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Curriculum

 

PROGRAM LENGTH

The Internship begins with an orientation to the program.  Distance interns will participate in orientation activities concurrently with other interns.

Orientation activities include:

  • Overview of the School and Program
  • Review of the Policies and Procedures Manual and Intern Handbook
  • Collection and review of all required documents (if not previously submitted)
  • Review of study materials sent to interns over the summer
  • Semester schedule (mandatory meetings, seminar dates, etc.)
  • Paperwork for first rotations (assignments, schedules, processing through volunteer office)
  • Overview of supervised practice rotations (what to expect, professional conduct, pre-rotation assignments and curriculum, journals, competencies, evaluations)
  • Guest speakers

 

Interns begin their supervised practice rotations following orientation. The ACEND competency statements for entry-level dietitians were used to design the supervised practice curriculum. There are three major rotation areas:

  • Food Service Management (5-6 weeks)
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy (acute care setting) (12 weeks)
  • Community Nutrition and Public Health (electives) (16-17 weeks)

 

The number of hours of full-time supervised practice per week varies from site to site with a range of 35-40 hours/week, depending on the schedules of the site. During rotations, interns begin by observing and assisting staff members and progress through increasingly more responsible activities. Experiences are sequenced to allow for the development of competencies; interns are expected to demonstrate near entry-level competency during the staff relief period at the end of each rotation. During the supervised practice hours, dietetic interns also participate in departmental in-service programs, rounds, staff meetings, case study presentations, journal clubs, and professional development workshops. Constructive performance appraisals during supervised practice rotations encourage self-improvement. Preceptors provide informal and formal feedback during each rotation, and at the rotation's conclusion. In addition, the internship director periodically meets with each intern to discuss his/her overall progress in the program.

During the supervised practice portion of the internship, interns simultaneously attend the weekly Intern Seminar taught by the Dietetic Internship Program Director. During the seminar, direct experience is supplemented with informal discussions, assignments, group and individual projects, case studies, presentations, and exams. Interns are expected to commit daily, on average, two to three additional hours outside the program to readings, rotation journals, assignments, case studies, projects, presentations, curricula, and general preparation for rotations. The seminar provides an opportunity for support and shared learning: students are able to discuss their internship experiences with the Program Director and peers. During the spring semester, the seminar focuses on preparation for the Registration Examination for Dietitians (e.g., study guides, review questions, practice exams) and career development (e.g., resumes, cover letters, interviewing skills, preparation of the CDR continuing education portfolio).

Throughout the year, interns attend local dietetic association meetings and participate in activities that encourage professional development. In addition, the Hunter nutrition program sponsors on-campus meetings and workshops. Each dietetic intern is encouraged to become an affiliate member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Associate membership in the American Public Health Association (APHA) and student membership in the Greater New York Dietetic Association is also recommended.

 

CALENDAR

The Dietetic Internship runs from the week following Labor Day through the last week of May/first week of June. The program consists of approximately 1,200 hours of supervised practice and 100 hours of didactic instruction (class room and online) within 38 weeks extending over 9 months.

 

Vacation time will be according to the Hunter College academic calendar, unless arranged otherwise with the Dietetic Internship Program Director and preceptor(s). Field visits and attendance at professional meetings will be coordinated during the year and compensatory time will be arranged as appropriate. Time off for religious holidays/observance(s) can be arranged according to the policies and procedures of the facility and with the approval of the Program Director and the intern's preceptor. In addition, students may take three (3) personal days, which must be pre-approved by the Program Director and the intern's preceptor.

 

PRIOR ASSESSED LEARNING

The Dietetic Internship Program participates in the Prior Assessed Learning  (PAL) program recognized by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' ACEND.

The Prior Assessed Learning program is designed to grant varying degrees of internship credit in specific rotations of the internship based on the qualified applicant's learning, as demonstrated through paid work or volunteer experiences. Experiences considered for PAL must meet competencies required by ACEND that are equivalent to an entry-level dietitian. Internship credit is given for learning and gaining knowledge through the work experience of a professional career. The credit is not for work experience, but is given when an applicant demonstrates an increase in knowledge and learning. Typically, the individual qualifying for this credit is an older, "non-traditional" applicant.

