Contents

Introduction to the Program

This handbook is intended to assist you in navigating the Master of Arts (MA) Program in Nutrition Science. Written policies and procedures protect your rights as a student and are consistent with university policies and those of our accrediting body, the Accreditation Council for Education of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

The Nutrition Science and Dietetics Programs welcome you to the MA Program in Nutrition Science! We are committed to providing you with meaningful and quality didactic and supervised experiential learning opportunities as you pursue your goal to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

The MA in Nutrition Science provides an opportunity for students to earn a master’s degree and gain competency for careers as entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists. A carefully structured program of didactic coursework and supervised experiential learning focused on the nutrition care process is based on the ACEND Accreditation Standards for Nutrition and Dietetics Graduate Future Education Model Programs.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible for active membership in The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and may take the credentialing examination for dietitian nutritionists through the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR).

Upon passing the exam, many RDs apply for licensure/certification in the state(s) in which they practice. Licensure/certification is a state credential or requirement and is separate from the MA in Nutrition Science Program and from dietetic registration.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Syracuse University’s MA in Nutrition Science is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago Illinois, 60606-6995 (800.877.1600). ACEND is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (A.S.P.A.).

Mission Statement

Through integrated didactic and experiential learning, the mission of the Syracuse University Master of Arts in Nutrition Science program is to prepare graduates for success as registered dietitian nutritionists who apply the nutrition care process to positively impact individuals, families, and communities.

Program Goals and Outcome Measures: Goals and objectives

  1. Graduates will be prepared for successful careers in nutrition and dietetics.
    1. At least 80% of students complete program requirements within 32 months (150% of planned program length).
    2. Of graduates who seek employment, at least 80 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
    3. At least 80 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
    4. The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  2. Graduates will apply their didactic and experiential learning to populations using evidence-based nutrition and dietetics practices.
    1. Employer Satisfaction: Over a 3-year period of employers who respond to annual surveys, greater than 75 percent will rate their satisfaction with graduate’s preparation for entry-level practice as registered dietitian nutritionists as satisfied or better (where satisfied is 3rd on a 5-point scale).
    2. In an exit survey, at least 80% of graduates will report that they feel confident or better to apply the nutrition care process to various populations (where confident is 3rd on a 5-point scale).
    3. Of graduates who respond to a 1-year post-graduate survey, 80% will report they felt prepared or better to apply the nutrition care process to various populations as a result of our integrated didactic and experiential curriculum (where prepared is 3rd on a 5-point scale).

Outcomes data is available from the program director upon request.

Getting Admitted

Learn more about how to apply and required application materials.

Applicant selection

While no single factor determines entry to the program, competitive applicants typically have a minimum of:

  • G.P.A. of 3.00 or higher (undergraduate degree)
  • TOEFL scores of 100 for the Internet based (I.B.T.) test. I.E.L.T.S. of 7 or above.

Admission decisions are made by the Nutrition Science Graduate Admissions Committee and are based on the student’s academic background, experience (e.g., research activity, related work experience), letters of recommendation, personal statement, and areas of interests. It is common for successful applicants to have well beyond the minimum requirements.

A maximum of twelve students will be admitted to each cohort.

International students are welcomed in the MA in Nutrition Science Program at Syracuse University following the same application process as noted above. Foreign degrees require verification for equivalency through a degree evaluation agency. International students should work with their international services advisor at their current college/university for management of their visa.

International students can learn more about Syracuse University’s programs and resources at the Center for International Services.


Pre-requisite requirements for non-DPD verified students

Students without a DPD verification statement must document completion of the follow courses or equivalent in addition to the general admissions requirements of the Graduate School, Nutrition Science Graduate Program.  Pre-requisite courses must be approved by the program director to assure that requirements are met. Courses must be completed prior to program start.

Courses

Credits

Writing I & II

6

Introductory Psychology or Sociology

3

General Biology I & II

6

Anatomy & Physiology I & II (plus lab)

6-8

Chemistry I & II   

6

Statistics

3

Introductory Nutrition

3

Introductory food science

variable

Food systems and safety*

variable

Food preparation and production

variable

*ServSafe Manager certification may meet this requirement if food systems curriculum included in other courses.

Structure of the Program

The MA in Nutrition Science spans over two academic years. Throughout the program, students will be immersed in didactic and supervised experiential learning activities building upon knowledge and skills to culminate in entry-level practice competencies.

