Stay on the job market while earning online Clinical Nutrition certificate

dietitian holding apples

After finishing an undergraduate degree in dietetics, Matthew Ewy wanted to continue his education. He took on a dietetic internship and enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Online Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition—simultaneously.

Matthew Ewy: The program allowed him to 'incorporate school life into a nontraditional schedule.'
The program allowed Michael Ewy to ‘incorporate school life into a nontraditional schedule.’

Given that the internship was full-time, this might sound like an impossible task. But the Capstone Certificate program gave Ewy the flexibility to meet all his responsibilities.

“The main challenges involved time management between internship requirements and coursework,” he says. “However, the courses allowed for great flexibility with a clear timeline when assignments were due. Most assignments were due on a Monday, which allowed me to use the weekends to prioritize my schedule and catch up on required tasks.”

Ewy appreciated the chance to learn more about his field without taking himself off the job market.

“Online courses are a great way for working professionals to pursue a higher form of education without sacrificing employment opportunities,” he says. “This allows registered dietitians or other students to develop the academic and application skills to be more competitive in the job market.”

One year to completion

UW-Madison’s 12-credit Online Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition provides a graduate-level education in areas such as critical care, nutrition support, complex nutritional assessment, advanced nutrition counseling, advanced pediatrics, and clinical nutrition research.

The program is offered completely online and can be completed over three semesters—in other words, one year. Students can begin any semester (fall, spring, or summer) and take the courses in any order.

Many of the program’s students are practicing Registered Dietitians who need continuing education credits. Others are graduates in nutrition or dietetics programs who want to improve their ability to obtain a highly competitive dietetic internship. The program is also useful for nurses, pharmacists, speech pathologists, and other medical professionals who want to provide better care for their patients.

Approachable faculty

Students in the Online Capstone Certificate work directly with the same experienced faculty who teach Clinical Nutrition on the UW-Madison campus.

“My instructors have a wide variety of experiences, and it was interesting to hear their stories,” Ewy says. “Their ability to understand current events related to nutrition and tailor the course to meet those needs is beneficial. They were also very approachable and willing to answer any questions that I had, as well as provide feedback on assignments in a timely manner.”

Ewy’s strategy for completing the Capstone Certificate program was to create a strict game plan.

“Typically the required assignments are similar from week to week, which allows the student to develop a routine,” he says. “In addition the student has the option of choosing to complete one course at a time, which can help with incorporating school life into a nontraditional schedule.”

For more information about UW-Madison’s Online Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition, see here.

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