FAQ - Academic Questions

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What delivery model does Hawthorn use for its classes?

Students use online and collaborative technologies, discussion boards, and eawamail to communicate with instructors and other students. Hawthorn students are independent learners, who want programs that offer the flexibility of studying at their own pace and are inspired to build or expand careers in areas of natural health education, nutrition and wellness.


Is Hawthorn University accredited?

Hawthorn University has determined that the resources, energy, and time necessary to receive and maintain accreditation are substantial and detract us from our mission.  We believe strongly, at this time, that our efforts should remain focused on the quality of instruction, course content and dedicated to student satisfaction and success.

How will the courses be structured?

All courses are structured in a similar fashion.  Student request a course and gain access to “General Instructions” and a “Course Syllabus”.  All information is clearly detailed in the course syllabus.  Students are expected to proceed with the assignments and submit their work in a timely fashion.  Students are encouraged to post messages on the Hawthorn message boards for asynchronous discussion with other students and faculty. Students are also invited to ‘live’ weekly teleclasses and Webinars on current holistic nutrition topics which are archived and available for online viewing and listening at a later date. We also run occasional series of teleclass/Webinars on topics of interest to those engaged in the latter parts of their programs. 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.

In the Nutrition Consultant and the Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition programs, there is a graded oral conference where students may present questions regarding the course and receive feedback from their instructor.  Hawthorn offers both clinical and non-clinical study programs. The Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition (MSHN) and the Nutrition Consultant (NC) programs are designed for professionals who want to work one-on-one with individuals.

The Masters of Health and Nutrition Education (MHNE) is an independent study program designed to support professionals who seek knowledge in holistic health, wellness promotion, and nutrition education. Ostensibly, the purpose of this program is to  educate individuals who are more interested in teaching others than in pursuing an active clinical practice.  Students have access to instructor’s email and weekly office hours for phoned in questions. Students post to the Hawthorn message boards for asynchronous discussion. Students are also invited to Hawthorn’s ‘live’ weekly teleclasses and Webinars on current holistic nutrition topics.

Students purchase books and diet analysis software that comprise the basis of a professional library and are introduced to quality online sources of nutritional information. Students download their Hawthorn instructional materials from the website. After completing assigned textbooks readings, listening to the audio lectures, experiencing the practical activities, and submitting written assignments to an instructor, students take an online exam (every second course in the MHNE program) or complete a rigorous telephone conference (NC and MSHN programs) before progressing to the next course. Assignments are graded and returned to the student’s website with written feedback from the instructor.

What are the Hawthorn University instructors like?

Hawthorn instructors are trained professionals in the field of nutrition.  They come to us with a variety of backgrounds and expertise that adds richness and relevance to our programs.  You can see pictures and biographies of some of our instructors in our catalog.

How much interaction will I have with my instructors?

As an online student you control the amount of interaction you have with your instructor which may seem limited.  We currently suggest that learners check in monthly with their instructors via email. If you are able to proceed without contacting your instructor, we encourage you to do so.  However, your instructor is available to you on a weekly basis during office hours and is always available to you via email or through the message board.  You will have an opportunity to speak LIVE to your instructor if you are in a program that contains an oral conference (NC and MSHN).  Or if you are in the MHNE or DHNE programs, during your instructor's office hours. In addition, our weekly teleclasses are often attended by members of our faculty.  During those teleclasses, you may pose a question about the topic or simply listen to the seminar.

How will I communicate with my instructors?

Phone communication with your instructor can be done during their dedicated office hours.  You will be given the scheduled office hours for your instructor when you receive your syllabus.  You can communicate to your instructor via email at any time of the day or night.  Your instructor will typically respond to you within seventy-two (72) hours.

How much time will I need to study?

Students absorb materials differently.  Our experience indicates that approximately nine (9) to fifteen (15) hours of week is needed to read and respond to assignments.

Can I sample a learning activity?

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 currently working on numerous “Free Learning” opportunities, which will be offered SOLELY via our upcoming new learning platform.

What is the self-directed elective in the doctoral program?

Regarding the self-directed elective (DHNE 810), you choose the topic of this course. Students may opt to use this course to provide a basis for their Thesis.  The Doctoral Thesis Project, which is the culmination of your studies, could also be termed a dissertation.

