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Coordinated Master's Program


The Coordinated Master's Program (CMP) develops entry‐level registered dietitian nutritionists who are prepared to practice in diverse settings. We take a multifaceted approach to education by facilitating high-quality experiential learning, community engagement, research, and professional development. Further,  we  aim  to  prepare  graduates  who  will  advance  the  field  of  dietetics,  enhance  health  and  prevent chronic disease, and translate research into real-world solutions.  








Our preceptors are critical to our mission!

Joan Heusser, RD, CD, NBC-HWC

NUIP Preceptor of the Year Award - 2023


NUIP student nominated and student selected

Beth Wolfgram - 2016

Jen Derrick, MS, RDN, CD - 2017

Chelsey Evans, MS, RDN, CD - 2018

Joan Heusser, RD, CD - 2019

Mary Playdon, PhD, MPH - 2020

Mary Playdon, PhD, MPH - 2021

Ashley Hagensick, M.E.d., RD - 2022

Joan Heusser, RD, CD, NBC-HWC - 2023

What our students said about Joan Heusser: 

Joan helped me to see my strengths, and she inspired me to dream bigger. I have never felt like I had the right personality for leadership, but Joan helped me understand that leadership qualities can be cultivated. She shared her experiences, taught by example, and helped me see my future in a new light.   

~ Brooke Walters 

I have been lucky enough to have Joan as my preceptor for the past six months, initially during my community rotation, and currently as I fulfill my capstone hours at the VA in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. During this time, Joan has given me the opportunity to refine my skills as a professional and participate in projects that fulfill my passions in dietetics. She has become much more than just a preceptor; she is a role model, mentor, a leader, and has impacted my abilities to help others in my future role as a dietitian.  

~ Sarah Puig-Holzman 



  1. Preceptors must be licensed, as appropriate, to meet state and federal regulations, or credentialed, as needed, in the area in which they are supervising students and must be qualified to serve as educators and professional role models.
  2. Orientated to the mission, goals and objectives of the nutrition and dietetics program, the ACEND Standards and required knowledge and competencies. 
  3. Program preceptors must be trained on strategies to recognize and monitor biases in self and others and reduce instances of microaggressions and discrimination. 
  • Mission Statement

    The Coordinated Master's Program (CMP) develops entry‐level registered dietitian nutritionists who are prepared to practice in diverse settings. We take a multifaceted approach to education by facilitating high-quality experiential learning, community engagement, research, and professional development. Further, we aim to prepare graduates who will advance the field of dietetics, enhance health and prevent chronic disease, and translate research into real-world solutions.

    Program Goals and Objectives

    The CMP goals and objectives are as follows:

    Goal #1. The program will prepare graduates to be innovative leaders who advance the fields of Nutrition Education and Research and Sports Nutrition with professionalism.

    • Program Objectives aligned with goal #1
      At least 80% of program students complete program requirements within 3 years (150% of the planned program length).
      Of graduates who seek employment, at least 90% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
      At least 90% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
      The program's one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
      At least 80% of employers who respond to a survey will indicate they are satisfied with their employee's (University of Utah CMP graduates) preparation for entry-level practice.

    Goal #2. The program will prepare graduates who are committed to improving nutrition outcomes for all by demonstrating cultural humility and evidence-based practices.

    • Program Objectives aligned with goal #2
      80% of program graduates will report practicing cultural humility in their nutrition and dietetics work when surveyed.
      90% of program graduates will report utilization of evidence-based practices in their nutrition and dietetics work when surveyed.

    The CMP takes two years to complete. Graduates of this program, accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, have a high pass rate on the national exam for registered dietitians.

    CMP Expected Learning Outcomes

    Program graduates will demonstrate a mastery of key concepts in the following areas of nutrition: medical nutrition therapy, nutrition biochemistry, micronutrient metabolism, macronutrient metabolism, nutrition assessment, research methods, nutrition programs and policy, nutrition and health communications, the broad aspects of food and food systems, and nutrition counseling techniques.

    • Program graduates will:
      Integrate scientific information and research into practice.
      Use effective nutrition communication skills, including written reports, consumer and professional presentations, multimedia approaches, individual consultation, technical research formats, medical charting techniques and successful interactions with healthcare teams.
      Practice dietetics using the nutrition care process model.
      Apply professional, scientific, and patient/family ethics in their professional careers.
      Demonstrate cultural humility in providing nutrition information and care, including knowledge of multicultural food practices, community programs and disparities in food, nutrition and healthcare.
      Employ leadership skills and demonstrate the desire for continuing education and professional growth.
      Be prepared to pass the national registration examination for dietitians.

    Information relating to the program outcomes is available upon request. Contact the Program Director at:





  1. Student Evaluation of Preceptors

    Student Evaluation

  2. Preceptors Evaluation of Student:

Supervised Practice Competencies (Outcomes) Checklist:

  1. Clinical
  2. Community
  3. Foodservice
  4. Sports Nutrition


    Community Nutrition Field Experience 50
    Community Nutrition 120
    Clinical Rotation 280
    Food Management 136
    Nutrition Policy Experience 10
    Culinary Medicine and IPE 10
    Thesis or Non-Thesis (FAS) 100 
    Capstone Experience 320
    MNT Lab 3




  • The Department of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology provides professional liability insurance for each student during their participation in the Coordinated Master's Program. The liability policy provides insurance for claims arising out of real or alleged medical incidents when the injury being claimed results from an act of omission. Payment of court costs is also provided. Expert legal counsel and claims adjusters are immediately available to aid and defend the insured without cost to the student.

  • Supervised Practice is a critical part of the education of dietetic students. 

    University of Utah’s Supervised Practice takes place during the summer session following the students first year of the CMP.  Capstone rotations take place during the students second year in the program.  ACEND requires 1000 hours of practice under the guidance of a qualified preceptor.   

    To ensure that the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct are followed during supervised practice experiences, students must adhere to the prescribed professional and ethical standards of the dietetic profession a outlined in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Code of  Ethics.

  • The  student  must  comply  with  the  standards  of  dress  and  appearance  outlined  by  their  supervised  practice  facility.   

    The  following  standards  of  appearance  are  minimum  standards.  Should  the  supervised  practice  facility  maintain  additional/stricter  standards  of  appearance  or  cleanliness,  the  student must comply with the facility's standards. 

    • Dress in business casual attire.
    • Present a clean, professional appearance. Everyone is expected to be well-groomed and wear clean clothing, free of holes, tears, or other signs of wear.
    • Clothing with offensive or inappropriate designs or stamps is not allowed.
    • Clothing should not be too revealing. 
    • Clothing and grooming styles dictated by religion or ethnicity are exempt. 
    • Footwear: Clean, comfortable shoes should be worn.  
  • All CMP students are required to undergo a background check, drug testing, provide health history and immunization records at the beginning of Fall Semester of their first year. These student records are stored with and reviewed by (a neutral third party).  

    Our faculty will work with you to ensure that all of your individual facility requirements are met prior to a student starting a rotation with you. 


Jean Zancanella, MS, RD

Associate Director & Advisor Coordinated Master's Program

Amy Reeder, MS RDN CDCES

Associate Instructor & Advisor, Coordinated Master's Program

Kary Woodruff, PhD, RD, CSSD

Associate Professor (Lecturer) & Director, Coordinated Master's Program

(801) 585-5936