A reader asks if the course is worth the money.
Short answer, a resounding YES. Since earning my “certificate” in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and Cornell University in November of 2009, I have been greatly rewarded in many ways that I never anticipated at the time.
For example, next Tuesday I am meeting for lunch in Boston with one of the course’s most prominent graduates. A doctor of public health, he’s enjoyed a rich career in government and academia; now serving on the Harvard faculty in the department of public health. He also served as a special advisor to the U. S. Senate Committee charged with re-writing our federal health care system during the past few years.
We’re meeting to discuss a few ideas for changing the world — by leveraging the simple principles of plant-based nutrition. Without my taking the eCornell course, this meeting would not be happening. Here’s the note that I received from one of my readers earlier this week:
Mr. Hicks, Enjoy your daily blog and your book. I am interested in your thoughts on Dr. Campbell’s Certificate course from Cornell. It is something I am considering, but my question is about the course content. I have read the “China Study” and much of the print material from Drs. Fuhrman, McDougall, Esselstyn and others. Does the course material enhance this information, or repeat it? I would appreciate your thoughts. Regards, John
My response. Hi John. As a new writer, blogger and speaker in the field of diet and health, I am very glad that I earned a certificate in PBN from the TCC Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell. Here are my primary reasons for feeling that way; they go far beyond just the knowledge that you will gain from the course.
- The homework assignments (including essays) played a large role in prompting my decision to write a book. It showed me that it was fun to write about my new passion and that I had a gift for making complex things simple and compelling.
- The “big picture” focus of the class was right up my alley. The course is not just the nutritional reasons for eating plant-based; it also covers a great many environmental issues.
- Good networking opportunities both during the course and after.
- The additional knowledge gained from the course after studying the topic for seven years.
- The great feeling of knowing that with my “certificate,” I have more formal training in nutrition than most MD’s in America. Remember; the few that had ANY nutrition training in med school — their course(s) were USDA approved and therefore lacking in very much true, health-promoting nutritional information.
- The course instructors are sending new folks to my blog and my book every day; and without me asking them to do so.
- Earning that certificate just shows that you’re serious.
- The course may not be available forever — at least through Cornell. According to TCC, it is the ONLY plant-based nutrition course with CME credits in the world. If Cornell pulled out of it (with more pressure from meat and dairy industry — see links below), would it still be able to provide the CME for doctors?
Bottom line. I’d say go for it; it may be the best $1400 you’ll ever spend.
For more course info, click here. In short, the course consists of three consecutive 2-week segments and is conducted online. You should be prepared to spend about an hour a day for the duration of the course.
For a richer learning experience, you should devote more time, do some extra reading and communicate more with the instructors and other students. During my six-week course, I actually went to Ithaca and attended a TCC lecture in person at Savage Hall on the Cornell campus. For a little history on this course, you might enjoy reading two of my earlier blogs plus a July 2012 blog that features this course.
- “Academic freedom” in nutritional science…a scary story
- Cancer, cell phones, cow’s milk, and Cornell
- July 2012—Plant-based Nutrition instructors, “health-promotion” specialists
Handy 5-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s latest book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes
- Dr. Campbell’s new book: WHOLE, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.
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—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info: