Ashland University Dietetics Program Listed in the Top 50 in the Nation

Ashland University Dietetics Program Listed in the Nation’s Top 50

5/1/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University’s Dietetics Program, which is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND), has been selected as one of the top nutrition programs in the United States.

The ranking, produced by Public Health Online, noted “Aspiring registered dietitians can earn the degree necessary to move closer to their goals at Ashland University. Courses expand students’ knowledge of nutrition, health and science. The university strives for small class sizes, allowing students to get personalized attention from instructors. Graduates must complete an approved dietetic internship prior to sitting for the exam to earn a credential. Dietitians can go on to work as practitioners in settings such as clinical, community and food service organizations. The internship program is selective, and a field placement cannot be guaranteed. To become more competitive, students can excel academically and pursue work-related experiences.”

Dr. David Vanata, associate professor and director of AU’s Dietetics Program, said he was delighted that the program was selected as one of the best in the nation. “This is a tribute to and reflection of the hard work and dedication of the outstanding students that make up the dietetics program here at AU,” he said.

David Osnoe, director of Community Partnerships for Public Health Online, said, “In 2012, obesity-related diseases, disabilities and deaths cost Americans billions of dollars. It is clear that being educated about food sciences is more crucial than ever before. In order to help the growing population of students find the very best programs, my team at Public Health Online recently examined hundreds of fully accredited degrees and I’m pleased to let you know that Ashland University ranked in the Top 50 in the nation.”

Osnoe added that Public Health Online’s vision is to provide students, parents and general readers with accurate and expert-driven information and resources about public health topics, careers and the post-secondary educational landscape. “We want our in-depth guidebooks and degree- and subject-focused pages to help anyone interested in public health make informed decisions at every turn,” he said.

The complete ranking of the Best Nutrition Programs of 2015-2016 can be seen at

Ashland’s program in Dietetics, housed in the Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is designed for students who wish to become registered dietitians (R.D.) and practitioners in clinical, community, food industry and food-service areas of nutrition. Registered dietitians are employed by hospitals, community agencies and various government or private organizations.

“Ashland’s undergraduate degree program in dietetics offers a very challenging curriculum and is a program designed for the more serious student,” Vanata said.There are only about 10 accredited programs in the state and we are one of only four private schools in Ohio offering this type of accredited program.”

Vanata said the accreditation certifies that the University is offering a top-notch program and also means that graduates of Ashland’s program will be eligible to apply for a ACEND-accredited dietetic internship following graduation. “These postgraduate internships are very competitive and will require an impressive GPA and work-related summer experiences, but once completed the student can sit for the national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration,” he said.

Vanata noted that 100 percent of Ashland University graduates taking the registered dietitians (R.D.) standardized exam have passed the exam, and 82.4 percent of these students have been placed in supervised internships compared to a national average of only 51 percent.

“Ashland University students have consistently been placed with some of the top-ranked graduate programs across the nation, including Vanderbilt University, Syracuse University, West Virginia University, University of Tennessee, Case Western Reserve University, Ball State University and Ohio State University,” he said. “These facts show the strength of the AU program as well as the quality of education received by the AU students in the dietetics program.”

Those with questions about Ashland University’s Dietetics Program can contact Dr. Vanata at 419.289.5292 or email him at

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###