Curriculum

The concept of Whole Foods is central to Hawthorn's program of studies. Whole Foods Nutrition explores the value and necessity of quality whole food and its relationship to health and wellness. Current research demonstrating the health risks of the Standard American Diet (SAD) is presented. A variety of promoted dietary programs including the USDA food pyramid, the Atkins high protein diet, Dean Ornish's high complex carbohydrates diet, John Robbins' vegetarian diet and Ann Wigmore's raw foods approach are critiqued. The concept of biochemical individuality, benefits of fresh, whole, plant-based foods, and a chemical-free, transitional diet as well as lifestyle improvements options are explored. (3 Credits)

NC 1 Course Objectives:

  • Define the differences between whole foods, and processed, refined foods 
  • Compare and contrast the effects and consequences of consuming nutrient dense whole foods vs. consuming processed or nutrient deficient refined foods
  • Formulate a strategy to observe, monitor and track food intake and activity 
  • List and explain factors that influence and impact food and lifestyle choices 
  • Identify the S.M.A.R.T. elements of food and lifestyle goal setting
  • Distinguish between the characteristics of various dietary systems 
  • List and define environmental factors that affect health 
  • Evaluate benefits of plant- based eating
  • Identify lifestyle factors that support or diminish health

This course demonstrates the importance of remaining abreast of recently published research findings in the continuously evolving field of nutrition. Students use a critical thinking process to understand and evaluate research studies, discern the quality, accuracy, and validity of published materials as well as the advantages and limitations of experimental designs and outcomes. The elements of drafting a research report, including proper structure and formatting for text, citations, and bibliography, are presented. The art of oral presentations is also explored. Students are introduced to valuable Internet sites, public and medical library systems, as well as clinical nutrition and medical journals. (3 Credits)

NC 2 Course Objectives:

  • Discuss the importance of remaining current with recently published research findings
  • Outline the critical thinking processes used to understand and evaluate published findings
  • Restate the guidelines for responsibly sharing information
  • Identify and summarize worthwhile health and nutrition information sources
  • Locate and use specialized tools to search the internet
  • Define and outline the key steps and elements of drafting a research report
  • Utilize citation guidelines for responsibly sharing information
  • Describe the “healthiest way of eating” plan to achieve healthy eating goals
  • Explain the fundamentals for the concepts of nutritional adequacy, status, assessment and planning

This course discusses the specific organs, glands, chemical messengers, and digestive secretions involved in the process of digestion, absorption, and metabolism. Students travel through the exotic terrain of the alimentary canal from the mouth to the large intestine, learning the intricate mechanics involved in converting food to energy. Specific food, herbs, lifestyle factors, and supplements that enhance digestion and utilization of food are presented. Common health conditions related to poor function of the digestive system are reviewed. The application of holistic nutritional tools are introduced and practiced. (3 Credits)

NC 3 Course Objectives:

  • List and define the organs and glands associated with the process of digestion and absorption 
  • Describe the independent and interrelated functions of digestive organs, glands, hormones, and secretions
  • Summarize the common symptoms and conditions associated with faulty digestion
  • List and compare the assessments used to identify the health status of the digestive system 
  • Describe the various food, herb, and supplement strategies that are used to support digestive health
  • Explain the difference between acids and bases, and how the body maintains pH balance
  • Describe how cells regulate their intracellular and extracellular environments
  • Explain the process by which nutrients are liberated and absorbed by the body

Macronutrients discusses carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the components of whole foods that provide calories for human energy. A description of the biochemical nature and classifications for each macronutrient is presented. Complex vs. refined carbohydrates and their effects on metabolism, particularly on blood sugar regulation, will be emphasized. Special attention is given to the remarkable health value of essential fatty acids as well as the therapeutic use of amino acids in nutrition therapy. Students learn how to determine the individual dietary macronutrient requirements of each client. (3 Credits)

NC 4 Course Objectives:

  • Summarize the function and healing qualities of each macronutrient
  • Understand the process of digestion with reference to the absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and fiber
  • Summarize the origin of healthy macronutrient choices, and how such choices can be used in a meal 
  • Restate the recommended intakes for each macronutrient to maintain or improve health 
  • Employ the nutrient analysis software to calculate macronutrients in an average day’s food intake, and calculate the ratio of each macronutrient to total caloric intake 
  • Identify and classify the conditions resulting from deficient or excess intake of each macronutrient, fiber and essential fatty acids
  • Define the restorative use of each macronutrient
  • Describe how blood glucose levels are maintained, how glucose is taken up by the cells, and how energy storage in the body is regulated

