MScN Course Descriptions

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Course Descriptions – Required Courses

GSN 502 – Culinary Skills 1 credit

This hands-on course will expose students to the basics of culinary skills, including proper knife and cooking preparation techniques. Students will develop a solid foundation of kitchen essentials to promote culinary competence and confidence. These skills will be honed through food preparation, reinforcing their nutritional and culinary applications.

GSN 503 – Farm to Table 2 credits

This course trains students in the process of local food systems, specifically increasing awareness of local agriculture and the food service industry. Students will appraise food production, distribution and accessibility. A variety of class experiences include visiting local farms, farm-to-table restaurants and farmers’ markets.

GSN 504 – Food Policy 2 credits

Investigate the public policy behind food production and distribution, and the factors that influence policy development. Topics include food systems, food needs and food safety, environmental sustainability, accessibility and food labeling.

GSN 505 – Healing Foods I 2 credits

In this course students discover how to use food as medicine. They examine how food and food choices impact health and disease. Students will discuss specific foods that can be utilized to support health and prevent disease.

GSN 506 – Healing Foods I Practicum 2 credits

This complementary course brings to life the content covered in the Healing Foods lecture. Students will have hands-on experience preparing foods and meals that showcase their healing properties in creative ways.

GSN 507 – Fundamentals of Nutrition 4 credits

An in-depth look at carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals and water, and their roles in health and disease. Areas of focus include molecular structure, function, digestion, absorption, metabolism and optimal food sources. Students learn specific dietary requirements, and how dietary excess or deficiencies present clinically.

GSN 508 – Fundamentals of Nutrition Workshop 1 credit

This hands-on class emphasizes the objectives of macro- and micronutrient nutrition and is taken concurrently with the Fundamentals of Nutrition course. Students will learn through a variety of culinary experiments and case-based activities.

GSN 514 – Nutritional Biochemistry 2 credits

An examination of the impact nutrition has on health at the cellular level. Students will learn about metabolic pathways and how health is affected when those pathways are impaired. This class will cover the breakdown and usage of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids as well as cellular utilization of vitamins and minerals. Students will also be introduced to basic inflammation pathways and microbiome health.

GSN 515 – Nutritional Assessment 2 credits

This course introduces clinical and dietary evaluations to determine an individual’s nutritional status. This includes anthropometric measurements, nutritional physical, food frequency questionnaires, diet recall, diet records and nutrient intake analysis.

GSN 516 – Pathophysiology 3 credits

An introduction to human pathological processes and how they can be influenced by nutrition.

GSN 517 – Psychology of Eating 2 credits

This course offers an understanding of the art and science of mindfulness within our relationship to food, providing a renewed sense of appreciation and satisfaction when eating. Each week, students will cook a meal together and practice mindful eating techniques.

GSN 522 – Public Health and Community Nutrition 2 credits

An overview of factors influencing nutritional health within the population at large, with a brief examination of public and private agencies and their role in community assessment, policy development and public health assurance.

GSN 524 – Medical Nutrition Therapy 3 credits

Students will apply nutritional concepts for specific disease states, including gastrointestinal disorders, metabolic concerns, cardiovascular disease and hypertension, anemia, renal disease and bone health. Students will synthesize medical literature and nutrition literature to determine which diets to implement for each patient type.

GSN 529 – Applied Medical Nutrition Therapy 2 credits

In this experiential course, students will develop recipes and menus, as well as prepare meals for specific medical conditions. This course complements GSN 524.

GSN 534 – Cultural Humility and Social Justice 1 credit

This course is designed to explore the broad context of social justice issues within nutritional settings. Students will consider the complexities of working with individuals’ specific needs. In addition, the course will cover the impact of systems, institutions and policies that relate to food equity issues.

GSN 526 – Lifecycle Nutrition I 2 credits

The specific nutritional needs and nutrition-related issues during various stages of the lifecycle are identified. This course focuses on preconception, pregnancy, lactation and childhood nutrition.

GSN 528 – Health Coaching 2 credits

Students will learn an integrative health coaching framework that includes models of behavior change, goal setting, identifying obstacles to success, and developing support systems. Skills in motivational interviewing, and one-on-one and group coaching are highlighted. Practical application of the material is woven throughout the course.

GSN 538 – Cooking Pedagogy 2 credits

This course will teach students how to teach others in a kitchen setting. In addition, students will learn proper food preparation techniques, recipes and menu development, and food pairings.

GSN 531 – Nutritional Counseling 2 credits

An interactive assessment of individual nutritional health and status, with determination of detailed nutrient needs to improve health and minimize risk of chronic disease. Effective strategies are explored to assure that patient goals are met and maintained to achieve success.

