Dietetics program earns reaccreditation

Henderson State University’s dietetics program has been granted continued accreditation through 2028. Following an extensive and multi-faceted review process, the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) last week approved the reaccreditation.

“Overall, obtaining and retaining accreditation is an ongoing and arduous process,” said Penny Whelchel, assistant professor and dietetics program director. “But it is a worthwhile endeavor as it encourages continuous program improvement and provides an assurance of educational quality to current and prospective students.”

Whelchel said Henderson’s dietetics program serves students who wish to become Registered Dietitians.

“Career opportunities for RDs are extremely diverse,” she said. “They may work in clinical (healthcare) settings, food service management, community settings, education, research, private practice, and more.”

From basic and advanced nutrition, to food science and food service management, students receive individualized attention in dietetics classes, one-on-one academic advising with a Registered Dietitian, and hands-on learning experiences at local health care facilities, food service organizations and other community settings.

Whelchel said accreditation standards are updated every five years, and the program must come into compliance with the newest standards within the timeframe specified by ACEND.

“I’m proud of Ms. Whelchel for the direction she provides to the program,” said Dr. Connie Phelps, chair and associate professor for Family and Consumer Sciences. “She is organized and takes responsibility to provide an excellent learning environment for all students in the program.”

For more information about Henderson’s dietetics program, go to