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Curriculum and Completion Requirements

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND CALENDAR

 The Dietetic Internship runs from the end of August through the end of May (August 29, 2022 – May 26, 2023), which includes orientation, a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised practice, and a weekly dietetic internship seminar during the fall and spring semesters.

 

Vacation time will be granted on the following days: Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, Martine Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, and Memorial Day. 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/observances can be arranged according to the policy and procedures of the rotation facility and with the approval of the Dietetic Internship Director and the Intern’s preceptor. In addition, students may take up to 3 personal days which must be pre- approved by the Dietetic Internship Director and the Intern’s preceptor.


Note: Duration of the program may be subject to change based on factors including, but not limited to, changes in availability of rotation sites, absence or non-availability of preceptors, or failure of an intern to satisfactorily complete the work and/or time commitment for any rotation, which may result in a substantial delay in program completion.

 

ORIENTATION WEEK

The internship begins with a one-week orientation to the program.

*Distance interns will participate in orientation activities on campus with all other interns.

Orientation activities include:

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

SUPERVISED PRACTICE ROTATIONS

Following orientation, interns begin their full-time supervised practice rotations (AND 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 = 187-225 hours)
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy - in-patient setting (10-12 weeks = 400-450 hours)
  • Community Nutrition and Public Health at minimum of 2 rotation sites (total of16-18 weeks = 600-675 hours)

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 and interns are expected to demonstrate near entry-level competency 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, as well as at the rotation’s conclusion.

In addition, the Internship Director periodically meets with each intern to discuss his or her overall progress in the program.


WEEKLY DIETETIC INTERNSHIP SEMINAR

When the interns participate in the supervised practice portion of the internship, they simultaneously attend the weekly evening DI seminar taught by the DI Director during the fall and spring semesters.

During the seminar, direct experience is supplemented with informal discussions on topics in food/nutrition, guest lectures, 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, networking, salary negotiations, etc.). The seminar also provides an opportunity for support and shared learning and students are able to discuss their internship experiences with the Internship Director and classmates.

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.

DIETETIC INTERNSHIP COURSES

The following courses will be taken by all Dietetic Interns. Together, they constitute the Dietetic Internship (DI). The DI seminar course is designed to provide didactic experiences that support and enrich the supervised practice component of the Dietetic Internship. Students will register for NUTR 700 and NUTR 701 in the fall, and for NUTR 702 and NUTR 703 for the spring. A Verification Statement is granted only upon completion of all (4) four courses. (Each course is 3 graduate credits.)

  • NUTR 700     Seminar in Dietetics Practice          Discussions and presentations of topics of current interest in the practice of dietetics and public health nutrition.  This course meets weekly during the fall and spring semester.
  • NUTR 701     Pre-Professional Practice in Dietetics: Clinical Supervised Externship in clinical dietetics, and classroom discussions of readings and field experiences.
  • NUTR 702     Pre-Professional Practice in Dietetics: Food Service Supervised Externship in food service and personnel management, and classroom discussions of readings and field experiences.
  • NUTR 703     Pre-Professional Practice in Dietetics: Community Supervised Externship in community nutrition, and classroom discussions of readings and field experience

*Note: The DI is 12 graduate credits in its entirety, there will be no partial credits given for anyone not completing the entire internship. There are absolutely NO INCOMPLETES for the Internship.


PRIOR ASSESSED LEARNING

The Hunter College Dietetic Internship participates in the Prior Assessed Learning program recognized by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

The Prior Assessed Learning (PAL) 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.  Dietetic 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.

  • PAL will not be granted as a replacement for any of the didactic portion of the dietetic internship (i.e., interns must attend the orientation and weekly intern seminars throughout the fall and spring semesters).
  • Experiences submitted for PAL will have taken place after completion of all DPD courses.
  • PAL credit will not exceed 600 hours.
  • The tuition and fees for the Dietetic 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 DI Director.
  • Applicants are encouraged to discuss potential PAL experiences with the DI Director prior to preparing and submitting the application materials.

Application for PAL credit shall 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, and so on, can be used as supporting documentation of knowledge and skills, as applicable.
  • These supporting materials shall be clearly labeled as to which experience(s) they are applicable.  They must be provided as one pdf file. This can easily be achieved by scanning the material and combining the scans into one file. Copy shops typically provide such service.
  • All materials must be typewritten. Hand-written materials are not acceptable. Applicants should indicate which of the 2022 ACEND competencies have been met by each experience submitted for evaluation.
  • Application for PAL credit should be submitted to the DI Director at least 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 DI Director upon request. Failure to do so in a timely manner may preclude obtaining PAL credit.

The format for application for PAL consists of one pdf file, including:

  • Cover page
  • Table of contents
  • Summary Page
  • Narrative describing each experience, what was done, what was learned, and how these apply to the ACEND learning objectives (see example below).  If more than one experience is being described, a separate narrative is to describe each one. These are to be presented in the same order that the experiences are listed on the Summary Page.
  • 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.
  • Original Summary Form and Narrative(s) will be maintained in the Dietetic Internship Program file for the intern.

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