Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition

Apple word bubble

The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University offers an exceptional leadership opportunity for those working in school nutrition programs in Massachusetts and the USDA’s New England region. The goal of this highly acclaimed five-course undergraduate program is to increase the knowledge and skills of directors and senior management in school nutrition programs.

The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program advances the knowledge and skills of the school nutrition professional to:

  • Apply the changing nutrition standards to improve the school nutrition environment
  • Meet the financial challenges of a self-supporting school nutrition program
  • Evaluate and implement the emerging trends in school nutrition programs

Apple word bubbleThe John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University offers an exceptional leadership opportunity for those working in school nutrition programs in Massachusetts and the USDA’s New England region. The goal of this highly acclaimed five-course undergraduate program is to increase the knowledge and skills of directors and senior management in school nutrition programs 

The Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program advances the knowledge and skills of the school nutrition professional to:

  • Apply the changing nutrition standards to improve the school nutrition environment
  • Meet the financial challenges of a self-supporting school nutrition program
  • Evaluate and implement the emerging trends in school nutrition programs

USDA has established minimum professional standards requirements for school nutrition professionals who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The standards, established in section 306 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act require minimum education standards for new state and local school nutrition directors as well as annual training standards for all school nutrition professionals. The Office for Food and Nutrition Programs at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has accepted the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition as the State-recognized certification for school nutrition directors (SND) as outlined in the USDA Professional Standards hiring criteria for SNDs. 

For additional information about USDA Professional Standards and Hiring Standards for School Nutrition Directors, please see the Guide to Professional Standards for School Nutrition Programs.

The program includes five undergraduate courses offered through Framingham State University (FSU), designed specifically for directors of school nutrition programs and managers who wish to advance in their school nutrition careers. Curriculum is based upon competencies identified by national research conducted by the Institute of Child Nutrition, the Massachusetts Statewide Needs Assessment and USDA Professional Standards and is designed to assure that directors and managers have the knowledge and skills needed to be successful leaders in school nutrition.

The certificate program is designed for remote learning and can be completed within 18 months.

  • A high school diploma or HiSET (or GED) or higher; applicants must submit an official transcript/document.
  • Currently employed as a manager, assistant director, or director in a school nutrition program in Massachusetts and USDA’s New England region.
  • A letter of recommendation from your supervisor submitted via the FSU online application.
  • Phone interview with the certificate program director.

Course titles link to course descriptions. Schedule of course offerings is subject to change.

Courses may be used towards the Liberal Studies Program at FSU and possibly degree programs at other universities. The program is appropriate for those with or without a bachelor’s degree. 

Canvas is the FSU learning platform used for all course materials

Please review the FSU Laptop Requirements to confirm your device meets the minimum requirements.

  • PC or Mac, no more than 3 years old, with internet access, a web-camera, and built-in microphone/speakers 
  • Windows 10
  • Microsoft Office 365 – available at no cost to all FSU students
  • Headset with microphone to connect to laptop

Please refer to the FSU Tuition and Fees web page for an up-to-date schedule of fees.  For your convenience, we have waived the application fee.

Program funding provided by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will support students working in Massachusetts school nutrition programs by purchasing textbooks and loaning a laptop and headset to meet the technology requirements of the program.

scholarship is available to help pay for your tuition.

Program Directors:

Karen McGrail, MEd, RD, LDN
KMcGrail@framingham.edu

Cathy Wickham, PhD, RD, CDN
cwickham@framingham.edu