The college will serve as a site for ACEND's Graduate Degree Program Future Education Model Accreditation Standards.
CAHP Dean Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., called the selection "a wonderful example of the CAHP Medical Nutrition Division fulfilling the mission of UNMC by providing a premier education program."
Dr. Meyer offered his congratulations to the entire department on the achievement.
As a demonstration program, the MMN program will guide development of ACEND standards for education programs in nutrition and dietetics. This is especially important as the profession moves toward the master's degree requirement for entry-level practice that will become mandatory in 2024.
The demonstration program combines the UNMC dietetic internship with the MMN program. The curriculum will be tailored as needed to meet or exceed new ACEND Future Education Model Accreditation Standards and is structured as an 18-month program, with admission requirements that include a baccalaureate degree and completion of ACEND accredited didactic program coursework in nutrition and dietetics.
With this model, students continue their studies uninterrupted and do not take the national credentialing examination until MMN degree requirements have been completed. The demonstration program will provide approximately 1,560 hours of supervised experiential learning along with didactic coursework that is integrated throughout the 18-month curriculum.
UNMC's MMN program, currently available to students completing the dietetic internship program, was implemented in 2016 following a five-year period during which a master's degree program was offered through a partnership with the Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area (MSIA) graduate program.
The CAHP Medical Nutrition Education Program faculty are excited to begin the demonstration program work in early 2018, Dr. Meyer said. During this calendar year, they will collaborate with other demonstration programs and ACEND staff to adapt curricula and assessment strategies.
The first cohort of students is expected to begin the program in August 2019, at which time the program's accreditation status will move to the ACEND Accreditation Standards for Graduate Degree Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics.