FAQ - General Questions

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Where is Hawthorn University located?

Hawthorn University has offices in California, New York, and Florida.  However, all classes are conducted entirely online.  There is no residency requirement to complete any of Hawthorn’s programs.


Will I have to come on campus to complete any of my degree requirements?

All classes are conducted online.  There is no residency requirement.  Students are able to interact with their instructors via phone and email.  Students have access to faculty and fellow students via email, teleconference Webinar classes, and our message boards. Study buddies and study groups are possible and encouraged for students who are looking for an interactive school experience.  Chat rooms will be developed in the future as we expand our current learning platform.


Why should I choose Hawthorn University instead of another online school?

It is important to carefully review and select the school that most suits your needs. Hawthorn University is unique in its approach and curriculum. The curriculum is current and scientific. The programs offered at Hawthorn are recommended by The National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP.) The philosophical foundation of our program is an understanding of the biochemical uniqueness of each individual. For that reason a single dietary or supplemental approach will not serve everyone. For a nutrition professional to make appropriate and informed recommendations to help achieve balance and for wellness to occur for the client, one must understand and take into consideration the many factors that may be contributing to a client's health status or imbalance.


The programs at Hawthorn University are designed to support the student to gain the knowledge and skills needed to become a qualified nutrition practitioner.  At Hawthorn University every student is taught by a credentialed professional in the field of holistic nutrition.  As a Hawthorn student, your instructor will support and guide you individually to help you achieve your specific career goals.

You will “Learn more at Hawthorn” as our tagline says..  Graduates from Hawthorn University receive training in the nutritional sciences and are taught to respect the concept of biochemical individuality while emphasizing whole organic foods.

On our website, www.hawthornuniversity.org you will find complete information about all of Hawthorn University’s programs. It is our mission to provide comprehensive and personalized professional holistic nutrition education through distance learning.  We pride ourselves on the depth of the scientific knowledge, a holistic educational experience, delivered at a distance and with the flexibility to work with your current professional schedule.  Our pricing and pay-per-course option make us an affordable option.

We receive very strong feedback from our students and graduates that Hawthorn University is the best choice for postgraduate education in holistic nutrition.  We offer the combination of a science-based education with an experiential component that grounds the application of holistic nutritional concepts.

We have recently applied for national accreditation from the Distance Education Training Council (www.detc.org ), an accrediting agency for online and distance learning programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. We are still in the accreditation process but have received glowing reports thus far from the DETC.

On the Hawthorn University website, in the free learning tab, you can watch some of the live weekly teleclasses and Webinars on current holistic nutrition topics that our current students enjoy, which may help you decide to choose Hawthorn University.


What is online learning like?

Students who do not have the time or schedule suitable to sit for and attend classes in a traditional on-campus setting are candidates for online learning.  Online classes usually entail a time commitment of 9-15 hours per week, but these hours are more flexible in a distance learning environment than at a traditional institution. At Hawthorn University students enroll in classes and proceed at their own pace (within certain parameters) through their assignments.  One of the greatest benefits of online education is the convenience that it offers. Online learning allows you to access instruction at any time and from anywhere. Set your own schedule, progress through the program at your own pace, and study in the comfort of your home or office or anywhere that you have an Internet connection. Course materials are presented online in a variety of forms accommodating your own unique learning style. Our future learning platform will enable you to interact frequently with your instructors and peer learners.


How will I know if I can succeed in an online environment?

Lifestyles play a big role in the success of online learners. Successful online students are self-directed and motivated to reach their educational goals.  Students should be comfortable with computers, use email, computer software, and the Internet.  Since most of the “learning” takes place through assignments and readings, students should have good time management skills and the ambition to read and write through their studies.  It is important that students be able to stay on task and work independently.  Faculty are available during office hours to answer questions and certainly many questions can be answered via email communications.


What exactly is holistic nutrition?

