Dietetic Internship

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PROGRAM INTRODUCTION

This dietetic internship is a post-baccalaureate, supervised practice program, and is designed to allow students to complete the requirements for the Dietetic Internship (DI)  in 15 months. This 15-month program begins in May of one year and comes to completion at graduation in August of the following year.  The UCA MSDI is currently accredited for 12 master’s eligible interns and one doctoral prepared intern. UCA has been selected as a Cohort 5 Demonstration Program for the Future Education Model – Graduate (FEM-G). Students selected in the spring of 2022 will complete the FEM-G and the MSDI will be closed. 

Graduates of the DI receive a verification statement and are eligible to sit for the national exam for Registered Dietitians.  Interns selected for the UCA MSDI program will enroll as graduate students at UCA.  Completion of the Master’s Degree will be required for entry-level practice starting in 2024. 

2024 CDR Mandate (Standard 9, Required Element 9.3.d): Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). 

There are two components of the MSDI, a supervised practice portion, and a didactic portion.  The didactic portion includes multiple graduate courses, completed in the fall and spring semesters as well as weekly class meetings.  The supervised practice component includes practice hours accumulated during assigned rotations.

Interns are evaluated on each rotation by Preceptors and/or the MSDI Director.  Successful completion of the required supervised practice hours and all didactic work (the MS degree) is required for program completion.  After passing the Registration exam, graduates may apply for Arkansas licensure.  Details on requirements for Licensed Dietitians in Arkansas can be found at ARKANSAS DIETETICS LICENSING BOARD   According to the Arkansas Dietetics Practice Act, “no person shall engage in the practice of dietetics in the State of Arkansas unless said person has in his/her possession a current license or a provisional license duly issued by the Board under the provisions of the Dietetics Practice Act.” 

Currently, 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia have statutory provisions regulating the dietetics profession or associated titles such as “dietitian” and “nutritionist.” To learn more about other state’s regulations, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides a Licensure Map for links to boards, statutes, and rules, in addition to information about the type of nature of dietetics regulation in each state. The Academy also provides detailed information about the importance of licensure to consumer protection HERE.

PROGRAM ACCREDITATION

The UCA MSDI is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), formerly the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetic Education (CADE), of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Post-secondary Accreditation and the United States Department of Education.  Contact information for ACEND includes:

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL  60606-6995

Phone:  312.899.0040, X 5400; 800.877.1600 X 5400

Email:  acend@eatright.org

Website:  http://www.eatright.org/acend

MISSION

The mission of the UCA MSDI is to maintain a high-quality program in dietetics, dedicated to assisting graduates with the development of needed skills for the varied roles of the dietitian in today’s society, and which ultimately culminates in the preparation of entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists and therefore registration eligibility with the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).    Graduates will be provided opportunities to develop expertise in nutrition therapy, community nutrition, food service systems management, and business/entrepreneur competencies while developing professional attitudes, maturity, and competent professional behavior.

The dietetic internship implements its mission through the establishment of the following goals and outcome measures:

GOALS

Goal #1 – The program will develop competent entry-level dietetic practitioners at the graduate level with the skills required to provide professional services aimed at improving the health and quality of life for individuals, families and communities.

Desired-Outcome Measures

  1. At least 80% of program graduates will take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of graduation.
  2. The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  3. At least 80% of program graduates will complete program/degree requirements within 22.5 months (150% of the program length).
  4. Of graduates who seek employment, 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.

 

Goal #2 – The program will prepare dietetic practitioners at the graduate level for a broad range of career opportunities in the field of dietetics.

Desired-Outcome Measures

  1. Over a 5-year period, 70% of employers will rate program graduates at “satisfactory” or above.
  2. Over a 5-year period, 70% of program graduates will rate their preparation for entry-level employment at “satisfactory” or above.

 

Goal #3 – The program will prepare dietetic practitioners at the graduate level for employment in community-health-nutrition-based programs.

Desired-Outcome Measure

  1. Over a 5-year period, 60% of program graduates will be employed in community-health-nutrition-based programs.

Program outcomes data are available on request.