The program starts in late August according to the fall semester academic calendar. Students will be required to complete two full-time academic years plus 2 online summer courses between program year 1 and year 2.

Once all requirements for the program and verification are met, verification statements will be issued to each student, enabling them to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. See the section below called Verification Policy.

Academics

Course plan of study

A plan of study is included below by year and semester. 

Year 1


Fall

CourseCredits
NSD 667: Metabolism of Macronutrients4
NSD 654: Nutrition Research Methods3
Statistics (PHP 630 or HFS 621)3
NSD 555: Food, Culture, and the Environment3


Spring

CourseCredits
NSD 511: Nutrition Education3
NSD 665: Metabolism of Micronutrients3
NSD 695: Nutritional Status Evaluation3
NSD 681: Clinical Nutrition Therapy I3
NSD 682: Clinical Nutrition Therapy I Lab1


Summer

CourseCredits
 NSD 627 Public Health Nutrition3
 NSD 648: Dietetics Practice Across the Lifespan3


Year 2


Fall

CourseCredits
NSD 512: Nutrition Counseling3
NSD 637: Integrative and Functional Nutrition3
NSD 683: Clinical Nutrition Therapy II3
NSD 684: Clinical Nutrition Therapy II Lab1
NSD 650: Dietetics Practicum2


Spring

CourseCredits
NSD 635: Nutrition Leadership and Management3
NSD 680: Seminar in Food and Nutrition2
NSD 650: Dietetics Practicum2

Course Descriptions

Visit our course catalog for course descriptions.

All students will register for NSD 675 Practicum Pre-planning as advised. This is a zero credit, no cost "course" that serves as a means to access the Tevera system prior to course registration. Learn more about Tevera the Supervised Experiential Learning section below.

Distance Education Requirements

Technology requirements

Courses that are taught online require access to technology so that students can reliably attend class and engage in course activities. Visit our Online Success Toolkit and ITS New Student and Welcome web pages for more information.

Distance Instruction Online Testing Policy

Blackboard is the Supported Learning Management System at Syracuse University. Online testing is completed using Blackboard which includes Microsoft two-factor authentication. Digital identities at Syracuse University begin with the application process. The process includes the creation of a unique Syracuse University computing and network system identifier (NetID). The NetID and password enable a student to access our systems, such as the learning management system. Access to the University's computing network and online services are controlled through the NetID username and a password. Information about the Net ID and Password process can be found at: Net ID and Password.

Expected Competence to be Attained by Graduates

Graduates of the MA in Nutrition Science program will be prepared for application of the nutrition care process in entry-level positions in nutrition and dietetics and be committed to life-long learning. All students must achieve competency in the ACEND core statements for graduate nutrition programs. Students will demonstrate professional skills in time management, reliability, as well as verbal and written communications.

Program Completion Requirements / Verification Policy

Program verification is required to meet eligibility requirements for graduates to take the credentialing exam. The MA in Nutrition Science director will prepare verification statements for all graduates who have successfully completed the program and met all program requirements. The director initiates the application and verification for registration with the Commission on Dietetic Registration, monitors for approval and resolves any reasons for denial. The graduate's responsibility is to accurately complete demographic information within Pearson V.U.E. and schedule the examination. All the following requirements must be met in order to receive program verification:

  1. Completion of at least 1000 hours of supervised experiential or alternate learning, as established by the Syracuse University MA in Nutrition Science program. At least 650 hours will be completed in authentic practice settings.
  2. Successful achievement of all ACEND-required competencies
  3. Completion of all required program courses
  4. Maintenance of overall G.P.A. of 3.0 or greater
  5. Earn a B or better in all required courses
  6. Satisfactory completion of the program’s comprehensive examination
  7. Program requirements met within 32 months (150 percent of program length).
  8. Development of a professional portfolio
  9. Completion of exit interview and exit survey

Leave of Absence

Students requesting a leave from the University for personal or health reasons prior to completing their degree requirements must file an Official Leave of Absence form. The form must be submitted whether or not they intend to return.

To take a leave of absence:

  1. A graduate student must complete the official withdrawal/leave of absence form.
  2. The department chair of the student’s primary program must sign the form.
  3. The student must hand deliver the form to the Office of Student Services, Falk 330, Barclay Suite. (In the case where a student is unable to do so, the department chair may send the form to the Office of Student Services.)

