High school nutrition classes for college credit a...

High school nutrition classes for college credit are on menu at ‘MTSU On the Record’

Introducing high school students to nutrition as both a potential career and as a foundation for a healthier lifestyle was the focus of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program. 

Host Gina Logue’s interview with nutrition and food science professor Janet Colson and assistant professor Elizabeth Ann Smith, both from MTSU’s Department of Human Sciences, and Riverdale High School teacher Jaime Brown first aired Oct. 6 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and

Dr. Janet Colson, professor of nutrition and food science and registered dietician, Department of Human Sciences

Dr. Janet Colson

Dr. Elizabeth Ann “Liz” Smith, MTSU assistant professor of nutrition and food science

Dr. Elizabeth Ann Smith

You can hear their conversation above.

High school students who take the “Nutrition across the Life Span” course, usually in their sophomore year, receive credit for MTSU’s “Principles of Nutrition” class if they pass.

Students also can choose “Nutrition Science and Diet Therapy,” usually in their junior year, which aligns with MTSU’s “Nutrition for the Health Sciences” class and can be taken for dual enrollment credit.

“Last summer, Janet and I started working on a grant to work on trying to get dual credit into this whole system,” Smith said. “I’m sort of the secondary person, and Janet has done the bulk of the work on the project.”

Brown, an MTSU alumna, said some of her students Riverdale take the classes as an introduction to nutrition as a career. Others have more immediate motivations.

Jaime Brown, MTSU alumna, Riverdale High teacher

Jaime Brown

“A lot of them are concerned about their own health as well,” Brown said. “Sometimes they’ve got genetic abnormalities or diseases that might run in their family, and they’re just curious about how to treat those things with food.”

Colson said the classes emphasize the role that healthy eating plays in reducing the odds of hypertension and other health conditions.

WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 FM logo“Tennessee is way up there in teenage high-school obesity rates in the nation,” Colson said.

These nutrition courses are made possible by the Tennessee Pathways Program, a collaboration between K-12 education, postsecondary education and employers to augment the state’s goal of helping more Tennesseans obtain college degrees or certificates.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.