Micronutrients presents the nutritional value of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients and their fundamental impact on growth, metabolism, cellular integrity, and repair. Food sources of these essential regulators are identified. How they are metabolized, absorbed, transported, and stored in the body is discussed. Students learn each nutrient's function, mechanism of action, and the intricate interaction with other nutrients. Deficiency and excess nutrient symptomology is explored. Dietary reference intakes and Recommended Dietary Allowances vs. Optimal Daily Recommendations are discussed. Nutrient supplementation is reviewed, including the impact of the manufacturing process on product quality. Superior over-the-counter brands are presented and students are introduced to worthy companies selling professional product lines. (3 Credits)

NC 5 Course Objectives:

  • Outline and discuss the function and healing qualities of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (also referred to as phytonutrients)
  • List and describe the factors influencing the bioavailability of micronutrients
  • Outline and discuss the importance and regulation of water in the body
  • Compare and contrast a variety of nutrient rich food sources
  • Provide recommendations on how to select, prepare and store foods to optimize their nutrient content
  • Outline the recommended intakes for individual micronutrients to maintain or improve health
  • Employ the nutrient analysis software to calculate micronutrients in an average day’s food intake, and calculate the ratio of each micronutrient to total caloric intake
  • Identify and classify the conditions resulting from deficient or excess intake of each micronutrient
  • Define the restorative use of each micronutrient

This course provides information and tools which can assist in determining an individual's nutrient needs, and in evaluating the nutritional value of a particular diet. Students learn to use food/nutrient tables and computer software to analyze diets and calculate total caloric intake as well as individual macronutrient and micronutrient breakdown of a diet record. Emphasis is placed on distinguishing high quality, nutrient dense foods that support health from poor quality, nutrient depleted “foodstuffs” that contribute to poor health and disease patterns. Appropriate dietary methods which support a client's health concerns and goals are reviewed. The process of transitioning individuals toward an optimal diet is taught and practiced. Health hazards, such as stress, toxins, trauma, malnutrition, and addictive coping that contribute to illness and premature aging are explored with suggestions for guiding individuals toward a path to wholeness and well-being. (3 Credits)

NC 6 Course Objectives:

  • Define and summarize diet planning principles and guidelines
  • Interpret a food label from a common product in lay terms 
  • Examine and assess the various positions on the alkalinity and acidity of foods
  • Evaluate nutrient values in diet records and determine an appropriate intervention strategy to improve the health of the subject, and select foods that suit the needs and preferences of an individual 
  • Discuss the origins and use of the philosophy of Nutritional ID
  • Review the findings of the Vegan Health Study
  • Explore the influence of food and lifestyle on genetic expression
  • Describe the qualities of a well crafted educational handout

This course presents tools and skills needed to build relationship, understanding, and trust between practitioner and client. Students receive instruction on the art of listening, building rapport, and giving positive feedback and direction. They learn how to gather important information from, and evaluate information about a client. Specific client intake forms and questionnaires, which enable a practitioner to explore patterns contributing to an individual's current health concerns, are introduced. Counseling skills and the structure and development of a client's healing program are practiced. (3 Credits)

NC 7 Course Objectives:

  • Define nutrition counseling and nutrition education, and apply the characteristics of an effective counselor
  • Evaluate and integrate the self-efficacy, the health belief, the transtheoretical models, the theory of planned behavior, and motivational interviewing
  • Summarize and assess a variety of counseling strategies
  • Explain and utilize the essential components of effective listening skills
  • Identify the components of readiness to make a behavior change emphasized in the health behavior method 
  • Prepare for and conduct a client interview according to generally accepted practices 
  • Collect and interpret specific diet and health information data from personal consultative interviews with clients 
  • Instill trust, confidence and develop rapport in client relationships
  • Create effective, appropriate goals with a client that are specific, achievable and measurable, and develop a plan of action for a goal
  • Develop a health-supportive suggestions for a practice client
  • Identify effective ways to enhance education in a nutrition consulting session and evaluate counseling effectiveness

This course focuses on the nutrient requirements for sustained good health in each stage of human growth and development. The most common health conditions associated with each life stage are discussed. Nutritional tools used to assess health status and specific protocols to support health recovery and maintenance are introduced. Students review case studies and assessments. An opportunity to practice the intake, planning, and educational phases of nutritional consultation is provided. Students develop an individualized, nutritional healing protocol. (3 Credits)

NC 8 Course Objectives:

  • Define energy metabolism 
  • Discuss how ATP  is  uniquely suited as an energy source for cells
  • Discuss the regulation of energy balance and how energy intake and energy expenditure are estimated
  • Discuss the influence of growth, development and aging on nutritional requirements across the life span 
  • Define and classify the stages of illness
  • Detail nutritional needs associated with pregnancy
  • Summarize the common health conditions associated with each phase of the life cycle
  • Devise a nutritional support strategy to address weight management and fitness issues
  • Summarize the importance of cultural competence for health and nutrition professionals
  • Develop nutritional intervention strategies for all stages of the life cycle
  • Summarize and integrate a facilitator’s responsibilities for leading workshops, classes and counseling groups of individuals
  • Summarize the process of conducting a needs assessment for a target audience

Prior to enrolling in advanced level courses, students must have successfully completed all prior coursework and passed the midterm level exercise.

