The Nutrition & Dietetics Service Learning program helps prepare students for professional practice.
The Nutrition & Dietetics Service Learning Program aims to facilitate students’ development of personal and professional interests and skills in order to better prepare graduates for practice in nutrition or dietetics. Participation in service learning is required for all students majoring in Human Nutrition or Dietetics.
What is Service Learning?
Service learning is experiential learning for academic purposes that combines community service with student learning outcomes.
- The Nutrition & Dietetics department expands that definition to include any carefully monitored experience in which a student has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what the student is learning throughout the experience. Students will be able to apply the experience to their own personal and academic development.
- Service learning is a combination of the student identifying and pursuing areas of interest and fulfilling expectations set forth in various classes. Experiences with food or nutrition related activities are encouraged.
Benefits of Service Learning
- Builds character and develops values
- Broader appreciation of the field of nutrition and dietetics
- Enhanced sense of civic responsibility
- Strengthens ideas presented in the classroom
- Addresses local needs and brings about a positive change in the community
- Expands professional network
- Understanding of larger social issues
- Fulfills an obligation to give back to the community
- Develops skills that make you marketable in your profession.
Students develop their own Learning Goals.
- Engaging in Service Learning is a program requirement:
- See program handbook for exact service learning hour requirements.
Each experience must encompass Community Service (#3) plus one of the two other competency areas.
- Career Development and Exploration/Employability Skills
- Personal Attributes
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills
- Management skills
- Ability to function as a team member
- Cultural humility
- Community Service - Civic Impact
- Communicate the potential benefits of Service Learning activities.
- Monitor student progress toward Service Learning goals at student advising meetings.
- Inform students of potential Service Learning activities upon request.
Why is Service Learning required?
The Nutrition & Dietetics Department made the decision to require service learning for all majors for several reasons:
- Service learning is consistent with the mission of the University of North Dakota
- It provides opportunities to meet new people with common interests
- Service learning provides a unique level of learning and growing beyond the classroom
- It is consistent with the Nutrition and Dietetics professions, which are service-based professions
- It exposes you to potential career opportunities
- It helps you identify your specific interests related to nutrition and dietetics
- It helps develop skills that make you marketable in your profession
Does my Service Learning have to relate to nutrition?
It is a good idea to spend some of your Service Learning hours in nutrition-related activities. At the same time, many skills you hone outside of nutrition programs can be easily applied to the profession of nutrition and dietetics. Refer to the requirements for guidance in developing your learning goals.
Experience can be gained through:
- Campus activities and student organizations, including SAND (Student Association of Nutrition and Dietetics)
- Designated Service Learning activities and class assignments that have a civic impact
- Volunteering in the community or worksite
- Examples of specific programs, activities or organizations include Meals on Wheels, Altru, Northlands Rescue Mission, Campus FOod for Thought Food Pantry, Joseph’s Food Pantry, Culture Nights, Global Friends Coalition, Salvation Army. The Student Involvement office in the Memorial Union can provide further information on volunteer opportunities, and your academic advisor may also be able to give you direction.
Locations Seeking Volunteers
- UND's Student Association of Nutrition & Dietetics (SAND) can share volunteer opportunities.
- Several Nutrition & Dietetics classes include a service-learning component. The instructor will indicate how many Service Learning hours you may claim for class activities.
- Check out organizations in your own community such as local chapters of the American Diabetes Association or American Heart Association.
- Your academic advisor may also be able to direct you to service-learning opportunities.
Alternate Locations for Volunteering
If you choose to make your own contacts:
- Be sure to contact the agency ahead of time; don’t assume you can just show up unannounced to volunteer.
- Inquire if there are specific dress code requirements.
- Clarify what requirements must be in place prior to volunteering your service at that organization, such as orientation, training, or a criminal background check.
Service Learning Guidance
Paid work is not eligible for Service Learning hours. The criteria is that experiences must be in service to the community as a volunteer.
Volunteer activities done for church and for other organizations.
If your activity meets the competencies listed, then these activities can be counted toward Service Learning hours. However, you are urged to strike a balanced approach. For example, if teaching a youth class is something that has been part of your normal routine for some time, consider adding something else that is service oriented yet self-initiated and outside the realm of usual.
If your activity meets the competencies listed, you may count it as service learning.
Complete hours at any time that is convenient to you. The summer months may work better for your own personal circumstance and can count toward your Service Learning requirements.
Consider Other Communities
Students are encouraged to look beyond the Grand Forks community when identifying Service Learning locations.
Dress appropriately for the experience. A dress code may depend on the environment where you are. Consult with your contact person at each location to learn what expectations they may have regarding appropriate attire.