ERIC Number: EJ786051
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 0
Can Distance Education Prepare Future Public Health Nutritionists? A Case Study
Laraia, Barbara A.; Dodds, Janice M.; Benjamin, Sara; Jones, Sonya J.; Carbone, Elena T.
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, v40 n1 p34-38 Jan-Feb 2008
Objective: To assess student retention, readiness, support and outcomes among students completing the Professional Practice Program in Nutrition (PPPN). Design: Qualitative evaluation using semistructured, in-depth interviews conducted with PPPN graduates. Course grades, grade point averages, and comprehensive exam results compared 10 PPPN students from 2 cohorts and 72 residential students from 3 cohorts. Setting: The Professional Practice Program in Nutrition was a 3-year, pilot public health nutrition master's (MPH) degree curriculum using distance education (DE) strategies. Analysis: Ethnograph was used to assist with qualitative data analysis. Fisher exact test was used to compare quantitative outcomes. Results: Qualitative findings revealed that PPPN students were highly motivated, sought out the DE MPH and initially had great support from family and employers; however, support from employers waned over time. Although several challenges to continued enrollment confronted PPPN students, those who completed the MPH all advanced in the workplace. Course grades and grade point averages were similar between the 2 groups. Students in the PPPN were more likely than residential students to retake the comprehensive exam. Conclusions and Implications: The findings indicate that DE strategies were suitable to deliver an MPH curriculum in nutrition. The majority of PPPN graduates experienced job advancement and demonstrated leadership development.
Descriptors: Grade Point Average, Distance Education, Nutrition, Academic Achievement, Public Health, Graduates, School Holding Power, Academic Persistence, School Readiness, Outcomes of Education, Interviews, Masters Degrees, Graduate Study, Grades (Scholastic), Scores, Ethnography, Student Motivation, Comparative Analysis, On Campus Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A