This course reviews the digestive system, consisting of organs and glands associated with ingestion, digestion and absorption of food and nutrients, and the elimination of solid wastes from the body. An overview of digestive and intestinal health and the challenges associated with proper digestion, absorption, and elimination required to gain optimal nutritional benefits from foods is presented. Gastrointestinal dysfunction and etiology caused by the disruption of these processes, as well as various assessments and laboratory procedures for evaluation of digestive dysfunction are reviewed. Health supporting nutritional protocols for several gastrointestinal conditions are discussed. (3 Credits)

NC 9 Course Objectives:

  • Identify the structure and functions of a healthy gastrointestinal tract 
  • Understand the importance and changes of the pH throughout the GI tract
  • Define enzymes, and their role in digestion
  • Explain Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Discuss malabsorption and related GI conditions
  • Summarize the role and importance of gut associated lymphatic tissue (GALT) to the immune system
  • List and compare the assessments used to identify the health status of the GI System
  • Propose a natural therapy protocol designed to restore balance to a selected Client

In this course we study in depth the physiology, function, and nutrient requirements of the liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, and the major organs of detoxification in the human body. Environmental toxins and their impact on health status are discussed. Assessment and related lab tests are presented. Students learn holistic, systemic cleansing and detoxification support options such as specific dietary and herbal protocols, juicing, fasting, hydrotherapy, and the use of saunas. (3 Credits)

NC 10 Course Objectives:

  • Describe the process of cellular detoxification 
  • Summarize the normal detoxification functions of all organs
  • Outline and summarize Phase 1 and 2 liver detoxification pathways 
  • Define the characteristics of various toxins, where they originate, and strategies to avoid exposure
  • Propose several strategies that support the natural detoxification abilities of the body
  • Prepare a sample regiment of nourishing foods, herbs and nutraceuticals to restore balance and health for a variety of sample cases 

This course explores the endocrine system's glands that act to regulate many of the body's physiological processes, the hormones and secretions they produce, and their impact on health. We explore the amazingly intricate interrelationship between the glands themselves, the nervous system, and the levels of various substances in the blood which govern the secretion of hormones by the endocrine system. Disease conditions resulting from or associated with endocrine dysfunction are discussed. This course emphasizes blood sugar regulation, stress and its effects on the endocrine system, stress management, diet, and nutrient support for healthy glandular function. Assessments and lab tests that reflect imbalances within the system are presented. Specific protocols which contribute to good health are developed. (3 Credits)

NC 11 Course Objectives:

  • Identify and understand the functions of the glands of the endocrine system
  • Understand the function of hormones associated with each gland 
  • Identify the hypo- and hyper- associated conditions specific to the thyroid and adrenal glands 
  • Indicate assessments and lab tests used to determine endocrine and glandular health 
  • Describe the body’s adaptation cycle in response to stress
  • Summarize stress reduction techniques and healing protocols for the endocrine system
  • Propose a holistic  healing protocol designed to restore balance to a selected client

As we explore the musculoskeletal system in this course, students learn the importance of, and how to maintain a strong and fit structural body composed of bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Diet and exercise strategies for various metabolic needs and activity levels are introduced. Health issues such as weight imbalance, injury, chronic pain, the inflammatory cascade, arthritis, osteoporosis, and sports nutrition are discussed. A number of complimentary healing modalities are presented as part of a supportive wellness protocol for individuals seeking to maintain or reclaim health of the musculoskeletal system. (3 Credits)

NC 12 Course Objectives:

  • Categorize and describe bone structure and function, the types of fractures and how they heal, and common bone, spine and joint disorders 
  • Categorize and describe the structure of muscles, how they contract, and their common injuries and disorders
  • Categorize and describe the chemicals involved in the inflammatory process 
  • Describe the inflammatory process and how connective tissue heals
  • Identify and describe the chemical pathways that contribute to pain 
  • Prepare a nutritional and natural healing protocols for musculoskeletal issues

This course explores the dynamics of the circulatory system composed of the heart and blood vessels (the cardiovascular system) and the lymphatic system. Heart disease, one of the major health issues in Western cultures, is discussed. Research is presented to demonstrate the impact of various diets and activity levels, as well as genetics, on the health of the circulatory system. Supportive diet, lifestyle, herbs, and supplements are introduced and healing protocols developed. We love teaching about heart health at Hawthorn. (3 Credits)

NC 13 Course Objectives:

  • Summarize the physiology and anatomy of the cardiovascular system
  • Identify and explain the key nutrients essential to heart health
  • List the contributing factors that lead to heart health disturbances
  • Describe atherosclerosis and diseases of the heart
  • List and compare the assessments and lab tests used to determine the level and status of cardiovascular health
  • Identify nourishing foods, herbs, nutraceuticals and lifestyle factors that restore balance and maintain health 

In this course students develop a thorough understanding of the immune system and the many factors that enhance or inhibit normal function. The impact of body systems, diet, lifestyle, chemical exposures, stress and, our mental attitude on the immune system are explored. Allergies, asthma, AIDS, and cancer prevention are discussed in depth. Students learn about the intricacies of immunity, how to enhance its function, and the use of various assessments and lab tests to diagnose dysfunction. Students practice developing appropriate diet, lifestyle, and supplement protocols for clients presenting with immune deficiency conditions. (3 Credits)

NC 14 Course Objectives:

  • List and describe the organs, cells, and chemical messengers of the immune system
  • Outline the details of innate and adaptive immune defenses 
  • Explain the inflammatory and immune responses
  • Explain how various infectious organisms trigger the key defenders of the immune system 
  • List, define and describe disorders of the immune system and respiratory systems and natural therapies to support immune modulation: Infections, food allergies, asthma, autoimmunity, HIV/AIDS and cancer 
  • Describe the function of the respiratory system 
  • Identify the two types of respiration and the role of each
  • Explain the impact of stress and the power of the mind to impact immunity
  • Explain autoimmunity and molecular mimicry
  • Describe the purpose and steps to implement the Comprehensive Elimination Diet 
  • Prepare nutritional and health supportive protocols for the immune system

This course presents the body's nervous system, an elaborate, interlaced network of sophisticated nerve cells including the brain and spinal cord, that adjusts to changes in internal and external environment. Discussion of the intricacies of the central nervous and peripheral nervous systems helps students distinguish between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves and their functions, and their effects on movement, coordination, and thought processes. Health conditions such as acute and chronic headaches, migraine headaches, epilepsy, dementia and Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and Multiple Sclerosis are explored. Students learn the etiologies of these conditions and the impact nutrition can have towards the prevention as well as the return to health that is possible when applying fundamental nutrition principles. (3 Credits)

NC 15 Course Objectives:

  • List and describe the functions of the various components of the brain and nervous system 
  • Summarize the role of the autonomic nervous system
  • Describe how the brain processes and stores information 
  • Explain how the senses provide the brain with information
  • Describe the brain-gastrointestinal connection and its importance to health 
  • Evaluate and summarize t he impact various foods have on mental health
  • Identify the role and effects of various types of fats on brain health
  • Assess elements that negatively impact the brain and how to protect and improve memory, mood and mental function
  • Summarize the role sleep has on mental wellness
  • Understand common neurological disorders
  • Prepare nutritional and supportive health protocols for selected clients

This course gives students the tools they need to take what they have learned about human physiology, anatomy, nutrients, menu planning, and healing protocols to support health and wellness and go into business. Step-by-step instruction is presented to support the student in growing a successful business. Personalized attention is given to guide the student in his or her area of interest. Organization, marketing, planning, and accounting are the focus of this course with students learning to work within the legal and professional scope of practice for a nutrition consultant. (3 Credits)

NC 16 Course Objectives:

  • Outline the functional aspects involved in setting up a business 
  • Describe and explain the legal and ethical parameters of running a nutrition practice 
  • Compare and contrast the marketing tools used to help promote a business
  • Identify the components of a business plan
  • Prepare a business plan that includes a mission, vision, and a strategic plan for long term growth
  • State reasons why it is important too participate in professional associations relevant to nutrition education
  • Summarize key elements for delivering effective presentations
  • Develop mass media educational materials and tools
  • Assess and implement ethical business practices 

The advanced level exercise is a required at the completion of all coursework and must be successfully passed prior to graduation.

Students choose a clinical topic of special interest to them and conduct an in-depth literature review from current scientifically based references and report on the clinical experiences of experts in the field of nutrition as it relates to their topic. Students interview their own clients, introduce health protocols, collect data over time, and report their outcome measures. Students write a seven to ten thousand word research report including case histories to demonstrate their understanding and application of information and research skills. Students work closely with their instructor during this process, receiving individual feedback, direction, and guidance. The art of oral presentation is discussed, including the use of PowerPoint, slide demonstration, visual aids, and crafting a useful handout. Students then create an outline, coordinate their research findings, develop a 30-60 minute lecture, and have the opportunity to share this information in a public setting. (4 Credits)

NC 17 Course Objectives:

  • Explain the scientific method for writing a research report or thesis 
  • Design, propose, and write a research thesis
  • Prepare a presentation to be delivered at a variety of public speaking venues
  • Suggest a strategy for sharing educational health information with a selected community 
  • Summarize the scientific aspects of nutrition in the context of your practice including the strategies and means of communicating with your clients

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