Digication Scholars Conversations

In this episode of the Digication Scholars Conversations, host Kelly Driscoll interviews Amy Urbanus, Assistant Professor in the Dietetics and Nutrition Program at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).

They discuss Amy's journey to teaching at UAA and her experiences in dietetics. They also touch on using ePortfolios in their program and how it helped with their recent accreditation process.

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The acronym ACEND stands for Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

What is Digication Scholars Conversations?

Digication Scholars Conversations...

Welcome to Digication
Scholars Conversations.

I'm your host, Kelly Driscoll.

In this episode, you'll hear part one
of my conversation with Amy Urbanus,

Assistant Professor in the Dietetics
and Nutrition Program at University

of Alaska Anchorage's School of
Preventative and Therapeutic Services.

More links and information about today's
conversation can be found on Digication's

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Full episodes of Digication Scholars
Conversations can be found on

YouTube or your favorite podcast app.

Welcome to Digication
Scholars Conversations.

I'm your host, Kelli Driscoll, and
today I am so pleased to introduce

Amy Urbanus, assistant Professor in
the Dietetics and Nutrition Program at

University of Alaska Anchorage's School
of Preventative and Therapeutic Services.

Welcome, Amy!

Thank you so much for having me.


So, Amy, I just, you know, I always kind
of like to ask how people came to the

institutions where they're teaching today.

And I think especially with
University of Alaska Anchorage that

there's probably a story there.

So could you tell us about your journey?



How you came to where you are today?


Yeah, definitely.

I was not born and raised in Alaska.

So, um, I am originally
from Des Moines, Iowa.

Uh, so I am a Midwestern baby and, uh,
got my undergraduate degree in Colorado at

Colorado State University a long time ago.

I won't tell you when.

Uh, and you know, I love the mountains.

I kept That's sort of moving west.

Um, I, after graduation with my
undergraduate degree, I decided

I did not want to be a dietitian,
which is kind of comical that here I

am, uh, teaching future dietitians.

Um, but I moved back to the Midwest.

I always say I gave it the good,
honest Midwest try, um, and

lived there and worked with a
registered dietitian for a year.

Um, In a employee wellness program,
um, so for your viewers who know the

Midwest, I did employee wellness for
Hy Vee grocery stores, which covers a

seven state range, uh, in the Midwest.

And it was then that I realized like,
Oh, like this lady's got it going on.

Like she's running this program.

She's doing all these amazing things.

Maybe being a registered dietitian.

Would not be so bad.

Um, so I kept working for her and this
is employee wellness kind of when it

was on Like the forefront of employee
wellness like this wasn't happening yet

Um, because it was in the 90s right, um
And this entirely was not talked about not

so much It was very kind of so the fact
that we were counseling employees at these

grocery stores Um was was a pretty...

pretty cool thing, actually.

Um, anyway, so, but I was still plugging
along in Iowa and my roommate from

Colorado State grew up in Kodiak, Alaska,
and she had since moved back to Anchorage,

um, and told me I would love it.

And so I packed up my little Subaru
and drove, I don't know, five or six

days up the Alcan and came to Alaska.

And my first job, I got a job, I
actually interviewed on the road.

Uh, somewhere in the Yukon, um, for,
I worked for RurAL CAP, which is

Rural Alaska Community Action Program.

And so I worked for their early Head
Start and Head Start programs, uh, and

within like three weeks, I was on this
little, uh, bush plane with duct tape,

kind of scary, but I was flying out
into these rural communities in Western

Alaska, um, totally had, you know, all
of my Prior teachings of what I was

supposed to do were just wiped out.

I was just totally fell in love with
Alaska, um, and the Alaska Native

population, uh, and worked out there.

And then I decided, hey, I really
should do my dietetic internship, get

my graduate certificate and move on
to becoming a registered dietitian.

So, uh, the University of Alaska Anchorage
had a dietetic internship program.

Um, so I did my internship here.

