Beginning in fall 2017, Concordia will offer a new advanced degree: a dietetic internship combined with a Master of Science in nutrition with an emphasis in dietetics leadership.
Set to coincide with the opening of Concordia’s new, cutting-edge science facilities, the program combines the existing post-baccalaureate dietetic internship program with a new curriculum of courses offered through the departments of nutrition and dietetics, communication studies and the Offutt School of Business.
While the program will introduce new courses, the curriculum is designed to uphold Concordia’s mission of influencing the affairs of the world, says Dr. Meredith Wagner, assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics and the dietetic internship director.
“The curriculum for the program was designed with BREW (becoming responsibly engaged in the world) in mind,” Wagner says. “It promotes engagement in critical thinking, consideration of multiple perspectives and formation of informed judgments.”
A key area of focus will be opportunities for students to BREW, including providing experiences like conducting assessments on people from diverse cultures and backgrounds in hospital settings, planning culturally relevant theme meals, and leading health promotion programs in community health settings.
“The program will integrate both campus and off-campus networks and satisfy all requirements for graduates to obtain the credential of registered dietitian,” Wagner says.
In addition to growing Concordia’s graduate study offerings, Wagner expects the new program to enhance the experience of undergraduate students as well.
“Undergraduate students will benefit from the advanced critical thinking skills displayed by graduate students,” Wagner says.
Interaction between undergraduates and graduate students is a two-way street and Wagner says the leadership experience gained through mentoring undergrads is invaluable.
Eric Lillehaugen '11 is a content specialist and CMS administrator for Concordia College.