Tailored to working professionals and individuals eager to specialize or switch careers, these UW-Madison master’s degree programs equip students with practical skills they can put to use right away.
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As the country’s population of seniors increases, so does the need for nutrition professionals with advanced skills. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 16 percent increase in dietitian employment through 2024 as nursing homes and residential care facilities ramp up hiring. But by the time 2024 arrives, a master’s degree will be required to become a licensed dietitian. UW-Madison is responding to these needs by launching an online master’s program in clinical nutrition in fall 2017.
This four-semester master’s of science program is among the first of its kind in the U.S. Designed for busy professionals and offered in a convenient, completely online format, it focuses on clinical nutrition research and practice, advanced nutritional science, and professional skills such as leadership and communication. In addition to enhancing essential skills and knowledge, the program opens doors in the job market. Students will graduate prepared to work in senior-care facilities, hospitals, cafeterias, schools and universities, sports nutrition offices, corporate wellness programs, research environments, government agencies, and more.
“This degree will benefit professionals who want to advance in the field and better serve the public,” adds David J. Eide, chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences.
Flexibility, convenience, community
Students can take clinical nutrition courses from just about anywhere and access course materials at any time. Coursework includes projects, discussions, and other opportunities to connect and collaborate with classmates. Some classes also incorporate counseling videos, community education and research projects, and case studies. Every course delivers research-based information and helps students develop advanced skills in the areas where employers need them most.
Faculty who teach clinical nutrition on the UW-Madison campus lead the online program’s courses as well. All are registered dietitians, and many also work in clinical environments, gaining firsthand knowledge about patient care, institutional challenges, and emerging issues.
Joe Powalisz is a city kid, but he sees a farm in his future.
Powalisz found his calling during a high school apprenticeship at Meadow Brook Dairy, a farm about 10 miles from his home. Soon he’ll deepen his farming knowledge at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Farm & Industry Short Course (FISC), a 16-week series of lectures and hands-on classes taught by experts from the agriculture industry.
“I didn’t grow up on a farm, I just had an interest in it,” Powalisz explained in a recent article in USA Today and Wisconsin State Farmer.
The 18-year-old Manitowoc resident’s mom works at a deli and his dad at a public utility. As a kid, his closest connection to farming was the food on the dinner table.
Meadow Brook has given Powalisz a taste of many farming tasks, so he’s confident he can take his skills to the next level.
“I started out just milking cows. Now, I’m doing a little bit of everything. I can do just about any job on the farm,” he told USA Today and Wisconsin State Farmer.
More than 130 years strong, FISC prepares current and future farmers for a wide variety of agricultural jobs. Graduates find work as farm technicians, crop assistants, feeders, milkers, farm managers, and more. Plus, students can customize the program to fit their needs with courses in areas such as soils, crops, dairy, meat animals, agricultural engineering, agribusiness, farm business planning, and communications.
In addition to increasing their value in the job market, FISC students participate in university traditions during the program, which spans late fall, winter, and early spring. Whether cheering for the Badgers at basketball games or enjoying movies and music at the Memorial Union’s Bavarian-style Rathskeller, they get a true UW-Madison experience.
For more information on FISC, see here.
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