I was one of five students that year.

Um, we did not have an undergraduate,
uh, didactic program in dietetics at

that time, just the internship component.

Um, and so I, you know, became a
registered dietitian, got a job, met a

guy, uh, you know, and, you know, swore
I was looking for jobs back in Colorado.

But I always say, you know, Three kids
later and a house and some chickens

and dogs and all the rest of it.

I'm still in Alaska.

Um, so this is way more
story than you probably want.

Oh, I love it.

I love it.

But so I then spent probably, I think I
spent 18 years, um, Mostly, I did work at,

uh, the Alaska Native Hospital a little
bit with South Central Foundation, uh,

there, but, uh, quickly moved over to,
uh, Providence Alaska Medical Center,

uh, and did, uh, about eight years or
ten years in outpatient counseling, uh,

primarily focused in diabetes education,
um, and outpatient nutrition counseling,

um, and then moved into the acute care
side and for Eight years was a diabetes

specialist, um, working with glycemia
management and diabetes care and, uh, for,

uh, patients admitted to the hospital.

Um, and the didact, the director
of the undergraduate program at the

time, I'd known her for, here at UAA,
I'd known her for a very long time.

Um, and, um, Kept asking me, like, when
are you going to come teach with us?

When are you going to come teach with us?

I'd been an adjunct instructor for a
lot of years, um, and I love teaching.

And so I took a, I took a
leap and left my dream job.

I always say my diabetes specialist
job was my dream job, um, and left

that and came to UAA five years ago.

So this is my sixth year, um,
as full time faculty, uh, here

at the University, uh, and.

Yeah, it's been, it's been a wild ride,
and great, and super fun to dive into a

whole, you know, I felt like I was young
enough that I had another career left in

me, um, so, yeah, so that's how I'm here.

Ah, that's such a great story,
and it sounds like you're somebody

who's, uh, quite comfortable
taking, taking leaps, so.

Uh, you mentioned that, uh, I think
it was your past roommate, um, that

was from Kodiak and thought that
you would love it in Alaska and

you, you packed up your Subaru.

I think you said, um, I used
to have one of those too.

Fun car.

Um, so had you been to Alaska before,
before you packed up and, you know,

So do you remember some of your
first impressions when you arrived?


So, uh, for any of your viewers that have
ever driven the Alcan, um, it's beautiful.

And I came up in the end of August.

So in the Yukon territory, in
the interior, it's beautiful.

It was fall.

So, uh, so the, the first thing really
is just you're out in the middle of

nowhere or it felt for me at the time
that I was out in the middle of nowhere

and just all of these fall colors
and it was super, super gorgeous.

Um, coming into Anchorage actually
when you, uh, you actually drive

through a town called Palmer, which
is one of our, uh, more of our

agriculture Titan communities here.

Um, which is amazing and still some of
my favorite views of these mountains that

you, that you view when you drive in.

Um, and I was like, Oh my
gosh, this is so amazing.

And then I quickly hit, uh,
what we would consider to not be

the greatest part of Anchorage.

Um, And, you know, all of a sudden
I was like, Oh, this is Anchorage.

And I was petrified.

I had a, yes, I had a total panic
attack, you know, as I'm driving

by, like, you know, strip clubs.

I'm just like, Oh my gosh, what did I do?

And Anchorage is a, you know,
it's a, it's a Western city.

It's, it's, it's very mixed and, um,
you You know, it's not a huge city.

Um, and so, yeah, so that was
one of my, my initial reactions.

Obviously, you know, there, there's a
lot of beautiful parts of Anchorage.

The other thing that really got me
is when you watch the news, at least

when you used to watch local TV.

Before streaming.

So, um, I remember watching the news.

I'm in this hotel room.

I haven't moved into an apartment yet.

I just got here and when they do the
weather up here, they do the lower 48.

So they'll talk about everything
that's going on, you know, in the

lower 48 and then they take the
globe and they like rotate it.

