What is it?

In October of 2019, the Department of Nutrition was awarded a $2 million Post-baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (POHA) grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Dietitians and nutrition professionals around the country serve a very diverse population. However, approximately 91% of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are white females. The POHA-Denver grant housed within the Department of Nutrition focuses on encouraging students from diverse backgrounds and those with interest in serving diverse populations, to pursue post-baccalaureate study here at MSU Denver.

The POHA-Denver program here at MSU Denver aims to diversify the field of nutrition and dietetics through many avenues including:

  • Conducting outreach to students in high schools, community colleges and in baccalaureate programs
  • Providing financial support to help students navigate barriers to participating in post-baccalaureate degree programs
  • Hiring diverse support staff to fuel the grant efforts and to provide advising for current and prospective students
  • Offering financial-literacy training focusing on loan payback and budgeting
  • Development of regular seminars and an annual conference focused on diversity in dietetics and health care

The grant also aims to promote cultural intelligence among faculty, students, staff and practitioners in the field.