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Dietetic Internship

Dietetic Internship (DI) Program


Program Overview

The Dietetic Internship (DI) Program in Nutrition and Dietetics at Life University is a postbaccalaureate, non-degree granting, 9-month program beginning in early September and ending by May. It consists of (1114 total hours) broken down into 144 hours of didactic and 1000 hours of supervised practice.

The program provides interns with the necessary knowledge and skills to be eligible to sit for the national registration exam for dietitians and to pursue a variety of career opportunities in the field of dietetics. Up to sixteen (16) interns may be admitted to the program annually.

All learning experiences and supervised practice are designed to meet the competencies as outlined by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

DI Student Handbook

Preceptor Handbook


Accreditation Status

The DI Program at Life University has been granted full accreditation through June 2023 by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800.877.1600 ext. 5400.

Website: https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend.


Program Description

Life University Mission and Values Statement

The mission of Life University is to empower each student with the education, skills, and values to maximize the perfection within, based upon a vitalistic philosophy. Life University is committed to a global vision and excellence in teaching, learning, and research, providing an exceptional student experience leading to a life of Integrity and Lasting Purpose.

Life University is founded on values that guide our vision and the decisions we make every day, from brand identity to degree programs, to building construction and café nutritional offerings. These values collectively create a culture unique to Life University: Lasting Purpose, Vitalism, and Integrity.

Life University’s guiding principle is Lasting Purpose: To live an inner-directed life, to give, to do, to love, to serve, out of your abundance. Life University believes that a willingness and desire to serve your community and your fellow man are just as important as academic pursuits. This attitude stems from the recognition that each individual has been given certain gifts, and as a citizen in the world community, it is your duty to give, to do, to love, and serve out of your own abundance.

LIFE’s educational and clinical philosophy is based on Vitalism—our recognition that the Universe itself is self-conscious and, as such, creates itself as a dynamic system wherein living organisms are self-developing, self-maintaining, and self-healing.

Life University’s value of Integrity is defined as a state of completeness or wholeness; adherence to a set of values, implying wholeness of body, mind, and spirit; and our relationships with people and the planet. Integrity provides the underpinning for the responsible exercise of our rights and responsibilities as human beings. Integrity leads to empowerment and excellence, while a lack of integrity results in mediocrity. Life University teaches students how to manage personal Integrity and function as valued citizens within the academic, healthcare, and larger communities.

With its vitalistic vision, clearly defined performance proficiencies, and measurable criteria for success, a Life University education will produce leaders who exemplify humanistic values and, in a world where change is constant, provide innovative approaches to direct that change to elevate society and evolve its healthcare system.

LIFE also fosters students’ commitment to their full potential and peak performance in their educational pursuits and future professional lives through healthy habits that create a flourishing world community.

Dietetic Internship Program Mission Statement
The mission of the dietetic internship (DI) program is to ensure graduates are adequately prepared through didactic and supervised practice for entry-level nutrition-related positions where they will apply the evidenced-based practice to promote the health of both communities and individuals.


Program Goals

Goal One:

Upon completion of the program, the DI graduate will be qualified and prepared for a variety of career opportunities in the field of Dietetics.

Objective 1: 80% of the enrolled students will complete the DIP (Dietetic Internship Program) within 13.5 months of starting the program (150% of 9 months).
Objective 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%.
Objective 3: At least 80% of program graduates take the CRD credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.

Goal Two:

Graduates of the DIP who seek employment will obtain a position in the field of dietetics and will have the knowledge and skills to effectively meet the responsibilities of the position.
Objective 1: Of graduates who seek employment, 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
Objective 2: 80% of the employers that responded to the survey will be satisfied with graduates’ preparation for entry-level practice.

 

Program outcome data is available upon written request.

Students intending to become registered dietitian nutritionists must complete the following steps required by the Commission of Dietetic Registration:

Credentialing Process to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Students intending to become registered dietitian nutritionists must complete the following steps required by the Commission of Dietetic Registration:

  1. Complete a didactic program in dietetics at an ACEND accredited program as forth by Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
  2. Successfully complete 1,000 hours of supervised practice at an ACEND accredited DI.
  3. Pass the National Dietetic Registration Examination.

