A new bachelor’s degree program in nutrition was approved by the Fort Lewis College Board of Trustees at their meeting on Saturday.
It will be offered through the school’s growing Health Sciences Department.
The nutrition major, which was approved unanimously, will emphasize public health, exercise science and biomedical applications.
“This will strengthen the health offerings on campus and comes at a great time with the Health Sciences Center coming,” said FLC Provost Cheryl Nixon at the trustees’ meeting, which was held on Zoom.
Existing faculty will teach the major initially, but another faculty member specializing in nutrition will probably be hired next school year, Nixon said.
A survey of health sciences majors on campus showed 12.77% of them would major in nutrition if offered and 27.66% would minor in it.
The program should help provide more registered dietitian nutritionists in rural areas like the Four Corners, where there is often a shortage, Nixon said.
The nutrition major also likely will partner with the school’s Regenerative Food Systems Certificate, which provides an overview of farming and food systems by examining their social, environmental and economic aspects.
The Regenerative Food Systems Certificate uses land at the Old Fort in Hesperus to study sustainable farming practices by examining agricultural impacts on soil and water.
Upper division nutrition courses are expected to attract biochemistry and biology majors and other students interested in pursuing professional medical careers in fields such as pharmacy and nursing.
Nutrition students can also pursue the ServSafe certification through a food management course. ServSafe is a food and beverage safety training program developed by the National Restaurant Association. ServSafe provides accreditation to restaurant employees in safe food-handling practices.
The nutrition program will be housed in the school’s soon-to-be built $32.9 million Health Sciences Center, which will accommodate the expanding Health Sciences Department.
Groundbreaking for the Health Sciences Center is scheduled for Friday