The College of Health and Human Services Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion has been helping students maintain an online nutrition minor. Troy will now have that minor provided live on campus, as well as online.
“It’s a very practical minor, and it will definitely strengthen someone’s education portfolio,” said Teresa Johnson, nutrition professor.
While the minor will still be delivered online to those with different majors and in different locations, it will now also be on the campus of Troy University to assist to those who would rather not have to take online classes.
The minor has been offered online for three years, and it has grown to include more than 85 students. With the new live classes starting in the fall, the department hopes to see that number grow.
“A lot of the career paths people are going into touch on nutrition in some way, whether it’s nursing, medicine, sport, or even business,” Johnson said.
This minor is not limited to any specific major. Students with any degree may take nutrition on as a minor.
“If you go into health care management, usually your second largest budget is going to be food and food costs operations,” she said. “While we are not strictly about food operations, nutrition touches that because you have to touch their nutrition needs.”
According to Johnson, the nutrition minor is a valuable complement to majors in kinesiology, biology, hospitality and sport tourism, athletic training, education and other pre-professional program majors.
“We have psychology majors, and a lot of them are going to be dealing with people who have eating disorders or issues related to health,” she said.
This fall, students will have the chance to take KHP 2211 Human Nutrition and KHP 3310 Introduction to Food Science with Lab. Students will be able to gain more understanding about nutrition and the facts behind it.
“There is so much misinformation out there, and this minor gives people a chance to really separate fact from fiction,” she said.
After going through the classes in the fall, KHP 3315 Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies and KHP 3311 Nutrition Assessment will be offered in spring 2017. The last two courses, KHP 4458 Lifecycle Nutrition and KHP 3316 Community Nutrition, will be offered in subsequent semesters.
“Of the top 10 leading causes of death, half of them are related to food and lifestyle behaviors,” she said. “There is not much nutrition doesn’t impact in some way, whether personally or professionally, because everyone eats and everyone makes food choices.”
Students who want more than a nutrition minor can go on to pursue a degree at a school that recognizes Troy’s nutrition minor.
“We have an agreement with the University of Alabama to accept our courses for transfer, and we are working out the details to send our students to Jacksonville State,” she said. “For students who want to pursue a degree, we have arrangements with other universities to make that happen.”
Hospitality majors are better able to complete dietary manager certifications when trained in nutrition sciences. Coaches with a solid nutrition background can apply sound eating strategies for sports performance when advising their athletes.
“We have already had several people who have graduated from to here to go on to get the position to be dietitians,” she said.
Students have so far shown positive feedback to the online nutrition minor.
Samantha Smith, a junior exercise science major from Sonora, California, said, “I chose the nutrition minor because as a runner, nutrition has always been a huge part of my training and competition, so it was very interesting to me.”
“It makes me wish that I were a year younger so that I could take the classes that are starting to be offered on campus, but unfortunately, I’m already finished with those ones,” Smith said. “I’m really excited for those who will get to experience them on campus, though, and I’m excited for the future of this program at Troy.”
Once live on campus, the College of Health and Human Services Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion hopes to see a positive response from students to have the opportunity to take more interactive classes.
“We feel like the student interest alone is enough to try to expand it to more live classes,” Johnson said.
“Having these classes live will be so much more of a hands-on, interactive experience for students at Troy, and it should be really fun,” said Rae Leach, a senior exercise science major from Gadsden.
“I’d recommend taking it to anyone who’s already taken basic nutrition. Everything I learned has been practically applicable to my own life,” Leach said. “Eating well is a good investment for the future, and is also beneficial and effective in the short term for health, confidence and success in school, sport and whatever else we use our time for.”
“I hope to go on to graduate school after graduating from Troy and become a registered dietitian, so that I can help others learn to reach their full potential through good nutrition,” she said.