Mission of Dietetics Program

The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Western Illinois University is to prepare graduates with the knowledge and competencies expected of those entering a supervised practice program or entering a nutrition- related health career including becoming a registered dietitian.

  Program Goals

Goal #1: The program will prepare graduates to be competent entry-level nutrition professionals.

Outcome Measures

• 90% of enrolled students will complete program requirements within 3 years (150% of program length).*
• 50% of students will apply for a dietetic internship within 12 months of graduation.*
• 80% of students who apply for a dietetic internship are matched.*
• 80% of graduates will pass the registration exam on the first attempt.*
• 85% of graduates who complete a dietetic internship will be employed as dietitians at one year survey.
• 90% of one year graduates will rate the program as satisfactorily or above in the eight foundation and skill areas and other professional descriptors.

(* Required program objectives.)

Goal #2: The program will encourage graduates to become active professionals.

Outcome Measures

• 40% of graduates will enter internships that include graduate credit.
• 95% of graduates who respond on alumnae survey indicate that the program prepared them adequately in professionalism.
• 90% of internship directors who complete the survey will respond that graduates performed satisfactorily as professionals.
* 85% of graduates will indicate at least one professional activity at three year follow up.

(*Program outcomes data available on request.)

    Accreditation/Approval Status of the Didactic Program in Dietetics

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In 1992, the dietetics program at Western Illinois University was approved as Didactic Program in Dietetics, and was accredited in 2006 by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE), which in 2011 adopted the new name, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics is located at headquarters of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at 120 Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606; 800-877-1600.

  Program Objectives

After successful completion of the program students will be able to:

  1. Determine the science underlying the properties of various food components, and reactions that occur during food preparation/processing and storage.
  2. Apply knowledge of biochemistry and physiology to human nutrient metabolism.
  3. Demonstrate how to locate, interpret, evaluate and use professional literature to make ethical evidence-based practice decisions in nutrition-related clinical and customer service. 
  4. Assess and resolve managerial problems and use quantitative reasoning concepts, critical thinking related to food and nutrition in a global, cultural and diverse society.
  5. Develop interventions to affect change and enhance wellness in diverse individuals and groups.
  6. Demonstrate effective and professional oral and written communication and documentation.

    DFMH Student Cooking Program Completion and Verification

Graduation is based on completion requirements of the didactic program in dietetics (Dietetic Option Requirements) and fulfillment of university requirements. Upon receiving the bachelor's degree with an option in Dietetics, a graduate will be issued a verification statement.

A graduate of the DPD is eligible to apply for admission into an accredited dietetic internship program. A verification statement is required for admission into an accredited dietetic internship program. The dietetic internship follows graduation and acceptance is based on several factors including grade point average, work experience, faculty recommendations, and participation in dietetic related activities and organizations.

After completion of an accredited dietetic internship program, the graduate is eligible to take the national registration examination for dietitians to become a registered dietitian (R.D.).The verification statement must accompany a graduate's application to sit for the registration examination. Dietetics practitioners must also obtain Licensure of Dietitian Nutritionist (LDN) status in the state of Illinois.

Go Red Luncheon Feb 2011

    Admission to the Department

  1. To be accepted into the Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, a student must complete 60 semester hours (s. h.) with a minimum cumulative 3.00 GPA. 
  2. Transfer students who have earned 60 s.h. prior to matriculation at WIU, with a minimum cumulative 3.00 GPA, will enter as declared majors.
  3. After acceptance into the Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, each student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher on a 4.0 scale to be retained in the program. Students with less than a 3.0 GPA after admission into the B.S. in Dietetics will be dismissed from the Dietetics program.

    Additional Program Costs

In addition to University tuition, room and board, etc. as listed in the university catalog, certain costs will be incurred in the DPD at Western Illinois University.  The following items are estimated costs offered to assist students in planning for their financial responsibilities while at Western Illinois University.

  • Laboratory uniform (required for all food classes) --$65.00
  • Field Trips (selected courses, costs will be identified in the syllabus) -- $50.00
  • Student organization membership fee (varies) -- $10-40.00/year

  DFMH Student Cooking

Career Opportunities

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the employment of dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations because of increased importance placed on disease prevention, increasing population, aging population, and the interest in nutrition by the public. To grow faster than the average, according to BLS, is to grow at a rate of 18 to 26 percent. Much of the growth is expected to occur in nursing homes, residential care facilities, and the physician clinics.

Dietitians provide nutrition services, manage food service operations, and conduct research or sales with the public and private sectors in the United States and abroad. For more information on a career in dietetics, visit http://www.onetonline.org, http://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/careers/search, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm.

Job settings include:

  • Clinics
  • Hospitals (inpatient/acute care)
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Sports facilities
  • Private practice
  • School food service (K-12)
  • Colleges and universities
  • Extended care facilities
  • Government programs
  • Distributors/retailers
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Food service industries
  • Food manufacturers
  • Food industry catering service
  • Food equipment companies

    Faculty in this Major