OVERLAND PARK — To help fulfill the increasing demand for healthy and safe food consumption, the University of Kansas is launching a new online undergraduate certificate in nutrition this fall through a collaboration between its Edwards Campus and KU Medical Center. Individuals wishing to start a career as a dietitian, food safety manager, nutrition coach or related job will now be able to tap into the academic distinction of the University of Kansas to earn this specialized education and training.
Mark Jakubauskas, director of research and innovation at the KU Edwards Campus, collaborated with Debra Sullivan, chair of the Department of Dietetics & Nutrition in the KU School of Health Professions, to create a comprehensive curriculum to help undergraduate students advance their careers. Sullivan said she believes this certificate program will prepare students for professional success and help employers access the latest data and best practices for nutrition.
“The curriculum we’ve put together will be taught by faculty from KU Medical Center, which is the premier academic medical center in the region,” she said. “These instructors are actively engaged in bench-to-bedside translational research, and they’ll be bringing that advanced cutting-edge knowledge to the students.”
The KU Edwards Campus will offer the online certificate. The 12-hour curriculum may be completed in as little as two semesters or one class at a time.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% increase in demand for dietitians and nutritionists by 2026. Students enrolling in the online certificate program will be able to apply what they learn to careers in nutrition and health education, weight management, nutrition consulting, sports nutrition, dietetics, food safety, corporate wellness, public health and similar in-demand jobs.
“We pride ourselves on continually monitoring the pulse of the Kansas City region, and nutrition education is one of those workforce needs employers have recognized,” Jakubauskas said. “We are grateful for our partnership with KU Medical Center, giving us the latest real-world applications in nutrition and health for teaching to our students.”
With a completely online curriculum concentrated on the function of nutrition in a broad array of areas, KU’s undergraduate certificate provides a useful area of focus for KU students pursuing a variety of degrees and career paths or people not currently enrolled at KU looking to acquire nutrition knowledge and credentials.
For more information about the program’s curriculum, admission information and tuition, visit the online nutrition certificate program page.