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From: Mark Rifkin (rifkin.vegsource.com)
Subject:         Other Options for Those in Challenging Circumstances
Date: January 10, 2006 at 1:35 pm PST

Hi All,

Thanks to Cathy, the post immediately below reminded me of two other legitimate options for those with significant family obligations, distance challenges or other logistical reasons which may prevent someone from attending a traditional undergrad college environment to pursue nutrition as a career.

Whether you need a degree in nutrition is dependent on two questions:
1) whether you already have a BA/BS, and
2) the rules of your state.
Some states, such as Maryland, do not require a degree in nutrition, they only require a degree and the core content in nutrition. In other words, if you already have a degree, you'd only be required to take the core nutrition content + any prerequisites.

To take my case as an example, I was working fulltime (although, w/o significant family obligations), so I went part-time. Some classes were at night, others required taking time off from work.

DISTANCE EDUCATION OPTIONS
Near the top of the webpage listing ADA-approved programs (http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/CADE_401_ENU_HTML.htm)
is a link to a list of over 50 distance education programs. These allow students to attend classes online and in various other non-traditional formats. Some programs accept out-of-state students.
Others such as U Bridgeport (Connecticut) offer an online MS, which would qualify the student to be eligible for a CNS from cert-nutrition.org, a competitor of sorts of the ADA.

DIETETIC TECH
The next step below dietitian is something I should have mentioned in a previous post and did not. DTR, which stands for Dietetic Tech, Registered, is a certification issued by ADA after a 2-yr AA degree, plus a 3-4 month internship, plus an exam. ADA-approved DTR programs are listed at http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/career_1748_ENU_HTML.htm

Techs are usually supervised by Dietitians and are not considered able to perform all the tasks of a dietitian. However, they are able to perform basic nutrition education and supervised counseling. Whether they can provide unsupervised counseling to individual clients is a matter decided individually by each state. In Maryland, they are not legally allowed to do so, although I did know a DTR in private practice. I'm not really sure of all her job duties.

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

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