To return from the leave of absence:

  1. A graduate student must complete a petition to be readmitted to their program.
  2. The department chair must sign the petition.
  3. The student must send the petition to the Office of Student Services, Graduate Recorder, Falk 330, Barclay Suite.

Program Costs

Estimated Cost of Attendance can be found on the Syracuse University website.

Additional Required Expenses

Expense

Cost

Graduate program application fee

$75

Course fee (NSD 695)

$15

Course fee (NSD 682)

$35

Course fee (NSD 650)

TBD

Medical exam - health clearance and titers

variable

A.N.D. Student Membership dues

$58.00/year

Housing

Students are responsible for the cost and selection of housing. Housing arrangements should be made over the summer prior to enrollment.

Statement of Equal Opportunity / Equitable Treatment

Syracuse University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, marital status, age, disability or sexual orientation. This non- discrimination policy covers admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs, services and activities.

Syracuse University provides the following resources to meet the needs of a diverse student body:

Center for International Services

Office of Multicultural Affairs

Hendricks Chapel

The Center for Disability Resources

Student Organizations/Office of Student Activities

Falk College Office of Student Services

Students placed in supervised experiential learning sites under the supervision of a preceptor will have fair and equitable treatment. Affiliation agreements outline this expectation. The preceptor handbook outlines expectations of professional conduct.

After each rotation, students complete evaluations of facilities, which includes feedback about the treatment and evaluation of the student in a fair and objective manner.

Leave of Absence, Withdrawals, Readmission

Falk College has established policies and procedures regarding leave of Leave of absence, withdrawal and readmission.

Learn more by visiting our informational student page and the Leave of Absence FAQs.

The Bursar’s Office can provide additional information regarding tuition refunds.

Health Examination / Health Status

Health and Wellness requirements are established by Syracuse University through the Barnes Center at the Arch. Health history and immunization requirements must be met in order for students to register for classes.

Supervised experiential learning sites may require additional health approvals. Your course instructor will provide guidance on these requirements. Prior to starting NSD 650 Dietetics Practicum, over the summer prior to year 2 of the program, you will be required to obtain/submit the following to the MA in Nutrition Science director:

  • Program’s certificate of health form, including documentation of current health physical and any physical restrictions.
  • Immunization and titer records (this is in addition to submission to the Barnes Center)
  • Current PPD
  • Proof of health insurance

Additional health updates may be required during the program, depending on New York State and institutional health codes. Immunization to COVID-19 and influenza or compliance with the New York State Department of Health regulations for COVID-19 and influenza prevention will be required.

Continued enrollment in the program is dependent upon satisfactory psychological and physical health. Students experiencing health problems (medical or psychological) may need to leave the program if these problems result in prolonged or frequent absence, or if they are observed to be a threat to the welfare of patients/clients or the student.

Health Insurance 

Students are required to have a current health insurance policy while enrolled in the program. Full-time graduate students are eligible for Student Health Insurance.

Student Services

Registration

Information regarding course registration will be sent to the MA in Nutrition Science student in the summer prior to year 1. Students will meet with their academic advisor each semester prior to registration to finalize their schedules.

Financial Aid

Full-time graduate students qualify for financial aid through the graduate school in the form of loans.

Counseling

Individual, group, consultation and referral services are provided through the Syracuse University Counseling Center.

Graduate Assistantships

MA students are eligible for graduate assistantships in their first year of study. New students requesting an assistantship should indicate their request on the graduate school application for admission and do not need to file a separate application for an assistantship.

Students may be awarded full-time or part-time assistantships. Students receiving a full-time assistantship work 20 hours per week and receive a stipend and a tuition scholarship of 24 (9/9/6) credits for the two academic semesters and one summer session. Students receiving a full-time assistantship cannot be employed elsewhere.

Students who receive a part-time assistantship work 10 hours per week and receive a reduced stipend. They receive 12 (6/6) tuition scholarship credits for the two academic semesters. Part-time graduate assistants may be employed elsewhere.

Tuition credits awarded cannot exceed the number of credits required for the student to complete his/her degree.

Graduate assistants assigned to research grants may be required to track and document their working hours.

Supervisor expectations and work will vary between graduate assistantships. Some graduate assistants will work on campus and assist faculty with coursework or class activities; others might work on faculty research projects and be expected to work night and weekend hours. Students will discuss their assistantship responsibilities with their faculty supervisors.

