Two female individuals are featured in a kitchen setting while preparing a meal.


Fairmont, WV – Students in Pierpont Community and Technical College’s nutrition and dietetic technology program are utilizing the skills they have learned to provide educational resources and cooking classes to families in North Central West Virginia.

Students enrolled in the community nutrition course are tasked with developing a project addressing nutrition education needs in the area. They develop a needs assessment plan, define goals and objectives, plan and manage the program’s execution, and evaluate its effectiveness upon competition.

Throughout April, the group worked with Christian Help in Morgantown to provide several courses on shopping, purchasing, extending a food budget, and meal prepping and planning. The partnership culminated with a hands-on cooking class at Pierpont’s Culinary Academy focused on crafting healthy meals with simple ingredients and appliances found in most households. Participants were sent home with Instant Pots and Bundt pans to assist with meal preparation.

For nutrition and dietetic technology student, Crystal Kite, the opportunity to give back to her community is both gratifying and formative in shaping her career. “Being able to provide these resources while also making a difference is something that means a lot to me,” said Kite. “Many families are not informed, so seeing what they need and learning about [ways to help] is really rewarding. We spent the last two classes teaching nutrition, how to shop on a budget and use coupons, where to find affordable ingredients, and how to extend Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits throughout the month with smart shopping. The entire experience has given me perspective and helped me decide what I want to do in my career.”

Community education and engagement is an integral component of Pierpont’s nutrition and dietetic technology program, providing opportunities for students to impact communities across the Mountain State. In fall 2022, students in the program led a SNAP Challenge on Pierpont’s campus, which provided individuals insight into the struggles of millions of Americans to afford healthy meals. Participants were given a limited budget to craft balanced, nutritious meals and provided resources to assist in completing the challenge.

“Our students learn how to plan nutrition programs, whether in future employment settings or for community service projects,” said Nutrition and Dietetic Technology Program Coordinator Pam Hamilton. “They apply principles of nutrition education that ensure the concepts they teach are evidence-based and that funding and resources are utilized in the most cost-effective and efficient way.”

Graduates of Pierpont’s nutrition and dietetic technology program are eligible to sit for the Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered certifying exam. This allows them to work independently or in collaboration with registered dietician nutritionists in healthcare, community and public health settings, food service, research, and more. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Enrollment into Pierpont’s nutrition and dietetic technology program is currently open. Courses are available both in person and online. To learn more about the program, click here.