Review: Food Science Online at Kansas State University

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By: Thomas Siebertz

A lot of people ask me about my online school and the classes I take, so I thought I would write a review for students who are looking into it. I did a lot of research before deciding to take classes online and I think this might be helpful if someone is considering doing an online program.

Background

When I started college, I was going part time at a two year school and it was easy to take night classes while I worked full time during the day. After I graduated though, I had two huge problems: there were no schools near me with food science as a major and most of the 4 year schools closest to me did not have science classes at night.

The Program

So I began my search for Food Science online and the program at Kansas State was recommended to me by a colleague. I looked into the school and found that they were certified by the Board of Education and is also an approved program by IFT. It is a Bachelor’s Degree Completion program, so you do have to have at least 60 credits of coursework before you can be eligible to complete the degree online.

Industry or Science Option?

Luckily, all of my classes from my two year school transferred over to KSU, so I would only have two years left. So far it’s been a really great experience. The program has two options: the science option which is more heavily loaded with lab science, like physics and food analysis; and a business option where you receive a minor in business by replacing some of those lab sciences with business courses, such as economics and finance. I chose the business option, mainly because it’s more suited to what I want to do with my career.

How It Works

Classes are delivered by video, audio, and power point slides, which you can download and save to your computer or view in your customized “dashboard”. Most of the classes require you to take exams with a proctor. I use the testing center at a local college. Some classes are self-paced, but others have weekly deadlines, so that’s definitely something to be aware of. The professors have been very helpful and reasonable if you need extra time or assistance. I feel like I am learning a lot and it takes a lot more discipline to work on your own than if you have class every day.

Advantages/Disadvantages

The big advantage is that you can do your school work from wherever you want and on your own schedule. You can pretty much complete the degree online, but if there is a course you can’t take online, they allow you to take it at a local school and transfer it in. I do miss the hands-on lab courses and interacting with other students and teachers. Although, most of the classes have discussion forums and some do conference calls during the semester. Overall, the quality of the classes has really been top notch and the staff, from the financial aid office to the student advisors, have all been really great.

If you are interested in the KSU program, checkout their website here:

http://foodsci.k-state.edu/

What has your experience been like with online classes?Are there any Food Science schools with online programs you would recommend? 

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar Jocelyn Grant

    Hi Thomas! I realize you probably wrote this review years ago, but I was wondering if you had any updates to your experience at Kansas State. I had originally started a Culinology program at a community college that transferred to Rutger’s Food Science program. My plans had to change once I had a child. The schedule for Rutger’s program (long labs during the day) was no longer going to work. For the past 3 years I have kind of beed floating around taking courses here and there trying to figure out what I was going to do. Thought maybe Nutrition might work, but it wasn’t for me. Food Science seemed off the table which was a little disheartening. I then came across Kansas State’s Program which seemed the answer to my prayers. Unfortunately many of the courses I took were culinary which they will not accept. It’s a lot of money to lose in credits so I am trying to decide if it’s worth it. My recent online experiences have been terrible. You basically read a textbook and hand in assignments. Barely any interaction with the professor. It’s just not a good way to learn for me. If courses at K-state were run in the same manner, I think I would want to stay away. I also wonder if people look at your education differently because it was done online. I know that online courses are often more difficult, but I feel like other people think differently. Thanks for any help in advance you could provide.