All graduate teaching assistants are required to participate in the All-University T.A. Orientation Program that is held two weeks prior to the start of the fall semester. In addition to graduate assistantships, the department has a limited number of scholarship credits available to be awarded to deserving students (number of tuition credits awarded may vary).

Scholarships

All students enrolled in the MA in Nutrition Science program are eligible to apply for the William Allen Scholarship. This is a $1200 award applied to tuition costs in the fall semester of year 2 of the program.

Policies and Procedures for Student Success

Advisement 

The program director of the MA in Nutrition Science provides academic advising for all enrolled students in the program. Your academic advisor will provide guidance in course scheduling and departmental procedures.

Academic advisors work with students to provide academic guidance throughout the program. Students are encouraged to meet each semester to review their Program of Study and address any concerns that may affect their ability to complete the program. Students needing additional support may meet with their academic advisor more frequently, have their Program of Study revised and/or be given referrals for additional resources to assist with their success in the program.

Student Performance Monitoring

Concerns about a student’s performance in meeting program requirements will be addressed promptly to facilitate student’s progression in the program. Students are expected to meet at least once per semester with their academic advisor for course scheduling.

The early detection of academic difficulty is monitored by both the academic advisor and through the Orange SUccess system, a platform that enhances communication between colleges, faculty and students to identify and make notifications regarding academic success.

Graduate Student Annual Review Process and Procedure

Each spring semester the graduate nutrition faculty conduct an annual review of all graduate students and their Programs of Study. The annual review is designed to facilitate students’ progress by providing timely feedback regarding their overall performance. This includes any clarification of program requirements and expectations, as well as early identification of concerns or deficiencies.

In preparation for the review, all graduate students are required to complete the Annual Review online survey. An email with the survey will be sent at least two weeks prior to the due date of the materials. The Annual Review survey provides faculty with information regarding the student’s academic progress and accomplishments. The faculty advisor will review the advisee’s information and provide a summary of his/her progress to the graduate nutrition faculty committee. Nutrition faculty may provide additional information regarding student progress and performance. If faculty have concerns about a student's progress, the student will meet with the graduate program director to discuss concerns and create a plan for future success. 

Retention

The M.A. in Nutrition Science program at Syracuse University advances the success and retention of students in ways that are consistent with the program’s mission, goals, student learning outcomes, and equitable treatment policy. Retention efforts are structured into the program as supports for student success and include but are not limited to orientation, regular advising opportunities, annual reviews, supervised experiential learning documentation, feedback opportunities (both to and from students), and remediation plans.

The following areas outline our retention efforts.

Orientation

Orientation is a requirement at the beginning of a student’s program that provides an opportunity to meet with faculty and other students of the program and gain information about expectation, policies and processes. Students receive additional orientation in year 2 prior to starting supervised experiential learning rotations.

Support for Supervised Experiential Learning

Courses integrate supervised experiential learning throughout the program. Course instructors will provide expectations for learning experiences as they apply to the professional settings. For major rotations, the professional interest survey allows the program director to identify student strengths and areas of improvement needed for success in professional rotations. Students will be orientated to the placement process, onboarding requirements, evaluation process, and student learning outcomes for each rotation. Students are provided with rotation details prior to the start date of major rotations. Students needing additional support are provided opportunities for additional meetings and supports, such as learning resources.

Clinical and Supervision Documentation

Students are required to log and submit their clinical and supervision hours monthly. The program tracks hours and assists students in monitoring their progress toward completion of the supervised experiential learning hour requirements for completion and verification. The MA in Nutrition Science director assists program students in using this feedback to modify plans as necessary.

Feedback Opportunities

Opportunities to receive feedback regarding academic and experiential progress and development are implemented throughout a student’s program. Formal feedback regarding performance in professional settings occurs at the end of each major rotation and during advisement or other routine meetings. Feedback is provided throughout the program through assignment rubrics and from preceptors during major rotations.

Additionally, students are encouraged to provide feedback to the program during advisement meetings and are required to provide formal feedback during the exit interview and anonymously through the exit survey. Information will be used to promote the student’s success and evaluate program procedures and curriculum for needed adjustment to improve the program and student experience.

Tutorial and Writing Support

Students are supported academically through services that includes tutoring, study skills, and through Writing Center consultations. Students can view our comprehensive list of student support services and programs.

