Department of Human Ecology Didactic
Program in Dietetics

Malinda D. Cecil, Ph.D., RD, LDN, Program Director

Email: mdcecil@umes.edu

Office Phone: 410-651-7578   

University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Didactic Program in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Phone: (312) 899-0040 ext 5400

UMES DPD Handbook 2016-17

Recommended Course Sequence

Currently, the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is accredited through July 31, 2017.


DPD Mission:  To offer educational training for students to develop mastery of food and nutrition principles and to acquire skills and competencies necessary to become Registered Dietitians, future leaders, and professionals in the nutrition and dietetics professions.

Goal One: To provide a program of study that prepares qualified students to become entry-level Registered Dietitians.

Objective:  Students will meet professional standards for entry into the dietetics profession

Outcome Measures:

     1.  80 percent of students admitted to the DPD program, after successful completion of 56 credit hours, 
          will complete the program within three years with a GPA of at least 2.75.
     2.  Over a five year period, 50 percent of graduates will apply to a dietetic internship within one year of 
     3.  Over a five year period, 50 percent of applicants will be accepted into a dietetic internship within              
          one year of graduation.
     4.  Over a five year period, 80 percent of graduates who sit for the Dietetic Registration Examination 
          will successfully pass it on the first attempt. 
     5.  80 percent of graduates will rate themselves on an exit survey as well prepared or very well prepared for 
          entry into the nutrition and dietetics professions.
     6.  Over a five year period, 80 percent of DI program directors surveyed will rate graduates' program 
          preparation as well prepared or very well prepared on the UMES DPD core knowledge and skills survey. 

Goal Two:  To promote lifelong learning, diversity, and leadership skills in graduates within the field of nutrition and dietetics. 

Objective: Students will become lifelong learners, embrace diversity, and display leadership skills. 

Outcome Measures:

  1. Over a five year period, 75 percent of graduates will have attended two or more nutrition related continuing education workshops.
  2. Over a five year period, 50 percent of graduates will be pursuing a graduate degree
  3. Over a five year period, 75 percent of graduates will be employed in a dietetic related position that serves diverse populations
  4. Over a five year period, 50 percent of graduates will be engaged in at least one nutrition related leadership or community service activity.

DPD Outcome Assessment

Program outcomes and appropriate measures to assess achievement of goals and program effectiveness have been established for the didactic program.  Outcome data for the program is available upon request from the Department of Human Ecology dietetics program director, Dr. Malinda Cecil atmdcecil@umes.edu.

Dietetics Concentration - Didactic Program in Dietetics

The curriculum in Dietetics concentration is based on accreditation requirements outlined by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).  The course offerings are periodically revised by the Department and University curriculum committees and are sequenced to provide experiences that become increasingly complex and build upon previous knowledge and experiences. Supporting courses are selected to provide prerequisite knowledge for professional courses. Students combine classroom experience with field experiences in clinical, foodservice and community settings.  Additional related field experience is recommended. Program graduates are eligible to obtain a Verification Statement that provides eligibility to sit for the Registration Exam for Dietetic Technicians and/or apply to supervised practice programs. Once graduates successfully complete a dietetic internship, they are qualified to write for the dietetic registration examination. Registered dietitians are employed by industry, communications and broadcasting, community and public health services, hospitals, food services, and other local, state, national and international agencies in research and educational programs.  Additional information about careers in dietetics and nutrition scholarships may be found at the following websites: --http://www.eatright.org/BecomeanRDorDTR/; www.NutritionDegree.com/Scholarships  and http://www.NutritionDegree.com/Careers.  There are also departmental scholarships students may apply for during the spring semester.

Enrollment in the Didactic Program in Dietetics

Students admitted to UMES must select a major and those enrolled in the Department of Human Ecology must also designate a concentration. Those students who designate dietetics as their concentration are required to follow the recommended course sequence for the DPD program.   However, selection of the dietetics concentration does not automatically guarantee admission into the Didactic Program in Dietetics.

Beginning with fall semester 2015, students who wish to be admitted into the Didactic Program in Dietetics may apply for admission after completing a minimum of 28 semester hours with a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 and a grade of "C" or better in foundation courses BIOL 111/113; CHEM 111/113 and CHEM 112/114; NUDT 210; MATH 209; ENGL 101 and ENGL 102; SOCI 101; PSYCH 200; and EXSC 111; including: HUEC 100 First Year Experience and satisfactory passage of the English Proficiency Exam. Program graduates are eligible to receive a Verification Statement with an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher.  

Student Advising Procedures

Beginning in the students' freshman year or the semester in which they transfer, students will be formerly advised at least once each semester and given a copy of the DPD course sequence. This document will be used to inform the student of their academic requirements and will be a roadmap for their progression through the Dietetics concentration. Students also will have the opportunity to contact their advisor at any time during their tenure at UMES to schedule a meeting.

Program Retention and Remediation Procedures

Students are encouraged to become involved in the Human Ecology Club and department service learning projects. They are also encouraged to become a student membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and participate in local, state, and national meetings when possible. Students who do not maintain the required GPA are counseled and referred to academic support.   Students must repeat courses in which they have received a "D" or lower.  If a student continues to have difficulty maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.75, they may be advised to consider transferring into other concentrations within the Department of Human Ecology such as nutrition or Family and Consumers Sciences. 

*It is important to note that successful completion of the didactic program in dietetics and receipt of a Verification Statement does not guarantee acceptance into a post-baccalaureate dietetic internship.    

Transfer Students

Students desiring to transfer into the Department of Human Ecology from another program on campus or outside the University must have a 2.5 GPA (C+).  Completion of the "Request for Change of Major"   must be signed by the transferring Department Chair prior to approval by the department for which transfer is being sought. The Department of Human Ecology programs require that all students maintain a "C" in each course of their Program Core and Program Electives and a "C" average in General Education and Supportive Course Requirements.  Successful transfer into the Dept. of Human Ecology does not guarantee enrollment into the DPD program.  Transfer students must follow the DPD admissions procedure outlined above.

Graduation Requirements and Issuance of a Verification Statement:

In order to receive a verification statement for completion of the required didactic curriculum, the program must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, an agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and students must meet all requirements put forth for both admission and retention and be approved for graduation by the Registrar at University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  Issuance of a DPD Verification Statement is currently based upon maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher in for the dietetics concentration and meeting all UMES graduation requirements including 12 alternative credits hours and successful passage of the English Proficiency Exam.

Transcript Evaluation:

Students who have attained a Baccalaureate degree or Master's Degree and wish to pursue a career in dietetics may contact the didactic program director, Malinda D. Cecil, PhD, RD, LDN at mdcecil@umes.edu  to inquire about transcript evaluations to assess educational requirements.

Grievance Procedures:

Students with grievances, complaints, concerns, or problems are encouraged to speak with the program director. If the problem cannot be resolved at this level, the student should put the grievance in writing and make an appointment with the department chairperson to discuss the problem. To reach the department chairperson, please dial 410-651-6056. When possible, student concerns are handled at the department level. However, the student may pursue progressive recourse through the Office of the Dean of the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, or the Vice President/Provost for Academic Affairs or the President. All decisions are made in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined by the Board of Regents and the laws of the State of Maryland.  Some discretionary powers may rest with the president's office, as prescribed by policies of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland.  To reach ACEND for matters associated with accreditation grievances, the address and phone number is: The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606- 6995; 800/877-1600, ext. 5400.

Didactic Program in Dietetics Student Handbook

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