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Sources: Betsy Barrett, 785-532-2208, ebb@k-state.edu;
Roni Schwartz, 785-532-5576, rmschwar@k-state.edu;
and Deb Canter, 785-532-5507, canter@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415, bbohn@k-state.edu

Thursday, April 1, 2010

K-STATE DIETETICS PROGRAMS EARN CONTINUING ACCREDITATION FROM COMMISSION ON ACCREDITATION FOR DIETETICS EDUCATION

MANHATTAN -- The Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education has reaccredited both of Kansas State University's programs in dietetics for another 10 years.

The commission is the American Dietetic Association's accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians or dietetic technicians, registered.

The accreditation process for K-State included submission of an eligibility study, a self-study completed by K-State's two dietetics programs and a site visit by a commission-appointed team of dietitians. All of the information collected was then submitted to the commission's board of directors, which granted the reaccreditation.

K-State offers both a didactic program in dietetics and a coordinated program.

The didactic program provides the necessary course work to meet the academic requirements of the American Dietetic Association, said Betsy Barrett, program coordinator and associate professor of hospitality management and dietetics at K-State. Barrett said graduates of K-State's didactic program are qualified to apply for admission into a Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education-approved postbaccalaureate dietetic internship. Completion of both the degree program and the internship are mandatory before the graduate can sit for the national credentialing examination to earn the Registered Dietitian credential.

"What is unique about K-State's program is that we have an on-campus and a distance didactic program," Barrett said. "The distance program began in 1995 and has students enrolled from all over the world. At this time, we have approximately 60 distance and 30 on-campus students who were formally admitted into the didactic program in their junior year.

"We currently have graduates completing their dietetics internships at Vanderbilt University, KU Medical Center, Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Iowa State University, Texas Woman's University, Utah State University, University of Delaware and the U.S. Army," she said. "Our graduates are employed in acute and long-term care clinical facilities, public health, school food service and education."

K-State's coordinated program in dietetics combines the didactic curriculum with the required 1,200 hours of supervised practice as part of the Bachelor of Science degree, according to Roni Schwartz, program coordinator and instructor of hospitality management and dietetics.

"Students who graduate from the coordinated program are immediately eligible to sit for the national Registered Dietitian credentialing exam," Schwartz said. "The coordinated program typically accepts 20 to 30 students per year who are placed in exceptional supervised practice sites in various locations in Kansas and eastern Missouri. Graduates find work in hospitals, health departments, outpatient clinics, school food service and long-term care communities. The last two graduating classes of coordinated program students have found employment shortly after graduation, even in a challenging economy."

Deb Canter, head of K-State's department of hospitality management and dietetics, said, "We are delighted that both of these programs have received on-going accreditation from the American Dietetic Association. K-State's programs have long been recognized as pacesetters in the field of dietetics, thanks to the hard work of program directors Barrett and Schwartz, other faculty who teach in the program, and dietetics practitioners from around the state who assist with supervising hands-on experiences. The caliber of our graduates is exceptional as evidenced by the success they achieve in their careers and the contributions they make to the health of the citizens of Kansas and the nation."

For accreditation, both K-State programs had to show they met the eligibility requirements and accreditation standards set to ensure quality. The assembly of information and submission of reports to the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education began in March 2008 and was completed in December 2009, according to Barrett and Schwartz. The final decision was made by commission's board in February, with the university notified in March that accreditation for both programs had been renewed for the maximum 10-year period.

More information on the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education is available at http://www.eatright.org/CADE/.