Higher Education Division


Divisions represent the special, focused interests of members and provide critical networking and educational opportunities for members. The specialized knowledge and opportunities can be seen in action through education sessions at the Annual Conference as well as throughout the year via SNEB's webinar program.

Higher Education Division
Chair: Julie Schneider, PhD; Chair-Elect: Kirsten W. Corda, PhD
The goal of the division is to provide individuals who teach nutrition in post-secondary settings the opportunity to network, share methodology, and research perspectives, and to stimulate research to improve the effectiveness of teaching. This goal is met through activities such as giving awards to students for outstanding research, sharing of curriculum ideas and materials, publishing a newsletter, and contributing to program ideas and speakers for the Annual Conference. Members represent a broad spectrum of programs that educate students, provide nutrition education services, and conduct nutrition education-related research.

SNEB Members - consider sharing your teaching resources or browse submitted resources for ideas.



May 13, 2013

TO:                The SNEB Membership
FROM:             The Task Force on Credentialing
RE:                 Summary of Activities to Date


In 2010, SNEB created a Task Force to revisit an initiative from the 1980s to create a credentialing process for nutrition educators. The Task Force made its first report to the SNEB Board in February 2011 in which several options were presented. At that time the focus was on some type of credential or recognition to be awarded to the institution offering a program in nutrition education, with the possibility of also creating a national exam.

Following the presentation of that report, a survey was administered to gauge interest/concerns among SNEB members. The survey and a summary of its findings are attached.

A concern raised among survey respondents was the need to have an examination option for those already in the field. Around this same time, one of the members of the Task Force began a conversation with members of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics’ Nutrition Education for Health Professionals Practice Group who expressed interest in partnering with SNEB to develop a national exam. The Task Force became aware of the possibility of using the Academy’s Commission on Dietetic Registry (CDR) to administer an exam that would be developed jointly by SNEB and the Academy.

At this point, the Task Force decided to put its efforts into pursuing this option since creating an institutional level credential would require many more resources than are currently available to SNEB in the absence of a partner. In addition, the heightened national interest in community-based nutrition education is creating a need for more educators now; whereas, a credentialing program would likely take years to put in place. Finally, there was concern that any nutrition educator credential not “endorsed” by the Academy could have a hard time gaining widespread acceptance among employers, funders, the public, etc.; whereas, an optional credential for RDs prevents both the appearance of competition within the nutrition profession and the confusion that competition might create. It may also make it easier to remove barriers associated with state licensure laws, many of which tie the term “nutritionist” to the RD credential.

A conference call was held with members of the CDR (Minutes) and a letter was drafted from SNEB to the CDR expressing interest in exploring a possible partnership (Letter).

At the request of the CDR, members of the Task Force began filling out a document outlining its vision for the credential. This document was used for discussion and is still to be completed.

At a follow-up meeting, the Task Force representatives were told that the Academy was working on new “visioning” document and that we should wait for its publication before deciding on any more “next steps.” It was believed that the plans described in that document would  provide a clearer context for this credential going forward. For SNEB, this was not the case and the Task Force suggested for now that SNEB seek external funding to do the research and development for the credential; thereby, stregnthening its position when collaborating with other organizations. Several USDA-NIFA grant programs were considered by the Task Force. One proposal was submitted but not funded. As of April 8, 2013, the Task Force began reevaluating how to proceed without significant resources and whether or not to meet at the annual conference. 

We hope that this site will help get SNEB members up-to-date on the Task Force’s activities, and provide a way for those interested to stay informed about, and provide feedback on, future work.

Your contact to share comments/concerns for this project is Kirsten W. Corda, PhD


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SNEB is an international community of professionals actively involved in nutrition education and health promotion. Their work takes place in colleges and universities, government agencies, cooperative extension, communications and public relations firms, the food industry, voluntary and service organizations and with other reliable places of nutrition and health education information. Learn more