are trained to translate the science of nutrition into everyday solutions in order to lead a healthy lifestyle. Registered dietitians can be found in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, long-term care facilities, food management, food industry, universities, research, and private consulting practices. In short, the focus of a registered dietitians’ work is to serve as the nutrition expert and advocate for good nutrition that promotes the optimal nutritional status all people.

The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at North Carolina Central University is "to produce culturally diverse, competent professionals in the science of dietetics, equipped with the knowledge and skills for self-directed learning, and promoting optimum health for a wide range of clientele."

The NCCU 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 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606, 1-800-877-1600).

Program Goal 1

Prepare students who will matriculate successfully through the program including the completion of the university's required community service.

1.1    Eighty percent of DPD students will graduate within 150 percent of the four years (i.e. within 6 years) required to graduate from the program, starting from the time of admission.
1.2    One hundred percent of the students will receive academic advising on the scope and sequence of course offerings.
1.3    Ninety percent of the students will earn 30 hours (100 percent) of community service credits as required by the university.

Program Goal 2

Prepare students for admission into dietetic internship programs, dietetic technician programs, or advanced programs of study.

2.1    Over a five-year period, at least 60 percent of DPD graduates will apply to at least one supervised practice program.
2.2    Over a five-year period, at least 80 percent of DPD students who apply to a dietetic internship program will be accepted.
2.3    At least 10 percent of graduates who do not apply to or are not accepted to a supervised practice program will secure admission to an advanced program or a DT program within two years of graduation.
2.4    At least 80 percent of students will rate themselves as prepared for a supervised practice program, DT, or advanced study.
2.5    Over a five-year period, 80 percent of the students who took the DPD’s Foods and Nutrition Competency Exam will score 80 percent or above the first time they take the exam.

Program Goal 3

Equip students to become successful in the dietetic internship program.

3.1    Over five years, a minimum average of 80 percent of DPD graduates who completed a supervised practice program will pass the registered dietician (RD) exam the first time they take it.
3.2    Eighty percent of the DPD graduates and their program director will agree that the DPD prepared them well for the registration exam.
3.3    Over five years, 90 percent of graduates admitted into a supervised practice program will complete the program.

Program Goal 4

Prepare students for entry-level employment in foods, nutrition, dietetics, and related fields.

4.1    A minimum of 60 percent of graduates who did not apply to a supervised internship program or were not accepted into the program and sought employment, will be employed in dietetics, foods, or nutrition within one year of graduation.
4.2    At least 80 percent of DPD graduates employed in dietetics-related professions will agree or strongly agree that the DPD program at NCCU prepared them well to perform their jobs.
4.3    At least 75 percent of employers of DPD graduates will indicate satisfaction with students’ preparation for employment and job performance at the workplace. 
4.4    At least 75 percent of Site Preceptors of DPD graduates and students in FOOD 4660 will indicate satisfaction with students’ preparation for employment and job performance at the practicum.

Program Goal 5

Recruit, retain and graduate students with culturally diverse backgrounds in the DPD to meet the critical areas of shortages and under-representation in foods, nutrition, dietetics, allied and biomedical sciences.

5.1    Over a five-year period, increase enrollment in the Foods and Nutrition Program by 10 percent.
5.2    Retain at least 80 percent of DPD students enrolled annually.
5.3    Over five years, graduate at least 20 percent of DPD students annually (PT and FT).
5.4    Over five years, increase enrollment of people of color by 10 percent in the foods and nutrition program.
5.5    Over a five-year period, retain 80 percent of the people of color enrolled in the foods and nutrition program.
5.6    Over a five-year period, 80 percent of the DPD graduates will be people of minority groups.
5.7    Over a five-year period, 60 percent of those DPD graduates with culturally diverse backgrounds will have obtained jobs in areas of dietetic practices that represent shortages or under-representation

Program Goal 6

Provide a nurturing, intellectual, and open environment that is conducive to learning, critical thinking, personal growth and creativity.

6.1    At least 80 percent of the students will indicate that the curriculum is intellectually stimulating, encourages critical thinking, and creativity.
6.2    Make available to at least 50 percent of DPD students with less than 2.5 Cumulative GPA, support services capable of nurturing and promoting personal and academic growth.
6.3    At least 70 percent of students will indicate a positive relationship with the faculty that is conducive to learning.
6.4    At least 80 percent of the graduates will indicate the environment to be nurturing, intellectual, conducive to learning, and promotes personal growth and creativity.

Foster faculty and student professional growth and development through participation in professional meetings, mentoring, and experiential learning (i.e. research, community outreach).

7.1    Faculty will attend at least three professional meetings, workshops, or seminars annually at the local, state, national or international level.
7.2    Over a five-year period, faculty will submit at least one research grant proposal project or presentation.
7.3    Over a five-year period, faculty will submit and/or publish a minimum of one manuscript in a refereed journal or book.
7.4    Over a five-year period, faculty will demonstrate leadership competence in at least one position at the university or professional group and/or at a local, state, national or international level.
7.5    Eighty percent of faculty will be members of AND and/or at least one other professional organization.
7.6    Seventy percent of DPD students will attend at least three professional meetings at the local, state, national or international level by the time they graduate.
7.7     At least 10 percent of DPD students will be encouraged and mentored to present a research paper, at least once, at a professional meeting prior to graduation.

Over the years competition among DPD graduates for internship positions has increased due to a shortage of dietetic internship positions. As such, the NCCU program has continued to maintain a high level of rigor within the program curriculum so that the DPD graduates able to compete for Dietetic Internship Programs.

In order to become a registered dietitian an individual must:

  1. Earn a bachelor degree from an accredited university that is in good standing with the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The coursework required consists of food service management, business, computer science, economics, food and nutrition science, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and microbiology.
  2. Receive a verification statement from the accredited university. This statement indicates that an individual has successfully completed all the coursework and is able to demonstrate the mastery of the competencies as set forth by ACEND. This statement enables an individual to apply to dietetic internship throughout the United States.
  3. Once an individual successfully completes a dietetic internship, he/she is eligible to take the national registration exam provided by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
  4. Passage of the registration exam enables an individual to professionally refer to themselves as a registered dietitian.
  5. After becoming an RD, AND/CDR requires that 75 hours of continuing education is obtained every five years in order to maintain their registration status.

The program has been designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully complete the program and present themselves as a strong competitor for the most prestigious of internships in the nation.

Upon completion of this program, the students will be able to:

  1. To read, interpret, and apply current research into everyday practice
  2. To analyze and critique research data
  3. To write using proper terminology and form
  4. To think critically
  5. To advocate for proper nutrition for all people from all walks of life
  6. To be socially and ethically responsible and serve as leader in the field of dietetics

For details regarding the policies and procedures that govern the undergraduate dietetic program, please refer to the DPD Student Handbook.

For more information regarding an education in foods and nutrition, contact Mr. Jason O'Briant, Director, Undergraduate Didactic Program in Dietetics, 102 Dent Human Sciences, 919-530-7139.

Course of Study, Dietetics

Our Biographies:

  • Jason M. O'Briant, MS, RD, LDN - Director of the Undergraduate Didactic Program in Dietetics
  • Esther C. Okeiyi, PhD, RD, LDN, Registered, Licensed Dietitian - Dietetic Internship Program Director
  • Ms. Joyce Price, MS, RD, LDN, the part-time Faculty Preceptor for the Dietetic Internship Program

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