So you like come up and here at home
and I burst into tears because I

was like, I'm so far away from home.

Like I had, that's when
it actually hit me.

Not the drive, not the week long
drive, but the, Oh my heavens.

Like they had to rotate
the earth to show Alaska.

Um, so that was one of my other
biggest, you know, kind of, Oh my gosh.

Um, but you know, obviously
I'm still here in 2023.

So things, things worked out okay.

Yeah, it sounds like it.

Um, and it is remarkable.

I've had the incredible
opportunity to visit Anchorage.

Uh, definitely need to give a shout out
to Paul Wasco, the ePortfolio Coordinator

at University of Alaska Anchorage, um,
because he has just been such a Wonderful

connector, um, between, uh, Jeff Yan,
uh, Digication's co founder and CEO and

myself with the UAA community there.

And we had this incredible, um,
opportunity to, you know, now visit

the campus several times and It
was so striking to me how Anchorage

is, you know, very much a city.

How quickly you can really feel
completely remote and in, you

know, fully immersed in the city.

And different kinds of experiences,
whether you're seeing glaciers or,

you know, we joke about moose spotting
on, before you've seen one, you really

don't know how big they really are.

They're very big.

Yeah, and I remember on one of our
early visits, it was springtime

there and seeing, you know, different
flowers that were growing there

that I'd never seen in the lower 48.

Yeah, I've lived in New England and the
Southeast and in, um, the, you know,

more like Northern California area, and
it was just really, um, so fun to see

all of the, uh, Different variety of
plants and animals and scenery there.

And of course, just this like
constant view of the mountains.

So as someone that loved the mountains,
that probably, even when you had that

moment where you felt a little hard to
rotate, you know, to see the weather.

I hope also is kind of offering
you a little bit of feeling of.

You know, connection.

Um, so thank you.

Thank you so much for sharing that.

Uh, and you were also mentioning
another leap that you made where, you

know, you described that you'd found
your, your dream job, um, but then,

uh, did make this, uh, transition into
teaching in Higher Ed and it's, was

it the kind of community that you had
started to connect with at UAA that.

You think kind of solidified that decision
or were there elements about some of

your, you know, prior teaching practice
that kind of led you in that direction?

What do you feel like might
have been that kind of...

you know, I think it, it was kind of
a, Kind of a lot of different things.

I think, you know, so I'm a little bit of
a, even though I've lived in Alaska for

a long time, I always kind of describe
myself as a little bit of a change junkie.

Like, I'm kind of always
like, what's next?

What's the next challenge?

What's going to be the next, um, you
know, I remember like after I had my third

child, I am like, okay, like got married,
had baby one, two, three, like now what?

You know, like I had that feeling
like, okay, let's go to PA

school, you know, or something,
whatever I was doing at the time.

Um, And so, you know, I'd been
doing, I'd been in that position

for eight years and, um, I think the
thing that always kind of, I found

myself in that role teaching a lot.

So one of my main, so I
did patient education.

So I did diabetes education for patients.

Um, Which, it seems to a lot
of people, they're like, Oh,

don't you get tired of diabetes?

And I'm like, No, because my role here
is really to be like an investigator

and a problem solver and figure out.

So different for why?


So every person is so different.

No two people are the same.

I always call diabetes a designer disease.

It's very personalized.

And so, built this rapport with the
physicians and nursing staff and pharmacy

and, you know, kind of was really a.

I felt like a, an integral member
of a, an interdisciplinary team

where I would interview my patients
and really try to figure out, you

know, what is it that got you here?

And so let's, let's figure out the
barriers and let's figure out why,

how it is that you have found yourself
in the hospital and then, you know,

see if I can't help coordinate
that care and transition you to the

outpatient world and, and all of that.

So the interdisciplinary aspect
was really important to me.

And another big part of my role
was to build a glycemia management

program within the hospital, um,
and kind of lead that charge.

