SUU Now Offering a Bachelor's Program in Nutrition Science
August 30, 2006
In response to market and student demand, Southern Utah University has redesigned its nutrition science curriculum into a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition degree program. The University is now offering a baccalaureate minor in the program too.
Previously offered as an emphasis of the Family and Consumer Science (FCS) major, the human nutrition bachelor program will better meet the institutional mission of providing undergraduate programs that contribute to the quality of life and economic development at the local and state levels.
The new degree is very much a repackaging of courses that were already in place into a human nutrition major and minor that are more current in the field and more helpful to students. The new degree program requires the addition of a one credit hour research seminar to be taken during the senior year. The coursework is very heavy in biology, microbiology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology. Two of the faculty are registered dietitians and one is on the verge of receiving licensure.
Literature reviews and anecdotal information in the market indicate that a human nutrition major and bachelor of science degree are more marketable.
To gauge the perceptions of current students, a questionnaire was administered to 340 students enrolled in nutrition courses at SUU in the Spring of 2005. Fourteen percent of survey respondents indicated they were enrolled in the nutrition emphasis of the FCS major. Sixty-seven percent said they planned to take additional nutrition courses. Thirty-five percent knew of an individual who chose not to attend SUU because the institution did not offer a specified bachelor degree in nutrition, and 23 percent said they may have to transfer to another institution to pursue a bachelor program in nutrition. Nearly 40 percent were somewhat or very interested in becoming a registered dietician.
The previous emphasis program was not sufficient in graduate school preparation, however, the new bachelor program in nutrition at SUU will prepare students to enter graduate programs in dietetics so that they can receive their registered dietician licensure. Moreover, it will make them more qualified and marketable in the field of nutrition in corporate and extension environments.