The mission of the DPD is to provide program graduates with the skills and knowledge to serve as professionals who deliver dietetic services in community, food service, management, and clinical settings. The program offers an evidence-based curriculum that is comprehensive and provides for a variety of practical experiences in the local community and governmental organizations.
As the scope of dietetics broadens, teaching activities and learning activities should provide students with a strong foundation in liberal arts and sciences, technology and information systems, food science, food service management, and nutrition. The DPD is designed to provide students with a culturally versatile education that prepares them to promote the nutrition and well-being of individuals and groups in a variety of settings. Finally, the DPD is committed to providing the educational foundation for a diverse student population, including international students. Collectively, the knowledge and experiences obtained from the program will equip graduates with the tools and skills required for success in the field.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics consists of 125 credit hours, which include 31 credit hours of general education courses, 57 credit hours of core courses and, 37 credit hours of supportive courses. The DPD program is based on science and liberal arts components, which encourage critical and creative thinking and expression. The course sequence emphasizes study in chemistry and biology, nutrition, food science and technology, medical nutrition therapy, human organizational behavior, management, and other general education courses. The student desiring to enter the program should have a strong background in the physical and biological sciences, as the scientific disciplines are emphasized.
The curriculum is developed within the conceptual framework of the accreditation standards and knowledge competencies for the dietetic profession published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. There are three steps to becoming a Registered Dietitian:
- The first step in becoming a Registered Dietitian is to successfully complete the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Once students complete the DPD, they will receive a Verification Statement signed by the Program Director.
- The second step is to successfully complete an approved dietetic internship (supervised practice experience). The Verification Statement issued at completion of the DPD is required for application to the dietetic internship. Upon completion of the dietetic internship or other ACEND accredited program that provides supervised practice experience, the student will receive another Verification Statement signed by the Program Director. This will allow the student to take the National Registration Examination for Dietitians.
- The third and the final step to becoming a Registered Dietitian is to pass the National Registration Examination for Dietitians.
DPD Goals and Objectives
The DPD program has developed the following goals. Faculty, the Nutrition Advisory Board, students, alumni, and administrators of UDC contributed to the development and assessment of program goals.
DPD Goal #1: The DPD will prepare graduates to be competent entry-level dietitians that apply knowledge and skills gained during the DPD.
- 80% of the program graduates who take the CDR registration examination will pass on the first attempt.
- 80%percent of the program graduates who take the CDR registration examination will pass within one year.
- At least 80% of graduates will be enrolled in a dietetic internship and/or graduate program or will be employed within two years of graduation from the DPD.
- At least 80% of graduates will rate overall knowledge gained during the DPD as at least satisfactory (2) on scale of 1-3.
- At least 80% of surveyed employers and DI directors will rate all assessed entry-level knowledge and skills of DPD graduates as “satisfactory” on average on scale of 1-5.
DPD Goal #2: To produce graduates with critical thinking skills necessary for supervised evidence-based practice, for leadership development and for graduate study.
- 80% of the DPD students will complete or participate in one service-learning activity prior to completing the program, and will rate their experience on average 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).
- Over a 5-year period, 65% of DPD graduates will apply to supervised practice programs within 12 months of program completion.
- Over a 5-year period, 60% of DPD students who apply to supervised practice programs will be accepted during the same year they complete DPD requirements
- Over a 5-year period, 40% of students not entering supervised practice programs during the year they complete the program will gain acceptance into graduate school.
- Over a 5-year period, 40% of students not going onto supervised practice programs or graduate school the year they complete the program will secure employment in nutrition.
- Over a 5-year period, at least 10% of graduates will identify their engagement in professional leadership roles.
Costs and Insurance
Tuition rates for the University of the District of Columbia can be found here. Tuition includes the cost of student health insurance; premiums will be waived with proof of insurance. UDC purchases a professional liability policy to cover students during their participation in any supervised practicum or internship required by their degree program. A certificate of insurance showing proof of coverage will be sent directly to participating sites prior to the student’s arrival. Any questions regarding coverage should be directed to the university’s Risk Manager, Barbara Williams.
In addition to UDC’s tuition, students in the Nutrition and Dietetics program are expected to cover costs as follows:
- The purchase of a lab coat (available in the UDC Bookstore).
- The purchase of program textbooks (available in the UDC Bookstore).
- Travel-related costs associated with practicum community site visits.
Program outcomes data, including internship admission rates and student pass rates, are available upon request.
The DPD fulfills the academic requirements for a student to become a Registered Dietitian (RD), and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND):
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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