About Our Programs


The Nutrition & Foods Department

Mission Statement

The Nutrition & Foods Department’s mission is to provide students with supportive, contemporary, and experiential learning experiences that prepare them for transfer to universities for baccalaureate degree completion or for entry-level careers in nutrition and foods where they can make a significant impact on society.

The Nutrition and Foods Programs prepare students to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the scientific method is used to evaluate diet and foods.
  • Apply nutritional concepts in the planning of meals and the preparation of food.
  • Explain nutrient needs and how diet and lifestyle choices impact health.
  • Differentiate between proper and improper food safety and sanitation techniques.
  • Determine the correct preparation methods and assess the quality of a wide variety of foods.
  • Develop foundational knowledge and skills needed to pursue post-secondary degrees in nutrition and dietetics or to gain entry-level positions in nutrition and foods.

Learn About Our Degree and Certificate Options

Contact a STEM Counselor for personalized guidance on the best path that meets your goals and needs for a career in nutrition, foods, and dietetics.

Button for Nutrition and Dietetics Associate in Science Degree for Transfer
Button for Nutrition and Foods Associate in Arts Degree
Nutrition and Foods Dietary Manager Certificate Program Button
Nutrition and Foods Certificate Program Button

Discover the Degree or Certificate Pathway that Works for You

Use our program mapper to explore the degree or certificate pathways available to you! Learn about the salary, job growth, and career options associated with your degree or certificate pathway of interest. Get an idea of the course pathway you could take to complete each degree or certificate option, too! Contact a STEM Counselor for personalized guidance on the best path that meets your goals and needs for a career in nutrition, foods, and dietetics.

Nutrition & Foods AST Degree Program Mapper
Nutrition & Foods Associate in Arts Degree Program Mapper Button
Dietary Manager Certificate Program Mapper Button
Nutrition & Foods Certificate Program Mapper Button

Explore Our Nutrition and Foods Courses

Button for Nutrition Courses
Button for Foods Courses

Dietary Manager Certificate Program

The Dietary Manager Certificate Program is a credit certificate program that prepares students to earn the Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP) credential. CDM, CFPPs collaborate with Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) to provide quality nutrition care and manage foodservice operations in healthcare settings, such as nursing homes, long-term care facilities, senior living communities, and hospitals.  The required courses provide students with fundamental knowledge, skills, and experience in nutrition, food safety and sanitation, foodservice management, and operations management. A 2022 survey conducted by the ANFP reported that the average salary for CDM, CFPPs in the LA and Orange County region is $80,679. Complete the CDM, CFPP Career Assessment Tool to see if becoming a CDM, CFPP is the right fit for you!

Program Admission

To enroll in the program, applicants must have a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and must submit a Fullerton College application. Students are advised to contact a STEM Counselor upon admission.

Program Requirements

The program includes in-person, hybrid, and online course options that can be completed in as little as two semesters for full-time students!  In order to complete the program, students must finish a total of 16 units that includes classroom hours and 180-225 appropriately precepted field experience hours. A grade of C or better is required in each course taken and students must meet all required competencies for successful program completion. Students should begin the course sequence in the fall semester.

Once students have completed the Dietary Manager Certificate requirements and are ready to apply for the certificate, they need to complete the Dietary Manager Certificate Application, and submit the completed application and unofficial transcripts to the Program Director Rita Higgins and Natural Sciences Division Office. Dietary Manager Certificate Program graduates will be eligible for the CDM credentialing exam offered through the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM).  To earn the CDM, CFPP credential, students will need to pass the CDM credentialing exam. For additional information about the requirements for exam eligibility, click here.

Learn the Top 10 Tips for a Student to Become a Successful CDM, CFPP!

Program Tuition/Fees and Other Costs

Resident students can expect to spend approximately $736 on tuition and $53 on fees. Required course textbooks will cost approximately $265 to $400. Additional costs, such as travel and attire for field experiences, may be required. Financial aid may be available. Information on financial aid is available through the Office of Financial Aid.


Fullerton College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, 331 J Street, Suite 200 I Sacramento, CA 95814. (415) 506-0234.

Withdrawal and Refunds

Students must drop/withdraw from classes by the appropriate deadlines through MyGateway. Admissions and Records provides information on withdrawal policies and refunds.

Academic Calendar

The Fullerton College academic calendar will be followed.

Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals Membership

Students are eligible for ANFP Pre-Professional Membership and graduates of the Dietary Manager Program are eligible for the ANFP Professional Membership.

Watch the video below to learn more about the various career options for CDM, CFPPs from the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals.

Apply for your Nutrition and Foods Certificate

If you have completed the Nutrition and Foods Certificate requirements and are ready to apply for the certificate, please download the application here. Complete the application, and submit the completed application and your unofficial transcripts to the Natural Sciences Division Office.

Meet the Nutrition and Foods Faculty

Photo of Professor Rita Higgins

Rita K. Higgins, MPH, RDN

Professor of Nutrition and Foods, Dietary Manager Program Director

Phone: (714) 992-7466

Office: 411-06

E-mail: rhiggins@fullcoll.edu

Website: staff.fullcoll.edu/rhiggins

Professor Michelle Loy

Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RDN

Professor of Nutrition and Foods

Phone: (714) 992-7464

Office: 1412-01

E-mail: mloy@fullcoll.edu

Website: staff.fullcoll.edu/mloy

Professor Kristy Richardson

Kristy L. Richardson, MS, MPH, RDN, CSSD

Professor of Nutrition and Foods

Phone: (714) 992-7440

Office: 411-06

E-mail: krichardson@fullcoll.edu

Website: staff.fullcoll.edu/krichardson


Join the Nutrition Club

5 Reasons to Join Nutrition Club!

  • Explore career options when active professionals in the field of nutrition and foods speak at our bi-monthly meetings.
  • Build community with like-minded peers who can become your study buddies or even your closest friends.
  • Develop leadership skills by volunteering for officer positions.
  • Expand your network with peers, mentors, and active professionals who may offer connections to helpful resources or career and academic guidance.
  • Participate in campus events and other service experiences in the community.

Co-Advisors: Kristy Richardson & Michelle Loy

Membership dues: $5/semester

E-mail: fcnutritionclub@gmail.com