And what that really means is
getting physicians, nurses, techs,

pharmacists, to all understand each
other and speak the same language.

Um, and I love that.

I mean, pharmacists are different,
totally different than nurses.

Like nurses, I mean, they have to like
think on the fly and then pharmacy

would be all upset because they're
very, not all pharmacists, but some

are like very linear and like, you
know, well, but why would they do that?

They can't do that.

And I'm like, well, they did
that because of this, you know?

And then the physicians are
doing something different.

And so I found myself doing a lot
of presentations and education,

and I would let physicians or
different people, uh, follow with

me and, um, you know, round with me.

And we were, you know, I had
the, The advantage of really

hyper focusing on one condition.

So I felt like I could
get really good at that.

Um, where other providers and things
don't have that advantage, right?

They have to be experts and
so many different things.

So I found myself educating a lot and,
um, And so not just patient education,

but then also professional education.

So I think I liked that.

I found that really awesome and
interesting, um, and rewarding, I guess.

Um, and so when this became available,
you know, this position at UAA, it

kind of married those things for me.

Um, So, it's obviously higher education,
so I'm teaching students, you know, at a

higher, obviously, like at a higher level.

Um, I have the fortunate, I'm totally
fortunate to be able to teach in the

undergraduate and the graduate program,
so it, it really, You know, I have a

lot of variety in my student population.

I am in charge of advising.

I knew I was going to be in charge
of advising for our program.

And I've been told I spend
way too long with my students.

Um, I remember my coworker whose office
is next to me, she came after I'd had

like my, I don't know, like my fifth
advising session in my first year, she

comes around, she's like, you're not
going to spend an hour with each person.

Are you?

She's like, you're never
going to get anything done.

And I was like, Oh, I was like, I
was like, okay, well, I like this.

Like it felt like counseling.

So, uh, so it, it utilized my counseling
skills, um, to where, you know, so

when we talk about, I know we'll
talk about portfolios, but when we

talk about like, You know, student
success and all of that kind of

stuff, like that felt like good to me.

So I really enjoy the
advising aspect of things.

Um, and yeah, and then it was just,
you know, it was like, why not?

Um, you know, I, like I said, I
felt like I had another, You know, I

kind of had like my first 20 years.

Um, it was like, okay, well, am I
going to do this for the next 20 or,

or 15 or however long I end up working?

I don't know.

Um, you know, or is there, there's
something I had, I felt like I

had enough time to be Good at
something else, I guess, like

develop and grow professionally.

Um, I will tell people that that
first year that I worked full

time as faculty, um, was, I hadn't
worked that hard in a long time.

Uh, and so just everything, you
know, was just so brand new, a whole

different system and everything.

This past summer though,
I'm super was super happy.

I took a position as a PRN per diem,
Clinical Dietician back at the same

hospital, um, and to kind of make
sure my skills were, you know, current

and accurate, and I had so much fun.

I, I really do miss the, um, there is a
culture in a hospital, um, and a very,

it's a very social, uh, environment.

Um, and so.

Yeah, so I, there are, there are
elements to that that I definitely

miss, but this has been good.


Well, and what an incredible kind of
experience and, you know, in all of

those different areas for you to be able
to bring to your students now, too, you

know, even the element of the Things
about that that you miss because you're

able to kind of pull from that when
you're communicating with your students

and advocating for them and Um, helping
guide them through the advising, you

know, how lucky those students are to
have somebody that, that committed to the,

the field and also to, to their success.

Um, now I know one of your recent
challenges as someone who said

that they, you know, are kind
of looking to, to do new things.

Um, Was the recent kind of accreditation,
uh, within dietetics and, uh, could

you share with us a little bit what,
what that was like and, um, maybe

at a high level, how Digication may
have supported some of those efforts?

Oh, for sure.

So, um, so a part of my role here
as assistant professor is I also

this, uh, This other faculty member
that recruited me, I didn't know

that she was moving up the ladder.

