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Dodds, Janice M.; Laraia, Barbara A.; & Carbone, Elena T. (2003). Development of a Master's in Public Health Nutrition Degree Program Using Distance Education. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 103(5), 602-607.


The Professional Practice Program in Nutrition (PPPN) uses distance education to offer a master's degree in public health (MPH) nutrition designed for practitioners who desire to maintain their employment and develop new skills. Public health nutrition leadership faces challenges in recruiting a large enough workforce to (a) carry out the core functions of assessment, policy, and assurance; (b) update current nutritionists in new skill areas to face the demands of dynamic health care and public health climates; and (c) conduct monitoring and surveillance of Healthy People 2010 objectives. In 1996, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill designed and implemented this program after a market analysis to identify advanced educational need in a nine state area. PPPN was initiated as a pilot program and enrolled two cohorts of students from 1996 through 1998. This project identified four key steps: (a) conduct a detailed market analysis; (b) establish an infrastructure to deliver the program; (c) tailor the curriculum using the technology; and (d) identify, accommodate, and develop student capabilities. The findings indicate that distance education strategies are appropriate to carry out a full MPH curriculum in nutrition, but sufficient enrollment is necessary to cover the added curriculum expenditures.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of the American Dietetic Association


Dodds, Janice M.
Laraia, Barbara A.
Carbone, Elena T.