Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence in Nutrition and Dietetics Education

| Author: Najat Yahia | Media Contact:

CMU is joyously celebrating 50 years of excellence in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at CMU! From 1974 - 2024, the DPD is a legacy of education and growth. As we reflect on this exciting time, let's reflect on a rich history that has shaped the DPD program into the esteemed accredited STEM program it is today.

Foundations in Home Economics:

Established in 1968, the DPD major is one of Michigan's oldest didactic programs. Offered initially under the Department of Home Economics, Family Life, and Consumer Education (HEC) in the College of Education and Human Services, our journey began with a commitment to fostering knowledge in nutrition and dietetics.

Pioneering Programs:

In the early years, students spent their first three years at CMU before completing advanced courses as guest registrants at Michigan State University or Wayne State University. The Plan IV Program, approved by the American Dietetic Association in 1974, marked a significant milestone with a general emphasis.

Evolution into Human Environmental Studies:

In 1993, the department underwent a name change to Human Environmental Studies (HEV). The DPD program remains the integral undergraduate program to the Food and Nutrition (FNS) Program.

A New Chapter in the College of Health Professions:

In 2019, the FNS program transitioned to The Herbert H. & Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions (CHP), housed within the School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences (SRMS). This move expanded our reach, allowing our undergraduate and graduate programs to align with various other health professional programs within the CHP.

Adapting to the Times:

Reflecting the dynamic nature of our field, in 2021, the FNS designator transformed into Nutrition and Dietetics (NDS). Currently, the NDS Program offers a baccalaureate degree in Dietetics (DPD), a Nutrition Minor, a Dietetic Internship (DI), and an Online MS in Nutrition and Dietetics Graduate Program (MSND).

Preparing Future RDN Leaders:

The DPD Major remains committed to preparing students for the demands of the dietetics profession. Meeting the standards set by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) accrediting body, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), our DPD graduates emerge ready to pursue the path to graduate studies to attain the title of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

Responding to Changing Standards:

Effective January 1, 2024, changes in Dietetics requirements mandate that DPD students either possess a graduate degree or be in the final semester of such a program before applying to an accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) for the RDN national exam. Our NDS programs seamlessly align with these new standards, particularly through our online MSND program.

The Online Graduate Program:

Our online graduate program offers a Plan B path, allowing students with a master's degree to apply to our stand-alone Dietetic Internship (DI) program in their final semester. The Plan B track enables DPD students to integrate the DI credits into their overall graduate program total credit hours, resulting in significant cost and time savings.

Embracing the Future of Nutrition & Dietetics:

Our intentional alignment of the DPD/MSND/DI programs ensures that our students are well-prepared for the RDN national exam. It also underscores our commitment to delivering a forward-thinking and adaptable education that aligns seamlessly with the evolving landscape of nutrition and dietetics.

As we celebrate this golden milestone, let us not only honor the past but also embrace the exciting future that lies ahead for the DPD program. Here's to 50 years of excellence in education and shaping the future of nutrition and dietetics in the State of MI and nationwide!

Cheers to 50 Years of the DPD Program at CMU!

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