Um, so she was, she's a very good
friend of mine, uh, but she was the

director of our didactic program in
dietetics, uh, which is our Bachelor

of Science degree in dietetics.

And, um, So, in my second semester of
teaching, I became the director of our,

of our program, which means that, um, that
in addition to those other things, I'm

really in charge of outside accreditation.

So, we are accredited by an
organization called ACEND.

Um, I couldn't tell you what it
stands for, Accreditation Council for

Dietetics Education, I don't know.


That sounds, that's so terrible.

I should have it written
down here somewhere.

No, we all have.

You know, I'll have to try to
memorize so many different acronyms.

Yeah, they are crediting body
and our, um, our larger body.

So, uh, so would they
accredit our program?

So we're accredited as a didactic program
in dietetics, um, which essentially is

Just the undergraduate portion, when
the student completes that, they're

eligible, uh, they receive what we call
a verification statement in addition

to their degree, um, and it allows
them to move into graduate education,

another accredited program where they do
supervise practice or those internship

hours, uh, that a lot of programs have,
um, and then are able to sit for the

registered dietitian nutritionist exam.

Um, so we're accredited for seven years.

Um, Or were accredited for
seven years now we are again.

Uh, which is great.

Um, and so I sort of found myself in
year four needing to start the process

of, uh, writing a self-study and
proving to our accrediting body that we.

Should be reaccredited.

And wow what a process.

I learned a lot about the
university as a whole.

And so we, you know you, like many
of your viewers, have programs that

you write these gigantic Um, and then
we had last fall, so in the fall of

2022, we had some site reviewers,
uh, external reviewers come up to

Alaska, um, and do a site review.

And so, a part of that site visit, um,
is, you know, they want tons and tons and

tons of evidence, uh, that you're that
you're doing what you say you're doing.

So you write this big report and
they're like, yeah, that's great.


Now we want to see, you know, the
proof that you're actually doing this.

Um, so in what I was told, uh, as far as,
you know, I, I talked to lots of different

people who had gone through these, Uh,
site visits in other professions, uh,

like our dental program had just gone
through a site visit, um, to other ACEND

accredited programs in the lower 48,
you know, what, what do you, how, you

know, what's the best way to do this?

I had, I interviewed our actual site
reviewers to say, Hey, like, how do

you want, All of these documents.

I mean, it's like, I felt like
it was just so overwhelming.

Um, the amount of information
that they wanted to have on site.

And they said, well, some people will
do a Blackboard shell, like create like

a, a dev shell, like a, um, you know,
and, and just plug things in there and

then you give us access to Blackboard.

Um, otherwise they found it to be really
successful to do like a Google drive.

And then just have all of your
folders and, you know, organized.

And I was just like, that sounds awful.

Like as a reviewer, like how you could.

open up each of those documents.

I mean, I felt like you would want to
have like four screens so you could,

and that tells you, yeah, that tells you
I'm probably should not be a reviewer.

Um, but it just seems very, uh, Just
like two dimensional, I guess, maybe,

uh, if that's a good word to use, um,
so, you know, I was like, well, how,

like, how would you, like, you would
close something and then you would open

another document and, you know, and
then the older days, you know, you had

portfolios, you had binders, right?

So, because we use ePortfolio in our
program, um, You know, for our students

to show competence and to have the
fact that they've met all of these

competencies as a part of our accredited
program, um, I asked if they would be

willing to let me use an ePortfolio
to house and to showcase all of our on

site evidence and documents for them.

Uh, they said, I have no idea what you're
talking about, but that sounds great.

I mean, they sort of, they sort of knew.

I think, you know, there are
other, you know, kinds of things

that they had maybe, you know,
dabbled with in their own programs.

Um, so I reached out to Paul Wasko and
he was wonderful in helping me do this.

And I essentially just built a gigantic
portfolio, um, which, you know, to have.

