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Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program at FAFS achieves full re-accreditation
8/24/2017
Jennifer Muller  |  Office of Communications  |  media@aub.edu.lb  | 

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The Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program (NDCP) at AUB's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) has received full re-accreditation for having maintained its high standards and for fulfilling the stringent requirements and expectations of a US-accredited nutrition and dietetics education program.

The NDCP remains the only program in Lebanon and the region, and only the third outside the US, to attain this prominent recognition, first granted by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) in 2013.  This full re-accreditation—approved on August 10, 2017—follows a rigorous and challenging review from ACEND.

“I believe that our journey to excellence in education was bridged with our Nutrition and Dietetics, Coordinated Program,” said Dean Nahla Hwalla. “I feel extremely glad and proud that we have achieved this valuable and prestigious status which validates our ongoing commitment at FAFS to deliver a truly world-class education to our students who now have the advantage to stand out among their peers in the region.”

This stamp of approval from ACEND allows graduates of AUB’s Coordinated Program to sit for the exam to become Registered Dietitians (RD) and to practice in the US and elsewhere. In fact, the chair of the ACEND review committee commended AUB’s NDCP program for its 100% pass rate in the US RD exam since first receiving accreditation in 2013. 

Accreditation from ACEND under the International Dietitian Education (IDE) program standards is a formidable and exacting review encompassing all facets of the program including educational quality and practical experience. The supervised dietetic practicum of the NDCP offers a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice experience including medical nutrition therapy, as well as food service and community nutrition rotations done at three affiliated medical facilities: American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), Rafik Hariri University Hospital (RHUH), and Saint George Hospital-University Medical Center (SGH). 

AUB’s Coordinated Program was commended by the review team for the experience and training that students receive. The reviewers were particularly impressed by the involvement of NDCP students with refugees in Lebanon as part of their community nutrition component. 

Maya Nabhani, Director of Continuous Academic Improvement at FAFS, noted that one of the biggest challenges with this re-accreditation was that the US-based ACEND review team was unable to travel to Beirut for the mandatory site visit due to safety concerns. This meant that the AUB team had to ship all their documentation to a university in New York and prepare virtual video tours of their facilities and affiliated medical centers. The ACEND reviewers then came to view the documents, conduct questionnaires, and hold interviews via Skype with faculty and administrators in Beirut.  

“The great thing is that when we were there, we were actually commended for both the program and all the preparation that we had done,” said Dr. Nabhani. “The review team said it was an exemplary site visit, exemplary self-study, exemplary everything. So it was all worthwhile.”  

The NDCP is part of the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences (NFSC), which is the biggest department in FAFS with three undergraduate programs and four graduate programs. It is thanks to the hard work of Dean Hwalla, Chair of NFSC Dr. Imad Toufeili, all the professors of the NDCP, and many others that this important recognition was achieved.
Story Highlights
  • ​​​The Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program (NDCP) at AUB's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) has received full re-accreditation for having maintained its high standards and for fulfilling the stringent requirements and expectations of a US-accredited nutrition and dietetics education program.
  • The NDCP remains the only program in Lebanon and the region, and only the third outside the US, to attain this prominent recognition, first granted by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) in 2013.  This full re-accreditation—approved on August 10, 2017—follows a rigorous and challenging review from ACEND.
 
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