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From: Mark Rifkin (rifkin.vegsource.com)
Subject:         Re: a couple questions....
Date: December 17, 2005 at 1:35 pm PST

In Reply to: a couple questions.... posted by erin2 on December 17, 2005 at 10:42 am:

Erin,

Yes. Assuming you are/will be attending an undergraduate/graduate college in order to pursue an RD or CNS certification, verify the school
1) is on the list of ADA-accredited programs at http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/CADE_401_ENU_HTML.htm
or 2) is approved by the Cert. Board of Nutrition Specialists (CBNS) at http://www.cert-nutrition.org/

I haven't spent hours researching the topic, but in my experience, other more specific cues include:
1) They do not offer an exam, a diploma or identify all learning objectives after simple payment of one fee
2) Specific program requirements are clearly identified
3) Actual coursework over a period likely to be at least 2 years is required
4) Exams are adequately challenging; most (if not all) exams---especially finals or certifying exams---are proctored by an educator or other professional in a specific facility
5) The school is accredited by a responsible organization (not Bob's Council on Accreditation) who itself must be listed with the US Dept of Ed.
6) course content should include medical nutrition therapy for a wide range of conditions, including tube feeding
7) the degree is something you'd be proud of. If you get a degree from a school accredited by Bob's Council on Accreditation, will it provide some amount of credibility to employers and health care professionals? Not likely.

Hope that helps,
Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN

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