Northeast's Online Nutrition Program Delivers Expert Skills, Provides Balance for Midwest Health Professional, Mom
Meet Laura Devine (MSACN '21)
Hometown: Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Undergraduate degree: bachelor's degree in physiology, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
It had been nearly twenty years since Laura Devine graduated with a bachelor's degree in physiology. The working mom, a holistic health practitioner at Oasis Chiropractic in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, was looking for something more to be able to give her clients the best possible care.
"I needed a better base on nutrition and a better grasp of the biochemistry to think analytically about the best way to help each client," she says. She also hoped to sit for Minnesota's CNS (Certified Nutrition Specialist) exam to become a licensed nutritionist in her home state.
When she began looking for a master's program, though, a college in upstate New York was the farthest thing from her mind -- at first. Then she began asking questions. "I asked several friends in the field where I should get my master's degree and what school would be the best at preparing me for the CNS exam, and they all said the same thing: Northeast!" noted Devine. "The professors are amazing, and they are the true key to making this program successful, in my opinion."
It was the right decision. With Northeast's fully online master's program in applied clinical nutrition (MSACN), she was able to take courses at a pace that was comfortable for her. "I needed flexibility that would allow me to juggle schoolwork, working full-time, and being a full-time mom all at once," Devine says.
Devine says online learning at Northeast is very do-able, with the same benefits that an in-person student would receive. Her advice to others considering an online degree: "I recommend planning ahead and staying organized. Reach out to fellow classmates and professors anytime you are struggling. You are not alone."
I would definitely rate my experience at Northeast College an 'A.' It truly was everything I wanted out of the program. I'm so glad I waited until this point of my life as I have a whole different appreciation for school in my 40s compared to my 20s.
Quick questions with Northeast MSACN graduate Laura Devine
Who are some of the instructors you've worked with who have influenced you?
My first experience with Northeast College was a phone interview with Dr. Peter Nickless, then-director of the program. I remember getting off that call knowing I chose the right place! Dr. Ilija Arar was one of my most memorable professors as his lectures were amazing, fun, and so easy to understand. He is not just an expert in the field, but someone who has a true love and gift for teaching, and the ability to do it extremely well via an online format. Lastly, Dr. Matthew Zdilla is a wealth of knowledge and makes the crazy-confusing world of biochemistry seem fun and easy to understand -- and I appreciate his sense of humor. He knows the material so well and it shows; it's like having my own tutor sitting next to me at each lecture -- I loved it!
Why does nutrition appeal to you?
Being in the health and wellness field for over 20 years, my purpose has always been to help as many people as possible experience true, optimal health.
What was hardest about coming back to school?
The most challenging piece for me was going back to school almost 20 years after I graduated from undergrad. Finding that balance between work, being a mom, and school took a little time, but I was really thankful for the online learning format so I could do the homework at my convenience.
What else should we know about you?
I look forward to applying all I have learned through this program to help a ton of people experience true, optimal health. I am a proud graduate of Northeast!