Academic Standards

Any student who fails to maintain a cumulative 3.0 G.P.A. is subject to a remediation plan. In the case that a student must repeat a required course (when earning a grade lower than a B), they must do so the next time the course is offered. Students are also subject to dismissal if they fail to complete degree requirements in the required timeframe (150% of program length).

Satisfactory Progress

All graduate students are required to maintain satisfactory progress in their degree program. This is accomplished by maintaining a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 (B) or higher in all courses listed in their program of study. This includes graduate courses taken outside the Nutrition Science Graduate Program, such as Statistics). Students must earn a B or better in all required courses.

Remediation Plans

We strive to provide students with clear expectations and indication of their development and competence in all areas of the program. In the event that a student is not meeting minimum program expectations and is not progressing towards verification requirements, a meeting will be scheduled with the program director. An individualized remediation plan will be developed with the student to assist with passing the required program milestones and successfully completing the program.

The remediation plan will document the area of deficiency, review the student expectations or required competency, and provide a detailed outline of corrective procedures and consequences of not meeting remediation plan requirements. The remediation plan will be reviewed with the Nutrition Science and Dietetics Graduate Program Director and will be added to the student’s file within the department. Follow-up meetings will also be scheduled to monitor the student’s growth in these areas and progress in the program. Students that fail to meet remediation plan expectations may be counseled out or dismissed from the program.

Dismissal

A student may be dismissed from the program and the University for reasons of academic  performance, professional or personal misconduct, or violation(s) of the Syracuse University Academic Integrity Expectations and Policy or the Student Code of Conduct.

Examples of misconduct that may warrant dismissal include, but are not limited to, hostile actions, actions that are harmful, and unethical or unsafe behavior. A student with minimal chances of success in the program will be counseled into career paths that are appropriate to their ability.

Exit process

Students provide valuable feedback regarding their learning experience in our program. Near the end of the final semester, students will be required to complete an anonymous survey regarding many aspects of our program. In addition, each student will meet individually with the MA program director to provide further feedback. This information is used to evaluate the success of our current program, as well as make improvements for future students. The exit survey and exit interview are required in order to meet verification policy requirements.

University Academic Policies

Protection of Privacy of Student Information

The law requires that the University maintain confidentiality of student records. Syracuse University accords all rights under the law to all current and former students. The policy outlining the University's compliance with the provision of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is available for inspection by students.

Access to Personal Files

Student records, maintained by the program, may be reviewed by that student. Students wishing to examine their folders or records should notify the program director.

Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

All students are expected to conform to the principles of academic honesty. This is a requirement of both Syracuse University and the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Syracuse University’s Academic Integrity Policy, and the procedures for reporting, investigating, and adjudicating any violations, are described at Syracuse University Center for Learning and Student Success and in Syracuse University’s Academic Integrity Policy, adopted January 1, 2017.

The four general expectations for academic integrity at Syracuse University are:

  1. Credit Your Sources
  2. Do Your Own Work
  3. Communicate Honestly
  4. Support Academic Integrity

Please refer to the A.I. policy document for more information.

The submission of any piece of written work by a student is assumed by the university to guarantee that the thoughts and expressions in it are literally the student’s own. Sanctions against giving or receiving aid in examinations; plagiarism (presenting as one’s own work, the words, ideas and opinions of someone else); or the falsification of any university academic record will be imposed by appropriate bodies as outlined in Syracuse University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Alcohol and Drug Use

Alcohol and inappropriate drug use will not be tolerated according to campus policies.

Incompletes 

Illness or other exceptional circumstances are the usual basis for consideration for the grade of in complete. To receive a grade of incomplete in a course, a student must complete the Request for Incomplete Form.

Student complaints /Grievance Resolution

Any student with a grievance may refer to the Student Grievance Processes web page, which outlines University policies and procedures. Students may also refer to the Student Conduct System Handbook.

A student may also submit complaints to ACEND after options within the College and University have been exhausted. However, ACEND only handles complaints related to accreditation standards and policies violations.

Disciplinary Action

Special university or college policies and procedures cover academic dishonesty (see above). Disciplinary actions include loss of credit for the course in which dishonesty occurs or suspension from the college (the length of time to be determined by the college committee). A student arrested for a felony will be suspended from the university, its campus and all its facilities pending a university hearing.

Assessment of Prior Learning

Students may be awarded credit of prior learning in the form of transfer credit or supervised experiential learning.

