Bridging the Gap – Getting You to Where You Want to Be Professionally


SNA Certificate Program

Good professional development programs are always looking for ways to grow, help individuals learn, and motivate them to develop the knowledge and skills to succeed in the workplace. As evidenced by the thousands of members who have obtained it, SNA’s Certificate in School Nutrition has been the “gold standard” of professional standards that ensures foodservice professionals have the essential training and tools to maintain, enhance and supervise a school nutrition program.

In July 2018, SNA will unveil a new additional Level to the Certificate in School Nutrition program that will effectively serve as a “bridge” between Level 1 and Level 2. The goal of this new Level, would be to help members have a more realistic professional development path and help them strive toward continued growth and experiences beyond Level 1 requirements.

SNA Certificate Program

“The new ‘bridge’ Level or Level 2 is a great idea for all SNA members who hold a Level 1 Certificate,” says Kathy Burrill, SNS, Food Service director at Chisago Lakes (Minn.) Schools and chair of SNA’s Professional Development Committee. “It will now be much easier to achieve Level 2 that ever before."

“The ‘bridge’ from Level 1 to the new Level 2 will assist our members to develop themselves in their career as school nutrition professionals,” added Jeanne Pierce, SNS, director of Exeter Region Cooperative and member of the Professional Development Committee. “It will allow more members to take advantage of what SNA is doing to increase educational opportunities and develop new educational material for our membership.”

Currently, the SNA Certificate School Nutrition program has three levels – Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. The “bridge” Level or new Level 2 would require less hours (46 hours) than the current Level 2 requirement of 86 hours and would therefore be a more practical opportunity for members who currently have a Level 1 to continue their professional development. This means that the existing Level 2 will now become Level 3 and the present Level 3 will in turn, become Level 4.

Level 1 will remain the same and the GED/High School Diploma would continue to not be required. However, the GED/High School Diploma would be required for the new “bridge” Level 2 and continue to be required for Levels 3 and 4.

SNA decided to create this new “bridge” level because feedback from members indicated that introducing this new level would encourage more Level 1 Certificate holders to move to a new achievable level and also, potentially attract more individuals to obtain a Certificate.

“It was such a big jump from Level 1 to Level 2 that many members found it too difficult to attain,” explained Burrill. “Now, it is a realistic goal for members. Plus, it will also make it easier to move to Level 3 as well.”

Aware that changes to the Certificate in School Nutrition program may cause confusion for members and possibility be problematic for districts that offer incentives or contracts for current Levels 2 and 3, SNA wanted to provide ample time for districts and individuals to prepare. For that reason, the new “bridge” level will not be rolled out until July 2018, in time for the 2018-2019 school year.

“Earning an SNA Certificate is the perfect way to show your professionalism and pride in your school nutrition career,” concluded Burrill. “I believe that we will see many more members earning their Level 2 certificate with this new change, and it will be a great benefit for these members, their districts and SNA.

“I am excited about this new level, and plan to promote it with my staff and other SNA members in my state.”

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