You know, so it was super organized under
all of, you know, we have, I think, eight

different standards and underneath all
of those standards, there are specific,

uh, you know, student examples of work
and all of that kind of stuff that had to

be as a part of those on site, you know,
documents that needed to be ready, um,

and Paul was, you know, Super gracious to
work with the reviewers to make sure that

they had access and knew how to do it.

We knew it was going
to be FERPA compliant.

There were, you know,
some things like that.

It's, it was great because I knew it
was locked down, you know, so it didn't

have to have, it wasn't public facing.

Um, they knew that they
just had access to it.

And one of the beautiful things was that
they didn't have to be present and in our

Uh, you know, in our drive, like, right?

So, like, I mean, I guess a Google
Drive, I could, you know, give

them access to that ahead of time.

Um, but the, the feedback that
I got from our reviewers was

really like, ah, this is so great.

We were able to, you know, we sat
at the hotel and we could just

look at stuff and listen to things.


You know, all of that kind of stuff.

So, um, so yeah, it worked out really
swimmingly and all of the things, you

know, the, um, one of the nice things
for me because I use Portfolio in my

classes, um, is that it forced me to kind
of become You know, like a super user.

Uh, so, you know, I, because I was
uploading all different types of files.

So, we run an online program.

So, it was a wonderful way for
me to upload videos that students

had developed and created.

I could share, um, you know, audio
recordings that they had done.

I could share, you know, a lot of
different Types of media, um, as

far as what I thought in an online
program, you know, really highlights,

you know, what we're doing here and
the quality of online education that

we're providing for our students.

Um, so, but it did, you know, it, so
I always have my students build these

portfolios, so it was really good for me.

It was very humbling to be like,
Okay, like I'm gonna build something

from scratch and kind of do that.

So it worked out really well.


I'm so glad to hear that.

And I would love to hear a little
bit about how You know, you were

able to, um, craft this incredible
kind of presentation of your program.

How are you using these kinds of tools
with the students in your courses?

I think Dietetics has had a pretty
long history with Digication.

I believe it may have started in
2014, because it was one of the

first programs, I think, to jump
on board because of this program.

We'll need to be able to record what
the students were doing and see their

growth towards particular standards
that they were working towards.

Yeah, I, my predecessor,
uh, Kendra Sticca, Dr.

Sticca, so she's the one
who recruited me, moved out.

Um, but she's the one that really
brought, you know, she was on board

with, portfolio Um, and so I inherited
her courses that she had started.

So I came in 2018.

So she had really just started kind
of building that in our curriculum.

Um, and, you know, and, and even to this
day, I was actually kind of surprised

because this is what I came into.

So I just sort of made the assumption
that this is what programs do.

This is the kind of stuff that they use
because it made a lot of sense to me.

Um, I think like prior to when I was going
through this site visit self study stuff,

we also had to adopt, uh, 2022 standards.

Um, so within the ACEND community
of, um, directors, we had lots of

meetings kind of going through, you
know, with um, you know, just like

Zoom meetings, whatever, um, going
through the different standards, what

had changed, all of that kind of stuff.

And one of the major things that
had changed was that now our ACEND,

our accrediting body is really
requiring us to better document,

um, achievement of competence.

So, you know, have they actually,
have your students actually met

the competency and how do you.

How do you show that?

And so I was like, Oh, you know, we
use this ePortfolio in our program

and all of our students build an
ePortfolio and I was blown away by how

many people were like, you do what?

Um, and, and so it was actually
really, really helpful.

And I hope, you know, and I think there
are some other programs and program

directors that are starting to think
about how, um, you know, other than just

saying, yes, check, I did an assignment,
yes, check, I got a C or better, check,

you know, that kind of stuff that there's
a way that you can actually have students

demonstrate their level of competence.

Um, so what we do throughout our
program is in our, uh, DN 100.

It's a 100 level, it's called
the Profession of Dietetics.

It's a one credit class.

Um, it's for our pre nagers.

Um, I teach that class and they learn
how to build a portfolio, an e portfolio.

