Food & Nutrition: Orientation to Dietetics

NUTR 002 Orientation to Dietetics

Course Description: A non-credit (200 hour minimum) work experience in dietetics approved by a Food and Nutrition faculty member. A written evaluation of the student's performance is required from the student's employer. This work experience is recommended for all Food and Nutrition majors and is required prior to admission to the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

Instructor: Dr. Suzanne Neubauer, PhD, RD, CNSC,; office HH 216

Course Goals: The student

  1. demonstrates the ability to assume beginning level and/or dietetic assistant type responsibilities in foodservice management and/or clinical nutrition in a health care facility or foodservice system.
  2. demonstrates insight into the role of the dietitian or foodservice manager in foodservice management and/or clinical nutrition by relating work experiences to classroom studies.
  3. formulates initial goals for a role in the profession of dietetics.

Course Objectives: Suggested experiences in foodservice management and/or clinical nutrition are listed below. However, additional experiences may be acceptable with approval from the course instructor.

  1. Foodservice Management: The student
    1. participates in quantity food preparation and utilizes equipment.
    2. receives deliveries, assures storage and inventory.
    3. assists in supervision of food production and service.
    4. prepares food production work sheets.
    5. plans daily personnel schedules.
    6. assists in computerized production system.
  2. Clinical Nutrition: The student
    1. processes diet orders and menus using a computerized system when possible.
    2. helps patients select menus.
    3. processes between meal feedings, night snacks and supplemental feedings appropriate to the diet prescription.
    4. checks menus of patients on modified diets according to established patterns.
    5. accompanies the dietitian as she works with other health professionals and patients.

Student Responsibilities

The student is responsible to the facility dietitian or foodservice manager who plans the experience. Some facilities require drug testing; this is at student expense.

The work experience must receive prior approval from the course instructor. Students should provide the facility name and list the specific job responsibilities which you expect to complete. This can be done via e-mail and/or sign for an appointment at HH 216.

You must register for this course in order for it to appear on your transcript. Register for the course prior to the semester in which you anticipate completion of the 200 hours or after you have completed the 200 hours.

Note: Students should view the 200 hours as a minimum requirement; additional hours will enhance future practicum experiences. It is highly recommended that students, who do not plan to work beyond the required 200 hours, volunteer for this experience. It is inappropriate to take a paid position and quit once the 200 hours have been completed.


The student should maintain a log of their volunteer hours since the facility supervisor is required to document the number of hours completed on the Student Performance Evaluation Form. The student must also request the facility supervisor complete a Student Performance Evaluation Form. The evaluation form may be obtained at the Food and Nutrition website and is returned to the Director of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

The course is a Pass/Fail course.