GSN 532 – Nutrition Internship 2 credits

Field experience including opportunities to observe health practitioners, reinforcing counseling techniques, and the practical implementation of nutrition education.

GSN 533 – Lifecycle Nutrition II 2 credits

The specific nutritional needs and nutrition-related issues during various stages of the lifecycle are identified. This course focuses on adolescent, adulthood, and geriatric nutrition in health and disease.

Course Descriptions – Elective Courses

At least half of the 15 required elective credits for the MScN degree must be taken from courses designated as counting towards the program. The remainder may come from any elective course offered at NCNM, as long as course prerequisites are met.

GSN 501E, 510E, 520E, 530E – Seasonal Cooking 2 credits each

Fruits and vegetables are an integral part of a healthy diet. With increasing accessibility of local produce, seasonal fruits and vegetables are easily available. Within Portland city limits, there are a handful of year-round farmers markets. This hands-on course will introduce students to the vast array of seasonal produce and seasonal cooking techniques so they may help their future clients integrate more fruits and vegetables into their diets and have a working knowledge of the importance of eating with the seasons.

GSN 525E – Cultural and Traditional Diets 2 credits

This course provides a practical approach to various cultural and traditional diets, such as vegetarian, vegan, Halal and Kosher; including weekly preparation of specific foods to complement dietary concepts.

GSN 541E – Cuisine of Thailand 2 credits

This course provides a broad introduction to Thai food. The increasing popularity of Thai cuisine in the United States can be seen as a positive development in light of its delicious flavors and healthy focus on fresh produce and herbs. Through a combination of hands-on cooking activities, assignments, guest presentations and participatory lectures, students will be exposed to techniques, ingredients and dishes through the unique cultural lens of the four food regions, as well as the traditional Thai healing system.

GSN 543E – Personal Chef and Food Service 2 credits

Students learn about individual catering for private service and how to successfully incorporate all aspects of food service and preparation. Emphasis is placed on food purchasing, menu development, food pairing, food safety and sanitation, and cooking techniques.

GSN 544E – Food Systems: Global and Ecological Food Issues 2 credits

This course will explore global and federal organizations participating in the food system; global food policy and trade agreements; food production, processing, and distribution; food security and access; and sustainability on a global perspective. Students will be able to choose a subject to study in depth such as: certifications and labeling; how healthy are organic, local and natural foods; marketing food to children; GMOs; food health claims; should you eat local products; cultural traditions and religious impacts of food choice; and linking food accessibility and the obesity epidemic.

GSN 545E – Global Cuisine: Foods of the World 2 credits

Students will be exposed to delicious cuisine from around the world. The course will demonstrate how food availability, local ecosystems, cooking traditions and cultural differences vary from region to region. Preparation of regional cuisine each week will support these concepts.

GSN 546E – Food Allergies and Intolerances 2 credits

A detailed look at immunological effects of food allergies and intolerances, including potential symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options to reduce health implications.

GSN 547E – Fad Diets 2 credits

This course examines popular diets and how they are marketed and promoted for weight loss and metabolic issues.

GSN 548E – Eating Disorders and Intuitive Eating 2 credits

Abnormal eating patterns are discussed, including bulimia, anorexia nervosa and binge eating. The course includes detailed examination of physiology, psychology, prevention and treatment of various eating disorders. Intuitive eating philosophy is explored to understand how the human body can signal the need for food and nutrition.

GSN 549E – Detoxification and Cleanses 2 credits

Examines the body’s natural detoxification processes and how to optimize detoxification through the use of whole-food nutrition.

GSN 551E – Therapeutic Diets 2 credits

A comprehensive examination of commonly prescribed therapeutic diets including the DASH, Mediterranean, Paleo, anti-inflammatory, gluten-free and casein-free diets. Nutrition fundamentals, current research and popular media views will be thoroughly explored. Hands-on preparation sessions provide practical experience with each diet.

GSN 552E – Nutritional Supplements: Myths and Clinical Pearls 2 credits

Discover the importance of nutritional supplements and their use for specific health concerns, understand when to use certain nutrients, which forms found in supplements are best, and appropriate dosing. This course also examines how nutritional supplements influence human biochemistry.

GSN 553E – Gluten-Free Cooking 2 credits

Investigate the impacts of gluten on human health and understand how gluten can affect physiology. Students will learn how to shop and cook gluten-free with a comprehensive understanding of how to find hidden ingredients on food labels that may be derived from gluten or wheat.

