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Nutrition & Dietetics

The Dietetic Technician major prepares the student for employment as a Dietetic Technician, for membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and for eligibility to take the national registration exam to be credentialed as a Nutrition and Dietetics Technician Registered (NDTR) . The program consists of five semesters (2 years) of full time study, which leads to an Associate of Applied Science Degree. The Dietetic Technician major provides quality learning experiences to enhance initial employment opportunities, and to improve technical and supervisory skills for career advancements in food service and nutrition care.

The Ohio Department of Education has mandated that all Associate Degree Programs require a maximum of 65 credit hours for completion, effective Autumn Semester 2016.  The Dietetic Technician Program at Columbus State has revised the program Plan of Study to meet the 65 credit hour requirement.  The revised Plan of Study can be accessed on the right hand side of this page under "In This Section".

For more information, contact Jan Van Horn, MS, RDN, LD, Nutrition and Dietetics Program Advisor
at 614-287-2580 or email at

**Itemized costs for the Dietetic Technician Program can be found on page 7 in the Dietetic Technician Student Handbook located in this section.

lady in cafeteria

After successfully completing the course of study, the graduate is qualified to work in healthcare facilities under the guidance of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Major responsibilities may be assigned in the area of foodservice management, teaching food and nutrition principles or nutrition care. The Dietetic Technician is expected to be able to assume a leadership role in a nutrition services department or related program.

The Path to Becoming a NDTR

To become credentialed as a  Nutrition and Dietetics Technician Registered (NDTR) you will need to complete the following steps:

1. You must graduate from an accredited dietetic technician program such as the one at Columbus State. At Columbus State you will need to complete all courses in the curriculum. These include general, basic and technical course work, as well as 450 hours of supervised practice. Many of the courses require a grade of “C" to proceed to another course. Specific information about each course can be found in the College Catalog course descriptions.

2. After you have qualified for graduation and received the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, the program advisor will submit documentation to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) stating you are eligible to take the national examination to become a Nutrition and Dietetics Technician Registered (NDTR). Several weeks later you will receive information from CDR to complete and submit to the PEARSON-VUE along with the required fee. PEARSON-VUE will then send you documentation that allows you to go to a designated testing center and take the computerized examination within the next year. You will know whether or not you passed immediately.

3. The next step is to maintain the NDTR credential. Life long learning is a necessary way of life to be a knowledgeable professional. You will need to develop a Professional Portfolio in which you will establish educational goals to guide your continuing education for the next five years. After each five year period you will develop new goals for yourself. As you progress through each five years period you will need to document what you do to achieve your goals.

Graduates of the Dietetic Technician Major will be able to:

  • Maintain appropriate standards of professionalism, including ethical behavior and adherence to dress and grooming codes required for the industry.
  • Set and maintain high quality service standards for satisfying diverse customers.
  • Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills with management, employees and customers.
  • Apply nutrition principles to menu planning and food production for a variety of customers.
  • Modify diets and menus to meet the needs of persons requiring texture, energy and nutrient modifications.
  • Gather and analyze diet history data and apply this information to nutrition care planning for persons on normal and modified diets.
  • Provide basic nutrition education for individuals and groups.
  • Plan, organize, and supervise the production and service of food and beverage to customers.
  • Define concepts and procedures for purchasing, receiving, storage and inventory; and develop specifications for purchase of food and non-food items.
  • Produce high quality food products using appropriate ingredients and equipment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and an ability to comply with laws, rules and regulations governing foodservice and healthcare operations.
  • Monitor and analyze quality of patient care and foodservice operations.

Dietetic Technician Curriculum

Students may enroll in classroom (didactic) courses for the program during any semester. However, the initial Practicum course begins in the Autumn term only (see Admission and Application sections for further details). There are no Practicum classes scheduled during the Summer semester.

The program welcomes part time students. To complete the curriculum in the most timely manner, this person must closely coordinate course selection with the program advisor.

The curriculum is composed of classroom (didactic) courses and supervised practice. The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) sets the standards as well as ACEND (the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition & Dietetics). The supervised practice component must be made up of a minimum of 450 hours. These hours are covered in the practicum courses and selected laboratory courses on campus.

During the four practicum courses you will participate in a variety of healthcare settings. The course instructor will assign you to a site. Every consideration is taken to make this a compatible, convenient and educational experience as possible. This is an experience guided by the requirements of the course and is unpaid.

Practicum (supervised practice) courses are designed to give you the opportunity to apply the information you learn in the classroom. The activities will focus on active participation as well as the completion of written reports.

Articulation Agreements - Transfer your credits

Articulation agreements have been developed between other education programs and Columbus State. There are agreements with some high school level programs that will give credit for a few of the entry level technical courses such as the Serv Safe course. If you have completed technical courses related to food service in your high school program, you need to meet with the program advisor to determine if any meet the objectives of courses at Columbus State. A prior learning portfolio may need to be developed.

Articulation also applies to continuation of your education after receiving your degree at Columbus State. The Dietetic Technician Program has an articulation agreement with the Dietetic Program in the Department of Human Nutrition at The Ohio State University for those students interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian.

An articulation agreement is also available for the Dietetic Technician program and the Healthcare Management Degree Program at Franklin University.

If further education is your long term goal, you should contact the Dietetic Technician Program Advisor for more information and guidance.