Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management


Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Susan W. Arendt


ABSTRACTThe Future Education Model (FEM) reflects changes in dietetics education including a shift to a graduate degree requirement for the registration exam and competency-based education mandates. Dietetics directors in the United States are beginning to implement program changes to align with the FEM. There are concerns about costs and processes necessary to transition to the FEM. The purpose of this study was to explore dietetics directors’ perceptions about expected cost categories, benefits, savings, challenges, and strategies related to implementing the FEM. Dietetics director attitudes and self-efficacy about implementing the FEM were also determined. This study used a sequential exploratory mixed methods design with two phases. Phase One included a two-round eDelphi process (13 and 11 panelists respectively); results informed Phase Two, development and distribution of an on-line questionnaire. In total, 172 dietetics directors responded to the questionnaire. A five-point Likert-type response scale (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree) was used. Items with the highest mean scores in each area (e.g. cost categories, benefits, savings, and challenges) were as follows: cost of time to compile the FEM application and proposal (M = 4.40, SD = 0.89); opportunity for curriculum review and analysis (M = 3.6, SD = 0.98); and, limited funding (M = 4.5, SD = 0.81). Graduate dietetics directors had significantly higher mean total attitude scores than other dietetics directors (e.g. graduate coordinated, internship, didactic, combined) except undergraduate coordinated dietetics directors (p = .001). Graduate dietetics directors had statistically significant higher mean total self-efficacy scores than internship directors (p = .03). Higher total attitude and self-efficacy scores may be indicative of those who can successfully implement the FEM. Implementing a new dietetics education model nationally provided a unique opportunity to investigate cost categories, benefits, challenges, and strategies. Study results have practical implications for FEM budgeting and fiscal planning; they also serve as foundation for investigating financial impact of the FEM. Expanding fiscal inquiries inclusive of academic departments directly associated with dietetics education, like foodservice management, may also prove beneficial for understanding the financial impact of program change. Further exploration of FEM implementation outcomes is needed.


Copyright Owner

Janet Sue Millikan



File Format


File Size

192 pages

Available for download on Friday, January 07, 2022