Transfer credit

Graduate courses completed at a previous accredited institution may be petitioned to apply to the MA in Nutrition Science graduate degree requirements. Students may transfer a maximum of fifteen graduate credits (with a grade of B or higher) with the approval of the MA in Nutrition Science program director. Grades from other institutions are not included in the Syracuse University G.P.A. calculation.

Students requesting a transfer of credits or requesting to take a graduate course at another accredited institution are required to complete a petition for each course that is being transferred. Students must also provide a complete syllabus for the class. The program director reviews the petitions and syllabi to determine which courses will be accepted.

Recency of Education

Degree courses completed as pre-requisites and transfer credits must meet recency requirement of no more than 7 years prior to the start of the program. This assures that the student will be prepared to apply current and accurate knowledge to graduate courses. Students that apply knowledge in an employment setting will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in order to bypass recency requirements.

Supervised Experiential Learning Credit

Students with relevant work experience who may meet the requirements for prior learning credit may apply for review and approval. The documented learning must be clearly and directly related to the competency statements required by the ACEND Accreditation Standards for Nutrition and Dietetics Graduate Programs. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain the course competencies from the program director for that specific rotation they are requesting credit. This will assist the student in preparation of the proposal and help to demonstrate and clarify completion of competencies.

Partial rotations will not be approved, therefore, the student must request and demonstrate a minimum of 168 hours to award credit of supervised experiential learning for work related to a major rotation (acute care, long term care, food service management, community education and counseling).

Proposals will be reviewed by the MA in Nutrition Science Program Director and the Graduate Program Director. The student must submit the following documents:

  1. Written request for evaluation of credit for prior learning, including:
    1. The number of hours requested
    2. Proposed supervised experiential learning substitution (ex: food service management rotation).
    3. Description of specific competencies and performance indicators achieved in experience with examples based on job description or duties.
    4. Name and contact information of supervisor who can verify experience and complete evaluation of competency achievement.
    5. Optional examples of work that support the demonstration of competency achievement.
  2. Formal job description
  3. Rotation pre-test and post-test with a minimum of a 70% on first attempt.
  4. Learning reflection

The MA in Nutrition Science director will contact the supervisor for completion of the evaluation, which must demonstrate a minimum of a 5 out of 9 and verify the employment hours and job description.

Students seeking credit for prior learning must have completed the experience within 5 years of program start.

Students who are approved for assessment of prior learning will not be verified early, as there are other program requirements that cannot be met until the end of the spring semester.

Requests for assessment of prior learning must be submitted by July 15 prior to program start date.

Supervised Experiential Learning 

Educational Purpose of Supervised Experiential Learning

The program will provide a minimum of 1000 supervised experiential learning hours, infused throughout the curriculum. Supervised experiential learning in authentic dietetics practice settings are concentrated in NSD 650 Dietetics Practicum, taken in both the fall and spring semesters of year 2. In this course, students are required to complete four 7-week rotations. Site placement is determined by the course instructor with input from the student regarding professional development goals. Students are not required to find their own supervised experiential learning rotations.

Supervised experiential learning provides training to students to demonstrate competency for entry-level practice. Assignment to learning sites requires the approval of the hosting site, as well as an affiliation agreement when conducted off of Syracuse University campus. In addition, sites often require proof of a recent health physical, immunization records, PPD, and titers.

Supervised experiential learning is for the benefit of the student. The student does not displace regular employees, but instead works under supervision of existing staff or faculty. The supervised experiential learning site that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student, and, on occasion, the facility operations may actually be impeded.

Supervised Experiential Learning documentation

Completion of supervised experiential learning in didactic and rotation sites will be tracked throughout the program by the MA Nutrition Science program director. Upon successful completion of courses containing supervised experiential learning, the director will use the program’s form to document accumulated hours. The program will review this information during advisement and to evaluate the student’s overall progress in meeting program requirements, including total supervised experiential learning hours.

Falk College has developed a comprehensive system to enhance the operations of programs where experiential learning is required. Tevera is a software platform used by other accredited programs and has the ability to individualize options for unique program needs. Students will use Tevera to enter their SEL hours during major rotations, which will be approved by their preceptors. A feature will allow the program director to enter additional SEL hours based completed in other courses. A reporting system will cumulate hours and demonstrate the total number of SEL hours throughout the program, which will be used to track and verify that the minimum number of hours have been met.