How do I access my classes?

Enrolled students attain access to their courses via their Hawthorn student website. All information on how to access and work in the online environment is communicated during Orientation and is recorded for future reference.

Who do I contact when I have a question about a course?

Your instructor is available to answer any questions you have via email or during their scheduled office hours. 

What resources are available to students?

In addition to the intellectual resources of our professional faculty and staff, students have links to library resources that support their programs.  Students may access information on nutrition that is posted on the student website, retrieve pertinent information and news about the University, and see a current listing of career opportunities.  Technical support is also available should students experience problems.

Can I take courses without working towards a degree?

Students may opt to take one or two courses for their personal enrichment.  As such, these students will be accepted into the University as non-matriculated students and will pay for the course or courses that they take.

Can I take more than one course at a time?

At this time Hawthorn’s programs are designed for students to proceed at their own pace.  Each course is built upon the previous course and students generally take one course at a time.   Students can proceed through each course according to a pace that their personal circumstances dictate.

Can I be awarded credit for previous academic work or work experience?

Nutrition Consultant program - It is not possible to transfer previously earned credits into the Nutrition Consultant program.  Students entering Hawthorn's Nutrition Consultant program with prior education can accelerate through the first courses of the program since they may have some familiarity with the course concepts. At Hawthorn we are dedicated to providing comprehensive training in holistic nutrition. Our experience thus far has been that students with previous experience have greatly benefited from the review and deepening of concepts explored in the course courses.

Master of Science in Health and Nutrition Education Program - Hawthorn University does not accept transfer credits or award credit for prior experiential learning for this master’s degree program in Health and Nutrition Education

Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition - Students can transfer a maximum of eighteen (18) credits in the foundation level of this Master’s program.  Documentation of transfer credits is required. The University outlines the details about transfer credits in the catalog.

What is the difference between the two master’s programs?

The Masters of Health and Nutrition Education (MHNE) is an independent study program for individuals who want to become educators about the benefits of holistic nutrition. The Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition program (MSHN), like the Nutrition Consultant (NC) program, is a clinically based program for people who want to work one-to-one with individuals. These programs are supervised by an instructor.

Graduates of all of these programs are eligible to sit for the HNCB national exam being put forward by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. (www.nanp.org)

What is the difference between the Nutrition Consulting program and the Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition?

Although the credit requirements are different, the Nutrition Consultant and the Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition are similar; they both present a strong foundation in nutritional sciences, human systems are studied and clinical practice is emphasized. Graduates of both programs are certified as Nutrition Consultants. Students may enroll in the NC program with a high school diploma.  A bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for enrolling in the master’s program and certainly a master’s degree is a stronger credential then a certificate.

 

How long will it take to complete a program?

When students enroll in a program of study they determine a study track and set a goal of how long they intend to take to complete their course of studies.

 

Nutrition Consultant - The Nutrition Consultant curriculum consists of seventeen (17) courses. Current graduates averaged thirty-one (31) months to complete the program. Students are allowed a maximum number of months to complete the program.

 

Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition - Full-time students may complete the program in twelve (12) months. Students are allowed a maximum of forty-three (43) months to complete the program. If students require more than forty-three (43) months to complete the program, they may petition for additional time. Students must submit assignments and complete a course every two months for three (3) credits courses, three months for four (4) credit courses, and 4 months for the six (6) credit course. However, if the student completes and submits assignments for each course in less than the minimum requirements, he or she may complete the program in less time.

 

Master of Science in Health and Nutrition Education - Current graduates have, on average, completed this 1,665 hour program in thirteen (13) months. Students must submit assignments and complete a course every two months for three (3) credits courses and three months for four (4) credit courses.

 

Doctor of Science in Holistic Nutrition - Full-time students may complete the Doctor of Science in Holistic Nutrition program in twenty-four (24) months. Students are allowed a maximum of forty-three (43) months to complete the program. If students require more than 43 months to complete the program, they may petition for additional time.

 

Why did the doctoral designation change from an Ed.D. to a D.Sc. degree”

Hawthorn University recognized our doctoral program as being rich in the "science of nutrition" and that a D.Sc. designation was far more appropriate.  A Doctor of Science designation is, in fact, more in line with the program goals and objectives.  Students who graduate from this program are educated for employment in many areas including education. 

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