UACCM Launches New Certificate in Dietary Management

woman holding a model depicting a certain weight of human fat

The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton is launching a new certificate program in dietary management, offering students the career pathway at managing food service operations as a certified dietary manager. The one-year program provides students a certificate of proficiency and will begin classes in the fall 2020 semester. 

The new major is a comprehensive 16-credit-hour program that blends classwork and 150 hours of field experiences, allowing graduates with the skills to enter the workforce immediately. The program follows the curriculum prescribed by the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP), a national organization made up of dietary managers.

This new program is a transformational opportunity for those who are passionate about nutrition and public health. A certified dietary manager is critical in the planning, storage, and preparation of meals. They assist in planning menus and inspect food to ensure proper dietary standards are met. Often these specialists counsel individuals on proper eating habits to lose weight or manage a chronic condition such as diabetes or heart disease. By becoming a certified dietary manager, examples of potential workplaces include government agencies that provide services on nutrition or health care settings such as hospitals and long-term care facilities.

"I've met several people who are very passionate about nutrition, food service, and healthcare but don't feel they are able to sacrifice 6 years of full-time college to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN),” said Erin Aylor, a UACCM nutrition instructor. “After just one year, successful students of our program will be eligible to take their credentialing exam to become a certified dietary manager and get out into the workforce.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the increasing national attention on nutrition and food safety will result in more nutritionists. Between 2018 and 2028, the Bureau projects an 11.2 percent growth in the field, resulting in 8,000 new jobs.

This certificate is an expansion of nutrition classes already at UACCM. Coursework includes classes such as food service program management, nutrition, and diet therapy, as well as the heavy focus on fieldwork. The program also emphasizes flexibility and caters to students with busy schedules.

“Our classes meet just one night per week, meaning students are able to work and take care of family obligations while pursuing their path to a brighter future,” Aylor said.

For more information about the program, contact Aylor at aylor@uaccm.edu or call 501-354-7579, or Marilyn Thomas, dean of general education, at thomas@uaccm.edu or 501-977-2070.

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