Supervised Experiential Learning Policies and Procedures

Policies and procedures for supervised experiential learning help prepare you for a successful experience by setting expectations and outlining requirements.

Schedule

The MA in Nutrition Science program serves as a pre-professional as well as an academic program and may not adhere to the same academic calendar as the university. Supervised experiential learning can occur outside of normal class time, including evenings, weekends, and past the last day of the University’s scheduled classes. Students should not plan to have the University’s spring break week off during year 2 of the program in order to fulfill sufficient practice hours.

During supervised experiential learning, students are expected to follow the schedule set by faculty or preceptors, which could involve early morning, evening, and/or weekend obligations. Students will be informed of this during course orientation. During year 2 of the program, didactic courses will be taken Mondays and Fridays. Students will attend rotation sites Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for approximately 8 1/2 hours each day. Therefore, the time commitment to complete course requirements and supervised experiential learning sites is at least 40 hours per week.

Prompt attendance is required for rotations. More than two unexcused absences or chronic tardiness per semester will result in a remediation plan developed by the program director and may prevent the student from completing the program on time. If you have legal documentation to verify an excused absence in the case of illness or death in the family, this must be provided to program director immediately upon return. Failure to show immediate and sustained improvement after a plan of action has been initiated may be grounds for dismissal from the internship program.

Religious Observances Notification and Policy

Students who miss supervised experiential learning opportunities due to observance of a religious holiday will be required to complete an alternate assignment or experience. See Religious Observances Policy.

Conduct

Students are expected to conduct themselves as professional persons. During supervised experiential learning they represent Syracuse University and the Nutrition Science and Dietetics programs to other members of the site’s staff and to the community.

Students are expected to comply with the Standards of Professional Performance, Standards of Practice for the Profession of Dietetics, and the Code of Ethics. In the rotations, students work under the direction of an assigned site preceptor. Students should refer any questions or problems they do not feel competent to handle to their site preceptor.

Students must follow the site’s professional conduct policies. Facility policies should be reviewed during the orientation period.

Cell phone usage should be kept to a minimum during supervised experiential learning, class, seminars, and other program-related functions. Personal phone calls and texting should be restricted to breaks and before and after class, rotation time, etc. to maintain a professional demeanor. Notify the instructor or preceptor immediately in case of a true emergency or other situation requiring a variance from this policy.

Confidentiality of client records must be maintained at all times. Each agency/facility will review HIPAA regulations as they apply to the site.

Medical records are legal documents and must be used appropriately. The patients’ charts are available to students as a privilege. Any information from the charts is confidential and should only be discussed with the preceptor as required for professional purposes. Protected health information should never be taken off site, unless de-identified. Policies for charting in medical records will vary with the site. Under no circumstance, should information regarding a practice site, client, patient, or family be posted on social media. Violations to protected health information (HIPAA) can be punishable by law.

Personal Appearance and Grooming

Students must conform to the dress code of the sites in which they have supervised learning experiences. Some sites require professional dress/business clothes; others require white lab coats with professional dress/ business clothes. The dress code of each site will be explained to the student by the preceptor during orientation.

In general, the following guidelines apply:

  • Male students will wear a conservative business shirt (polo style or button-down) and trousers/dress pants. Shoes and socks should be appropriate for business wear. Sneakers, sandals, jeans, cargo pants, athletic pants, and shorts are not permitted. Non-slip shoes or sneakers may be required in the Food Service Management rotation. Cologne or scented lotions should not be heavily used and in some facilities are banned. Body odor must be managed so as not to be offensive to patients and preceptors.
  • Female students will wear professional business attire. Jeans, cords, leggings, yoga pants, shorts or skorts are not permitted. In general, clothes should be conservative in hemline and neckline, skirts should be knee-length or longer, etc. Pantyhose are required with skirts and dresses. Dress shoes (low heel or flats) appropriate for business wear should be worn. Sneakers, open-toed shoes, sandals, boots, high heels, and clogs are not permitted. Non-slip shoes or sneakers may be required in the Food Service Management rotation. Jewelry and makeup should be conservative and appropriate for daytime. Perfume or scented lotions should not be heavily used and in some facilities are banned. Body odor must be managed so as not to be offensive to patients and preceptors.
  • For all students, jewelry, rings, and pierced body parts cannot interfere with patient care or be in violation of sanitation codes. Therefore, rings are limited to engagement and wedding bands. Earrings may be worn if they are post-type, non-dangling and no larger than a dime. Please remember that patients/customers have the right to refuse to work with you if they find your jewelry, hair color or piercing offensive.
  • A clean, ironed, white lab coat will be required during the acute care rotation (provided by program).
  • Hair must be clean and neat. In food service settings, hair must be covered or restrained. Hair should be of a “natural” color (green, purple, or other unnatural hair colors are not acceptable).
  • Nails should be short and clean. If nail polish is worn, it must be a light or neutral color. Nail polish may not be worn in food service settings. Health care settings in N.Y.S. generally prohibit any form of artificial fingernails for clinical personnel, including dietetics staff.
  • Name tags are provided by the program and are required whenever in the hospital/agency. Some agencies will provide an additional identification badge.
  • Backpacks should not be carried around the facility during rotation work hours.

