Nutrition and Dietetics Directors’ Workload and Compensation Related to Program Accreditation Activities

Rayane AbuSabha*, Mary Dean Coleman
The Sage Colleges, Nutrition Science Department, 65 First Street, Troy, NY 12180, USA
The Pennsylvania State University, Nutritional Science Department, University Park, PA16802

© 2015 AbuSabha and Coleman

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to these authors at the The Sage Colleges, Nutrition Science Department, 65 First Street, Troy, NY 12180, USA; Tel: 518-244-4586; Fax: 518-244-2396;


Nutrition and dietetics program directors were surveyed to quantify the amount of time they spend meeting accreditation-related requirements, and to determine the type of compensation they receive for their director workload. The survey was sent electronically in August 2011 to all nutrition and dietetics directors (N=572).

A total of 312 usable surveys were received for a 54.5% response rate. The distribution of respondents almost mirrored the general distribution of nutrition and dietetics programs: 138 (44%) from Dietetic Internship (DI) programs, 122 (39%) from Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD), 29 (9%) from Coordinated Programs (CP) and 23 (7%) from Dietetic Technician (DT) programs. The majority of respondents (83%) were faculty based at a college or university, of whom, 49% had annual teaching loads between 18 and 24 credits. The average number of hours spent on director-type activities was approximately 22 hours/week with 15.6 of these hours dedicated to meeting accreditation specific requirements. Of the 248 directors who responded to the compensation questions, the majority (n=198, 80%) reported receiving some form of time relief or compensation for their responsibilities as program directors, commonly a 3-credit or 6-credit annual load reduction. On the other hand, 55 directors (22%) received no time relief or compensation for any of their work as program directors.

Overall, the reported compensation did not match the level of effort stated by directors. Future evaluations should examine the possible association between the amount of time program directors spend on accreditation-related activities and the quality of their programs, and whether these accreditation activities are affecting the quality of the work for the directors’ other job responsibilities.

Keywords: Accreditation, compensation, Program directors, workload.