GSN 554E – Sports Nutrition 2 credits

This course investigates the human demands for increased nutritional support from athletic performance, the timing of meals, and what types of balanced menus are appropriate to support individual exercise regimens. Research on sports nutrition supplements to support athletic training is also discussed.

GSN 555E – Functional Medicine and Nutrition 2 credits

Examine functional medicine and its philosophy of incorporating systems biology in supporting human health. This approach of how the environment impacts each individual on a physiological level is examined in depth. An emphasis on individualized care is revisited.

GSN 557E – Cooking with Medicinal Herbs 2 credits

Medicinal herbs do not always have to be taken in pill, powder or concentrated form. Learn how to incorporate herbs into everyday meals to support health, gain an understanding of the basics of botanical medicine, and discover which herbs are best suited to culinary use.

GSN 558E – Food as Medicine in the Community 2 credits

Community cooking and nutrition programs have been identified as a key factor in reducing chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Learn how to build a successful, community-based, hands-on cooking and nutrition series from the ground up, including how to navigate project location development, cultural competency in diverse populations, sustainable program funding, and cooking workshop management and logistics.

GSN 559E – Vegan Diets 2 credits

Vegan diets are plant-based, and include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. A vegan lifestyle choice is becoming more popular for people trying to lower cholesterol or control obesity. This hands-on course will teach students to develop healthy and delicious vegan menu plans as they help their future clients transition to veganism.

GSN 562E – Nutrition in the News 1 credit

In this course, students will investigate current topics in nutrition. With the constant bombardment of varying nutrition information from popular media it is important to examine the heart of each issue. Discussion topics may include food policy and regulation, ethics in nutrition, local food systems, current events, and new peer-reviewed nutrition research. Students will compare the story in the news to the original research, further teaching them how to read research studies.

GSN 563E – Business of Nutrition 2 credits

Nutritional counseling or being a personal chef requires the knowledge of running a small business. This course teaches students how to launch and operate a small business, from filing for a business license, to marketing and basic accounting. Students will learn practical skills such as how to bill insurance and when to file taxes. Local business experts will guest lecture to discuss their experiences and provide tricks of the trade. Students will have the opportunity to develop a business plan for their own business.

GSN 564E – Nutritional Genetics 2 credits

Have you ever wondered if your diet affects your genes? Or whether your genes affect what you can eat? Students in this course will examine the relationship between genetics, metabolism and diet. Topics include how diet can affect epigenetic patterns and gene expression, how our metabolic response to food has been shaped by genetic variation, and how our health is impacted by the interplay of genetics and diet. Students will also consider the utility of using genetic information to make dietary choices.

GSN 564E – Food Anthropology 2 credits

Explores the interconnections of cultural forces that influence what, when, where and how we eat.  Organized around critical analysis and discussion of why and how these cultural forces are successful in developing and reinforcing personal food choices. Uses historical, anthropological and literary sources as well as contemporary writing and films on the politics and socioeconomics of food.

GSN 566E – Intro to Recreational Therapy 2 credits

This class provides an overview of the benefits of exercise and physical activity via the perspectives, philosophy, and practice strategies of the discipline of recreational therapy, complementary to their understanding about the importance of nutrition. This will encompass topics relevant to psychological, emotional and social issues, as well as the physiological domain. In an introspective and engaging manner, students will explore and discuss relevant issues and the competencies needed by practitioners regarding the role exercise and physical activity have on overall client health and wellness.

GSN 567E – Healing Foods II 2 credits

The course examines how bioactive compounds in foods can influence human metabolism and biochemistry. Foods with anti-inflammatory, healing and nourishing properties will be covered. Following the course, students will be able to identify specific foods that can be utilized to support health and prevent disease.

GSN 568E – Healing Foods II Practicum 2 credits

Students will discover how to make food as medicine in a kitchen setting. This course is a continuation of GSN 505 Healing Foods I. The course examines how bioactive compounds in foods can influence human metabolism and biochemistry. Foods with specific properties including anti-inflammatory and detoxifying foods will be covered, and students will practice making these foods in an active learning kitchen setting.

GSN 577E – Holistic Nutrition Weekend Retreat 2 credits

Planning your career in nutrition involves a variety of steps including identifying your skills and values, researching your options, setting goals, and developing a plan to achieve those goals. The nutrition retreat is a concentrated time for education and career planning. Students will engage in self-reflection, as well as investigate different career options. At the end of the retreat, students will have a map of their education at NCNM, and goals for their future employment. This weekend course is set off-campus and has a fee to cover the expenses of the retreat site. As with any nutrition retreat, discussion will take place over delicious and healthy food.