• HS - Nontraditional NS

    By Renee Gosselin, MS, MBA, RD

    As a 17-year-old high school student, I decided that I no longer wanted to attend my senior year of high school. Not because I was lazy—I had been bullied for years about being obese. Probably not the smartest decision at the time; however, it made an array of events occur that possibly or even more probably may not have occurred. 

    At the age of 20, I took the steps necessary to change my eating and exercise habits and lost over 100 pounds. This sparked a deep-rooted passion for helping other achieve goals that they didn’t know they ever could. 

    As an adult working at a banking center, I decided one day to walk down to the local community college and see if I could enroll in a nutrition program. I was not allowed to sign up for a program being a high school dropout but I knew in my mind that it was the right thing to do. The woman laughed and said, “Ok, well, what do you want to do—you won’t get financial aid and classes start tonight.” I looked at what types of electives I had to take for the program I desired, and paid out my paycheck for my first two classes. 

    Every day after work I walked down to this community college to take my classes that lasted until 10:30 pm. From this point on, my educational adventure advanced and I achieved my GED. To make a long story short, I went on to obtain my associate’s degree in diet technology, then my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in dietetics. After completing these degrees at other institutions, I continued on my educational journey here at Kaplan University, earning a Master of Business Administration! 

    Without this education foundation, or even just the thought process that I could return to school after not being the “traditional” student, I would never have been able to pursue my career goals. Currently, I am a full-time employee in the nutrition department at an organization that works with over 1,300 individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. Additionally, I have taught for Kaplan University’s Nutrition Science Department for the last 7 years, accompanied by a wonderful family of educators who take pride in providing their real-life experiences along with textbook information to promote optimal learning experiences. 

    The overall goal of providing my background of educational career and the achievements that can be made is to encourage each one of you to know you can reach your goals as long as you believe they are obtainable. It does not matter age, gender, social background or previous educational status—as long as you commit to making a change it can be made.

    Renee Gosselin, MS MBA RD, is an adjunct faculty member at Kaplan University. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University. The author is not a graduate of Kaplan University’s Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science program.  

    Kaplan University’s Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science program is not accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). While the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science program is designed to prepare students academically to pursue a variety of nutrition-oriented careers and advanced education, the program does not lead directly to certification as a registered dietitian or clinical nutritionist. Students can obtain additional information on educational and experiential requirements and certification examinations from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB). Kaplan University does not guarantee acceptance to any programs offered by other institutions or the transferability of credit. 

  • Related Articles

      • HS - Preventing Diabetes Thumb

        Preventing Diabetes

        Read More
      • Childhood_obesity_150x94

        U.S. School Lunches Compared to Other Countries: How Do­es the U.S. Fare?

        Read More


    Did you find this article interesting? If so, share it!



    And if you are considering pursuing a health sciences degree, we invite you to find out more about Kaplan University's School of Health Sciences and explore our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.

Request Information

  • (optional)
  • Step 1 of 2

Health Sciences


  • Transfer Credit
  • Paying For School
  • Kaplan Commitment