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On the Bright Side

May 14, 2014

Publisher honors professor for online grad program

A steady diet of hard work and determination has allowed a State University College at Oneonta professor to be nationally recognized for her management of an online graduate program.

Jennifer L. Bueche, of West Edmeston, is an associate professor in Food and Nutrition in SUNY Oneonta’s Department of Human Ecology. She also serves as Director of the college’s Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics program, which is online.

Bueche said receiving the Pearson 2014 Cite Award for Excellence in Online Administration was “a wonderful surprise.”

The unique, combined Master’s Degree and Dietetic Internship Program, which Bueche helped launch in 2008, is viewed as an exemplary graduate program and has been “very successful,” she said. 

In order to take the test to become a Registered Dietitian, graduate students must complete 1,220 supervised practice hours, Bueche said. SUNY Oneonta’s one-year intensive program allows them to complete those required hours during an internship in their home communities.

At the same time, students complete 36 hours of online graduate courses and graduate with a Master’s Degree after one year, Bueche said. About 20 students are enrolled in the program each year.

With the overseeing of students, their internship preceptors, an online forum and online classes, Bueche has a lot to do.

“This kind of national award really is reflective of what it takes to administer a program like this,” Bueche said. “Sometimes there’s a bias towards online learning, that it’s not of the same quality, but to have your work acknowledged by outside peers shows what a high quality program it is. It means a lot.”

Bueche said she didn’t realize she had been nominated for the award, but found out she was one of two recipients nation-wide in March.

The combined master’s and internship program was up for re-accreditation this fall, Bueche said. During the campus visit, reviewers said wonderful things about the program and about Bueche. Her nomination was a result of this visit.

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