Professional Liability / Malpractice Insurance

Students are required to carry professional liability insurance during supervised experiential learning. At this time, Syracuse University provides standard professional liability insurance that covers students. Therefore, it is not required for students to purchase an individual policy.

Travel Requirements

The student is responsible for all travel associated with the program. Students who drive to experiential learning sites are responsible and liable for all expenses related to automobile and transportation accidents.

Travel Expenses

The student is responsible for the costs and arrangement of all travel associated with the program. Supervised Experiential Learning sites may require up to an hour-and-a-half commute from Syracuse and bus transportation is not always available.

Parking fees may be required at some sites.

Injuries at Sites

In the event of accidents or illness, the site is responsible to render emergency care to the student. Students are required to have health insurance and should follow-up with their health care provider following an accident or injury. The MA in Nutrition Science director must be notified of the occurrence by the intern within one business day.

Drug Testing and Criminal Background Checks

If a student is assigned to a facility that requires drug testing and criminal background checks, they must follow the procedure the facility has arranged. Drug screening may be required as part of the onboarding requirements or randomly during the placement at the site's discretion. Sites will have full determination of action in the case of a positive drug test or refusal to participate in the test. Potential outcomes include dismissal from the site/rotation. Interns are encouraged to know their site's policies and procedures related to drug screening and a drug-free workplace. Felony convictions or sanctions may exclude from placement at some agencies.

Campus Orientation

Location, Office Hours, Faculty and Staff

The Master of Arts in Nutrition Science is part of the Nutrition Science and Dietetics (NSD) programs in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. Offices are located at 550L White Hall.

Office Hours

8:30 am - 5:00 pm (fall and spring)

8:00 am - 4:30 pm (summer)

Who’s Who in the Nutrition Science and Dietetics Program

Department Chair: Lynn S. Brann, PhD, RDN, FAND

Undergraduate Program Director: Kay Stearns Bruening, PhD, RDN, FAND

Graduate Program Director: Sudha Raj, PhD, RDN, FAND

Nutrition Science and Dietetics Faculty:

Lynn S. Brann, PhD, RDN, FAND

Kay Stearns Bruening, PhD, RDN, FAND

Jane Burrell, MS, RDN

Chaya Charles, MS, RD, CSG, CDN

Maria Erdman, MS, RDN, CSO, CDN

Jessica Garay, PhD, RDN, FAND

Sudha Raj, PhD, RDN, FAND

Latha Ramalingam, PhD

Margaret Voss, PhD

Maryam Yuhas, PhD, RDN

Master of Arts in Nutrition Science Program Director:

Nicole Beckwith, MA, RDN, CDN

(315) 443-2396

nmbeckwi@syr.edu

Didactic Program in Dietetics Director: Nancy Rindfuss, MA, RD

Administrative Staff:

 Mackenzie Kelly

 (315) 443-5573

 mkelly47@syr.edu

Parking and Vehicle Registration

Vehicles not displaying appropriate university permits are subject to towing and fines. Refer to Syracuse University Parking and Transit Services.

Shuttle Buses and Local Buses

Shuttle buses link the campuses (North, South, Main and Connective Corridor) and provide free transportation. Centro provides regional bus service. Schedules can be found at Syracuse University Parking and Transit Services.

Student Identification Cards

Student identification cards are needed to gain access to most university facilities. Identification cards are obtained at the office of housing, meal plan, and I.D. card services

Campus Map

Campus Maps are available on the Syracuse University website.


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