Dietetic Food Systems Management Degree (2EDSM)

NOTE: This program is closed to new enrollment effective January 2008.

Offered through University Park via World Campus or a combination of World Campus and Resident Instruction Courses

Coordinator: Beth Egan
201 Mateer Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-7539 or toll free, 800-252-3592

University Faculty Senate Approved Curriculum

2EDSM Degree Audit

Program Description

The School of Hospitality Management offers a unique opportunity for individuals employed in nutrition service operations within health care organizations, community programs or school settings. The degree, which may be earned completely through World Campus or through a combination of world campus and resident instruction courses, offers a health care and a school food service emphasis. The health care emphasis provides a general dietetics program as well as a 9-credit community dietetics focus for individuals employed in Women, Infants and Children (WIC) settings. Graduates of the health care option may obtain professional certification as Registered Dietetic Technicians (DTR). Graduates of the school food service emphasis qualify for the American School Food Service Association credentialing examination for School Foodservice and Nutrition Specialist.

The associate degree in Dietetic Food Systems Management involves a combination of theory and supervised practice designed to develop a knowledge of food service management and nutrition and the application of that knowledge. Students interested in the health care emphasis must be employed at least 15 hours per week in an approved hospital or nursing facility food and nutrition service department. For the community focus of the emphasis, students must be employed in a WIC program or another community nutrition program serving families with young children. To qualify for admission to the school food service emphasis, a student should be employed in a daycare, school or college food service setting. The worksite is the setting where students complete the supervised practice projects for courses in the major. An on-site mentor, who is identified by the student, works with the faculty in directing and supervising these projects. The mentor must have the minimum of a bachelor's degree in dietetics, food and nutrition, food service management, or a closely related area. For the health care emphasis, the mentor must also be a registered dietitian.

Penn State's Dietetic Food System Management program is offered only through the World Campus. Students who matriculate on a part-time basis usually take five years to complete this 60-credit program. Taking some of the courses through Resident Instruction or Continuing Education at a campus can shorten the time requirement. The 2EDSM program is designated to prepare practitioners who are ready for entry-level practice with the potential for advancement in food service management positions. While this program is not designated to provide a foundation for the baccalaureate degree in dietetics, about half of the credits can apply to a B.S. with careful selection of courses from the onset of the program.

Career Opportunities for 2EDSM

Graduates of the Dietetic Food Systems Management Associate Degree program (2EDSM) can anticipate new and exciting careers. Typically, graduates of the health care emphasis are employed in hospitals and nursing homes where their job responsibilities combine both clinical and food service management responsibilities. However, positions in public health/community health programs such as the WIC Program are increasing. In addition, with growing evidence of the important role nutrition plays in health promotion and disease prevention, there are new opportunities for graduates in wellness programs and weight management clinics as well as teaming with registered dietitians in nutrition counseling practices.

Graduates of the school food service emphasis qualify as unit managers, supervisors, or as directors in some school districts. Other career opportunities include college feeding and work with food companies, food vendors and distributors.