UT Health Science Center to hold open house June 17 about new dietetics/nutrition degree

Deadline July 1 for admission into the dual master’s degree

LAREDO (June 17, 2009) — An open house for students interested in entering the combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in dietetics and nutrition through the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will be held on June 17. The open house is planned for 4-6 p.m. at the Laredo Campus Extension, 1937 Bustamante Street.

A healthy food cooking demonstration and tasting event will be held from 4:30-5 p.m. in the campus demonstration kitchen.

Applications for this new program will be accepted through July 1 for admission this fall. Up to 12 students can be admitted per year.

Applicants will need to have completed undergraduate prerequisites at an institution such as Laredo Community College, Texas A&M International University, a San Antonio community college or the University of Texas at San Antonio. After completing their prerequisites, students can then apply for acceptance into the UT Health Science Center’s three-year dual-degree program.

Program Director Carmen Román-Shriver, Ph.D., RD, LD, recently learned that the new program received “candidacy for accreditation” status following an expedited review from the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) at its April 23-24 meeting.

“This means that the program is on track to become fully accredited, and that graduates beginning with this first class will have the same privileges as those graduating from an accredited program,” Román-Shriver said. “They will be eligible to take the national exam from the Commission on Dietetics Registration to become registered dietitians and they can become active members of the American Dietetic Association. Once two classes have graduated, another site visit will be scheduled for full accreditation.”

“The expedited review our program received and the fact that CADE granted candidacy status with just a few minor recommendations is a true testament to Dr. Román-Shriver,” said Marilyn Harrington, Ph.D., dean of the School of Health Professions, which houses the Coordinated Program in Dietetics. “We are blessed to have such a dynamic and professional national leader in dietetics directing our program and attracting outstanding faculty members.”

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the Coordinated Program in Dietetics on Jan. 29 and the CADE review team visited the Laredo Campus Extension on Feb. 2-3.

“Dr. Román-Shriver has done a marvelous job designing and setting up the program. This really showed at the accreditation visit because we had many community stakeholders from both Laredo and San Antonio at our Laredo campus advocating for the program,” Dean Harrington said.

In addition to Dr. Román-Shriver, faculty members for the new program include Associate Professor Brent Shriver, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist; Reto Asmis, Ph.D., associate professor, biochemist and director of research development in the School of Health Professions; and Sue Cunningham, Ph.D., RD/LD, CDE, associate professor of nutrition and dietetics. Margaret Lopez, M.S., RD, SNS, director of the Child Nutrition Program in the Laredo Independent School District, will become an adjunct part-time faculty member in spring 2010.

There are still a few openings in the program. For more information, come to the open house or contact the School of Health Profession’s Welcome Center, (866) 802-6288 (toll free) or (210) 567-8744. Or contact Dr. Román-Shriver, (956) 523-7461.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 25,600 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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