Since its creation, the Graduate Program in Food, Nutrition and Health (PPGANS) has taken responsibility for improving the Nutrition undergraduate course at ENUFBA. With its continuous and interactive process, PPGANS seeks to articulate its activities with teaching, researching and extension activities.
Therefore, all members of the Graduate Program faculty are also lecturers in the Nutrition undergraduate course or other undergraduate courses related to their original units.
This integration intensified with the implementation of the Gastronomy undergraduate course in the School of Nutrition and the increase in vacancies for the Nutrition undergraduate course in 2009 — actions foreseen by the Federal Universities Restructuring and Expansion Plans Support Program (REUNI). These actions also contributed to research and Graduation degrees in the area, which still cannot count on many qualified human resources, especially in the Northeastern region of Brazil.
Furthermore, the Graduate Program curriculum has two courses named Contemporary Themes: one in the field of Food and the other in Nutrition. These courses are part of the graduate students’ education and also integrate the undergraduate and specialization programs.
A second aspect integrated with the Undergraduate Program is research. Undergraduate students can join Scientific Initiation programs associated with research projects either with scholarships or as volunteers. This integration brings undergraduate and graduate students together through guidance and supervision of projects related to the lines of research available in the Graduate Program. Therefore, this program motivates and targets potential talents interested in researching within the field of Health, Food and Nutrition. All faculty members of the Graduate Program are involved with the Scientific Initiation.
The Graduate and Undergraduate Programs are also integrated by a mandatory and supervised participation of graduate students in teaching activities alongside the undergraduate courses. These activities take place through the Food and Nutrition Teaching Practice.
The Teaching Practice is a mandatory activity that provides teaching experiences to graduate students. The practice is developed alongside courses in the Nutrition, Gastronomy, Pharmacy, and other related Undergraduate Programs. The selected courses for the practice are chosen according to the student’s field of interest, and is directly supervised by the advisor and the course lecturer.
Therefore, aside from enabling and reinforcing the higher education experience, this activity also provides an essential integration between graduate and undergraduate education. These experiences are academic value aggregators, not only because they improve graduate students’ education, but also because they enable the approximation of undergraduate students to the reality of a graduate program.