Holistic nutrition is a general term describing a perspective on health and healing that considers all aspects of one’s life in creating a total state of health. A holistic practitioner will assist their clients in the process of self-healing. Hawthorn teaches the principles of holistic nutrition in on-line degree and certificate programs. If your intention is to work in private practice with individuals who have health concerns, you need an education that provides significant clinical training and professional guidance.  Our clinical Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition program provides the expertise of a practicing professional, mediated by an asynchronous learning environment wherein you “learn by doing”.  Professionals must be adequately trained and qualified to practice in the health field. A self-confident, well- trained professional will engender consumer confidence. Our educational programs provide guidance and direction regarding legal and practical business procedures so graduates are ready to operate a business for themselves or work with others in clinical practice.


Can I become a registered dietician after completing a program at Hawthorn?

No, registered dieticians (RD) attend a four-year program, complete a supervised practice program of six to twelve months, and sit for a qualifying exam to achieve the title of registered dietician. RDs are governed by the American Dietetics Association. An RD's practice is based on the government model of the Food Pyramid and RDA recommendations.  Registered Dieticians are licensed.


Nutrition Consulting is not a licensed field in most states at this time. There are a number of titles for professional nutritionists that largely depend on the training they received and the state where the practice is located. At Hawthorn University we are licensed by the State of California to confer degrees and certify graduates as Nutrition Consultants.

Students and graduates are responsible for verification of any legal requirements within their own home states/countries.


Your literature refers to “health products” What does this mean?

During the course of study students are introduced to supplements and their use in the field. Learning about the best supplements to recommend to clients is a benefit to nutrition professionals. There are a number of professional supplement lines that are sold directly to health practitioners to use in their clinical practice. Hawthorn University courses make references to various nutraueutical product providers and/or suppliers, but make no guarantee or warrantee as to their products and/or services. We are firmly dedicated to the use of holistic products but the act of mentioning them in any of our course materials does not imply that we globally endorse any product or service.


Would my Hawthorn degree be valid in another country or in another state?

Hawthorn University is licensed by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education. Hawthorn’s programs are recommended by The National Association of Nutrition Professionals which is currently working to develop a US nationwide credential and certifying exam. (http://www.nanp.org/) The HNCB (Holistic Nutrition Credential Board) test has been developed and beta tested and received a trademark for their certification (“Certified in Holistic Nutrition” CHN).

Regarding the validity of your degree in another country or state, we suggest that you look up the relevant legislation in your country or state and search for ‘Nutrition Consultant’ to familiarize yourself with the laws pertaining to the practice of nutrition in your locale.


Do I have to live in the United States to enroll in Hawthorn University?

Since Hawthorn University conducts all its business and course delivery in an online format, you may join our current students in the pursuit of your educational goals regardless of your location.  Communication to students is done primarily via email, or in the case of our NC and MSHN programs, via telephone conference.  If you cannot attend teleclasses, they are conveniently archived for you to access at your convenience.  For NC and MSHN students; your oral conferences can be scheduled at a time that is mutually agreed on between you and your instructor.  Any questions you may have throughout your studies may be emailed to your instructor or, if the questions are not related to your coursework, to a member of Hawthorn’s staff.  For our email directory please visit our website: http://hawthornuniversity.org and click on the Contact Us menu link.


Can I find out what students say about their experience at Hawthorn?

You can look through the catalog and read testimonials from students who are or who have attended Hawthorn University.  We survey our students fairly regularly and have received excellent feedback concerning their satisfaction with their courses and programs.


Can I experience what a class will be like?

You can sample some of the archived teleclasses by going to our home page www.hawthornuniversity.org and clicking on the “free learning” tab. From there you can select teleclasses. The drop down menu gives you a large sampling of Hawthorn’s teleclasses and Webinars. We are working on providing a sample class, complete with assignments, but do not expect to have this completed until early 2009.


Where do I get help if needed? 

There is a list of email addresses accessible on our website.  If you want questions answered from admissions to technical support, simply email the appropriate person and you will get a response within twenty-four (24) hours.  Once you are enrolled in a course/program, you will have the email address of your instructor who can be contacted at any time.  There is also a message board available to enrolled students where questions and requests for information can be posted.  Our message boards are very active and communication regarding your question will be promptly answered.

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