Academic offerings: The Department of Nutrition and Dietetics looks at nutritional issues for different age groups throughout the Life Cycle. As part of one course, for example, students engage in 10 hours of service learning with sites ranging from Nurses for Newborns and Crisis Nursery to inner-city after-school programs and Nursing Homes. Students travel to sites to learn, first hand, the real-life issues surrounding nutritional problems faced by different age groups and populations. Students evaluate the barriers to adequate nutrition in their targeted age groups and seek out ways to assist their site as well as present their findings as a final project for the course.
Experiential learning: Service learning and grant efforts include provision of nutrition and gardening lessons to inner city school children in St. Louis and East St. Louis; establishing a food-processing center to incorporate more locally grown food into school lunches; and using solid food waste with vermiculture and in-vessel composting to provide compost for gardens.
Employment opportunities: Employment of dietitians is expected to increase 10-20% through 2010 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2002-2003). Between 2000 and 2010, the demand for higher-skilled culinarians is expected to increase 21-35% (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2002-2003). Registered Dietitians (RD) are versatile and can work in many different settings.
* In hospitals or other health care facilities, RDs are part of the health care team administering medical nutrition therapy and educating patients.
* In foodservice operations, RDs oversee menu development and food preparation as well as managing food service staff.
* Food and nutrition-related business and industries are areas in which RDs can put their food science, consumer affairs, and marketing skills to use.
* Sports Nutrition and wellness programs allow RDs to impact the overall health of individuals combining food and fitness.
* Community and public health settings are great for RDs who like to work with diverse populations advising the public through monitoring and program planning.
* Another option for RDs is opening their own private practice where they can contract with companies or specialize to counsel patients.
* Universities and medical centers employ RDs who want to be educators teaching students who strive to become RDs or other health professionals such as physicians or nurses.
* Finally RDs can do research for food or pharmaceutical companies in order to make recommendations for the public.