By Shelby Townsend
The School of Health Professions and Nursing will offer a new Bachelor of Science degree in food, nutrition and wellness beginning in the fall semester of 2016. According to LIU’s website, the 129-credit program will offer two concentrations: nutrition, health and wellness or nutrition and food hospitality. Specifically, the program will focus on exercise and fitness, health in the community, and nutrition and food hospitality.
Dr. Josephine Wright, director of the didactic program in dietetics, said the program is a result of a collaboration of the entire department of nutrition, and that planning took a little over a year. Once planned out, the department had to get the program approved by on campus committees and then the state education department.
“We wanted to make something that we thought the students would enjoy where there would be more flexibility,” Wright said, referring to the fact that students will be able to choose one of the two concentrations within the program compared to the accredited B.S. in nutrition that is already offered at Post.
The new program is non-accredited, meaning that it is more suited for students who are looking to do something in fitness or hospitality, but not necessarily looking to become certified dietitians, according to Wright. This also means that students who have already taken classes relating to the new program, including nutrition, physical education, or psychology, could have those credits count toward their degree in food, nutrition and wellness.
Although the university has not assigned professors to teach the new courses offered for this degree, the courses are available for students to enroll in for the upcoming fall semester. Some of the new classes include nutrition in health and disease, designing cuisines, and a practicum where students can gain hands-on experience working with people in the health, nutrition and fitness fields.
“These new courses will address issues of today,” Wright explained. “They will deal with the kinds of health problems that are out there in the world today.” Many of these issues, she said, include obesity and diabetes.
Students will be able to work in a variety of professions with this new degree, depending on which concentration they choose to pursue. Some of the possibilities include jobs in the fitness field, like personal trainers or owning a fitness facility; jobs relating to health and the community; or jobs in hospitality like management and food service careers.
Wright said that this new degree and its flexibility in concentrations make it unique to Post.
“Queens College has an exercise degree with some nutrition, but not as much nutrition as [Post],” Wright said. “Community colleges also offer hospitality, so this is a great option for those coming from community colleges looking to finish their degree.”