Abstract| Volume 45, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S17, July 2013

Estudiante de Dietetico: Dietetics Undergraduate Curriculum and Mentoring Program


      Estudiante de Dietetico is a curriculum designed to improve the cultural competence, confidence and Spanish skills of undergraduate dietetic students to provide more culturally sensitive nutrition services for the Latino community and decrease health disparities.

      Target audience

      Four cohorts have been recruited totaling 95 undergraduate dietetic students.

      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale

      The nutritional health of Hispanics is of particular importance because Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in 2006 was over 44 million, comprising more than 14% of the US total population(U.S. Census Bureau, 2006).


      This curriculum consists of 6 1-unit courses that mirror the dietetics curriculum along with intermediate level of Spanish language attainment. Two cohorts of students (n= 54) have completed the curriculum and 24 completed the concurrent extra mentoring program. The mentoring program was based on Tinto's Theory of Student Retention and included 4 components: Retention Coordinator, workshops, mentoring/shadowing nutrition professional and social events to foster group cohesion.


      Students provided feedback on the curriculum and mentoring program in journal and interview formats. Students report a greater of understanding of cultural competency, great satisfaction with the curriculum and the mentoring program commenting that, “the social events that included and recognized family members really meant allot.” Many expressed gratitude for this opportunity.

      Conclusions and Implications

      This curriculum and mentoring program appear to be a promising way to improve the ability of the students to better serve the Hispanic population and to improve their educational experience.


      USDA National Science Foundation Grant # 054826 2009-0119.