Cornell NutritionWorks offering upcoming online courses in Preventing Childhood Obesity: An Ecological Approach. Course is March 14 – April 24, 2012.

Special Team Opportunity for Extension Nutrition and 4-H Teams: We are targeting this online course to teams of 3-5 people that include at least one county-based extension nutrition educator, one county-based 4-H agent, and one community partner. If you don’t work for Cooperative Extension, contact your local extension colleagues and consider being the community partner. To encourage teams with this composition to enroll, we will be offering a half-price enrollment fee of $75/person for up to three people per team. Other teams and individuals will be accepted in the course at the regular price on a space available basis. Those interested in the special team opportunity should contact Christina Stark, at cms...cornell.edu, to obtain permission from the facilitator and information on how to register.

Course info: Preventing Childhood Obesity: An Ecological Approach. Childhood obesity is of concern to many members of the community. Faculty in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell have developed an in-depth online course to help guide teams in taking an ecological approach to preventing childhood obesity in a local community. An ecological approach leads you through a series of assessments (of behavior, of the environment, and then of specific local factors) to help you diagnose the underlying causes of excessive weight gain in children. An intervention based on this approach is more likely to be effective because it focuses on changes needed at the local level to support healthy eating and active living.

In this 6-week long course, you learn how to apply an ecological approach while focusing on a community where you work. A facilitator interacts with you and other participants throughout the course. The format provides structured flexibility, which allows you to work on your own time and at your own pace, but within structured deadlines. The course requires submission of prevalence data, participation in two online discussion forums, and completion of a four-part course project which results in an action plan. Teams submit a single action plan. Throughout the course there are regular deadlines for assignments (about every 10 days) to help guide your pacing. You do not need to be online at any particular time. For example, there are no online chats.

The course is expected to take approximately 2 to 3 hours of time per week over the 6 weeks for a total of 12-18 hours. Class size is limited to about 25 teams. The regular cost (without the special team discount) is $150/person and the course provides 15 continuing professional education units.


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