  • PAL will not be granted as a replacement for any of the didactic portion of the internship.
  • Experiences submitted for PAL will have taken place after completion of all DP courses.
  • PAL credit will not exceed 1/2 of the total hours of the Internship (currently = 600 hours).
  • Tuition and fees for the Internship will remain the same, regardless of the amount of PAL granted.
  • Submission of a request for PAL credit does not guarantee that such credit will be awarded, in full or in part, as requested.
  • Decisions regarding the awarding of PAL credit are at the discretion of the Dietetic Internship Program Director.
  • Applicants are encouraged to discuss potential PAL experiences with the Program Director prior to preparing and submitting the application materials.


Application for PAL credit must include the following:

Experiences submitted for PAL evaluation must be classified as: Community Nutrition, Food Service Management, or Medical Nutrition Therapy.

Projects, reports, presentations, and educational materials produced by the applicant which demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills will be evaluated for PAL credit. Job descriptions, performance evaluations, letters from clients, etc., can be used as supporting documentation of knowledge and skills, as applicable. These supporting materials, clearly labeled as to which experience(s) they are applicable, must be neatly bound in a folder or portfolio cover. All materials must be typewritten; hand-written materials are not acceptable. Applicants should indicate which of the 2012 ACEND competencies have been met by each experience submitted for evaluation.

Application for PAL credit should be submitted to the Dietetic Internship Program Director, Dr. Victoria Fischer, at least six (6) weeks prior to the start of the internship term. For best planning of the internship experience, application for PAL credit for experience completed before the summer should be submitted by May 31st, and communication about subsequent experience(s) should be maintained with the Program Director. Applications will be evaluated in a timely manner, and applicants informed of credit awarded (if any) prior to the start of the internship term. Additional documentation/clarification of activities must be provided to the Dietetic Internship Program Director upon request. Failure to do so in a timely manner may preclude obtaining PAL credit.

The format of application for PAL consists of:

1.  A Summary Page (see/click example below).

2.  A Narrative describing each experience, what was done, what was learned, and how these apply to the ACEND learning objectives (see/click example below). If more than one experience is described, a separate narrative is required for each, and presented in the same order that the experiences are listed on the Summary Page.

3.  Supporting Materials. Supporting materials include samples of projects, photos, reports, presentations, publications, newsletters, and educational materials produced by the applicant that demonstrate the competencies described. Supporting materials may be returned to the applicant if requested, after being evaluated. Original Summary Form and Narrative(s) will be maintained in the Dietetic Internship Program file for the intern.

PAL EXAMPLE (PDF)

 

COURSES

In addition to practice, Dietetic Interns are required to register for the two Dietetic Internship Program graduate level courses per semester, Fall and Spring, for 12 total academic credits (3 credits each). These courses are designed to provide didactic experiences that support and enrich the supervised practice component of the Dietetic Internship. A Verification Statement is granted only upon completion of all four (4) courses. Courses will cover topics of current interest in the practice of dietetics and public health nutrition. Students will have opportunities to share their experiences from the internship field sites. Guest lecturers will be invited to speak on a variety of topics throughout the semester. The spring semester courses will focus on RD Exam review (including practice exams, test-taking tips, etc.) and professional development (CDR Portfolio, resume and cover letter preparation, and the job search process).

Within Cuny First, Hunter's registration system, scroll to subject 'Public Health-NUTR' to locate the Nutrition course list.

NUTR 70000
   Seminar in Dietetics Practice - Discussions and student presentations of topics of current interest in the practice of dietetics and public health nutrition. This course meets weekly throughout the year. Register Fall semester.

NUTR 70100    Pre-Professional Practice in Dietetics: Clinical - Supervised Externship in clinical dietetics, and classroom discussions of readings and field experiences. Register Fall semester.

NUTR 70200    Pre-Professional Practice in Dietetics: Food Service - Supervised Externship in food service and personnel management, and classroom discussions of readings and field experiences.

NUTR 70300    Pre-Professional Practice in Dietetics: Community - Supervised Externship in community nutrition, and classroom discussions of readings and field experiences.

 

 

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