And we have a template
that we use, obviously.

We're big on templates.

I think everybody starts something
from scratch is not a good idea.


And so, students really get the
opportunity to use our dietetic templates.

I tell my students, it's
really like the bucket.

It's the main bucket.

Um, and they, you know, they just,
they learn how to use it, for one,

so they're not intimidated when they
are taking some 400, 300 level class.

And now not only do they have to use it.

Do this big project that can
be intimidating, but they

have to do it in ePortfolio.

So I like to use that 100 level entry
point as, Hey, this is the purpose,

you know, over the course of the
program, you're going to be doing

all these different assignments.

You're going to, you know, that, you
know, we utilize specific projects

and assignments to Measure, you know,
a competency in our program, um,

and you know, they use, they use the
portfolio to, um, to demonstrate that.

And so they'll, you know,
they do a personal statement.

They learn how to do this, you know, the
beaut, the pretty stuff if they want,

um, and just, and then start kind of a
little introduced into using reflection.

Uh, as a tool of, you know, making sure,
like, do I really know what that means?

What does that mean to me?

Like, what does that
mean to somebody else?

What does that mean for my profession?

Um, and so we introduce it there
and then throughout the program,

they can kind of slowly work on it.

But the primary hub is, uh, I teach a
dietetic, a senior seminar in dietetics.

It's a year long course
in their senior year.

And it's at that point that we really
dive deep into all the competencies.

We have group discussions and such.

Um, my students do a self assessment.

They go through, um, and rank themselves
and whether or not they feel like they've

already met a specific competency.

Usually there's two things.

four or five that they say
they still need some work.

They identify outside opportunities,
webinars, working with another

organization, um, some other way that
they work with me on figuring out how

they can better meet a competency.

And then they have, we have a one page,
um, for each, you know, designated to each

competency in their ePortfolio where they
upload any evidence that they might have.

that shows that they've met
that competency, whether

that's a project or assignment.

Sometimes it's pictures of them
volunteering somewhere, um,

you know, whatever it may be.

They write a description as far as
like what that all, you know, you know,

what that's, their evidence entails,
but then the bigger piece is that they

have to write a reflection on why they
feel like they've met that competency.

So we have, I think there
are, 26 or 30 competencies.

So it takes a while.

Um, and you know, they kind of take that
whole year and I use the portfolio as

my means of not awarding a bachelor's
degree, but of awarding that verification

statement from our accreditor.

That says, yes, you can move
on into supervised practice.

Um, I've had students that then
go on to utilize their portfolio.

They might tweak it a little bit,
um, and they've used it to apply

to graduate school internships,
if they're out of Alaska.

Um, so we try to, I don't want to say
sell it, but, you know, try to say

like, hey, this isn't just, you know,
it's just not a program assignment.

Maybe you never look at it again.

Who knows?

Um, but, you know, you
can utilize it after.

So for us here at UAA,
it is very important.

Very much kind of the, you know, it's,
it's a thread throughout our entire

program, um, which is why it felt so
normal, I guess, for us to utilize

it for our, to demonstrate that our
program has met the accreditation

competencies that we have, you know,
or standards that we had to meet.

Here's a preview of what's coming up
next in part two of my conversation

with Amy Urbanus, assistant professor
in the dietetics and nutrition program

at University of Alaska, Anchorage.

I always try to tell students that like
you really can utilize, you know, portions

of or all of or whatever you can utilize.

A portfolio in providing you know, in
sharing like your depth and breadth of

experience, even though in a resume,
it may not jump out at, uh, um, you

know, at somebody, at somebody who's
looking to hire somebody, um, you know,

in a resume may not jump out as like,
you you know, you look at their work

experience, you're like, oh, okay, well.

You're pretty green, you know, it's
like there's not a whole lot, but in

any portfolio, they might have done some
amazing project that gives them an example

of what they're capable of, um, and how
they might fit within their organizations.