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TTU Pilot Nutrition Program Begins This Fall

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
TTU Pilot Nutrition Program Begins This Fall

Tennessee Tech will be one of forty institutions in the nation offering a newly modeled masters program in community health and nutrition this fall.

The pilot program is a part of a future education model with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Program Director Dr. Samantha Hutson said what is new is students with any degree can now become licensed dietitians.

“Previously if students wanted to become a registered dietitian, if they had a non-nutrition bachelor’s degree, they would have to go back and get a second bachelor’s degree, and then, do graduate school,” Hutson said.

Hutson said the program has a rural focus to hopefully fill nutrition roles in the region. Huston said students without a nutrition degree can take 12 hours of prerequisite classes to apply for the accredited program.

“In general, we are going to have two audiences for the degree,” Huston said. “If someone is just interested in the community health and nutrition content, maybe educators, nurses. We are looking to provide nutrition focus community health content. So just the general increase in nutrition knowledge is something we are excited about. But then also, to be able to let students stay in the Upper Cumberland area.”

Hutson said the university has so far received lots of interests for the program. The next closest program to be a registered nutritionist is in Nashville.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from our current students and from those that have graduated in the past few years,” Hutson said. “We’ve also heard from people across the country and across he state of Tennessee, so we’re pretty excited.”

Hutson and several faculty members from the school of human ecology will teach most of the classes. Hutson said the university is looking to grow the program in the next year.


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