Commission of Dietetic Registration:

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 800.877.1600, ext. 5500 or Email: cdr@eatright.org

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).


Eligibility for Dietetic Credentialing exam update

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 order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR’s Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023.

For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website: https://www.cdr.org/graduatedegree 

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). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DI program at LIFE University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.  (https://www.cdrnet.org/state-licensure)

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here (https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/students-and-advancing-education/information-for-students)


Estimated Expenses

Below is a list of estimated costs during the internship year for 2022-2023 academic year. Costs will vary upon the rotation site requirements and housing preferences.


Program Tuition*$ 10,400 (10% Deposit of $1040 with the remainder of $9,360 to be paid according to the student account payment plans)
Loan Fees$$45 - $60
Liability Insurance$50 - $60
Housing*$800 -1200 per month
Parking & Transportation$450 - $500 per month
Textbooks$600 - $700
Lab Coat$60-100
Background Check & Drug Screen$78-108
Rotation Site Fees$50-100
Typhon Administrative Fee (one-time)$90
CPR Certificate$50 - $60
ACEMAPP (if needed for rotation)$50
Academy Membership (Required)$50
Registration Examination$200 - $250
Examination Testing Material$100-400
Health Insurance (Required)Costs will vary

Financial aid is available for those who qualify. For more information regarding financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid Department at 770.426.2700.

Health insurance and professional liability insurance is mandatory and required throughout the duration of the program, and proof must be provided within the first week of orientation. Students are responsible for providing their own housing, meals and transportation to and from rotation sites and parking.

*Information regarding housing can be obtained through the Life University Office of Student Affairs at 770.426.2700.


Academic Calendar

Life University follows an academic calendar based on the quarter system. The internship (program) starts in mid-August and ends by the second week in June. Interns are in didactic classes and/or rotations except for the following dates:

Labor Day: September 5, 2022
Thanksgiving Week: November 21-25, 2022
Winter Break: December 19, 2022-January 3, 2023
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: January 16, 2023
Spring Break: March 27 – March 31, 2023
Memorial Day: May 29, 2022
Juneteenth Day: June 19, 2023

Life University’s Academic Calendar can be accessed here: LIFE.edu/Academic-Pages/Academic-Calendar/.


Internship Selection Process

Life University participates in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Service (DICAS) online system for the spring match. Prospective interns are selected based on their GPA, personal statement, letters of recommendation, work and/or volunteer experience, and additional studies/certifications.


Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of a B.S. or M.S degree from an ACEND accredited DPD program
  2. Verification Statement or Declaration of Intent issued by the DPD Program Director of the school
  3. Minimum overall 3.0 GPA, Science GPA 3.25 and Nutrition GPA 3.25
  4. Three written letters of reference: two academic and one from a work supervisor or personal colleague
  5. A personal statement of 1,000 words or less answering the following questions:
    • Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
    • What are some experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career?
    • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
    • What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement?
  6. Two copies of all official final transcripts (if you have not completed the B.S. Degree at the time of sending in the application, you must bring two copies of the official transcripts on the first day of the DI Program, which indicate degree completion.)
  7. Apply through the DI Centralized Application Service (DICAS). The application must be completed by the deadline set by DICAS, which is usually February of each year. There is a $50 fee to use DICAS for the first application and $25 for each additional application. DICAS can be accessed here: https://portal.dicas.org/.
  8. Prospective students using the DICAS system must also participate in computer matching through D & D Digital Systems. Applicants should input preferences and application fee of $55 to D& D Digital by the deadline (usually February of each year). Life University’s program code is 210.
    Any specific requests to D & D Digital can be sent to the following address:
    D & D Digital Systems
    3100 S. Riverside Dr.
    P.O. Box 887
    Ames, Iowa 50010
    Phone: 515-292-0490
    Email: dnd@sigler.com
    Website: dnddigital.com
  9. A $65 non-refundable application fee must be mailed to:
    Life University
    Department of Nutrition
    Attn: : Ilana Katz MS, RD, CSSD
    1269 Barclay Circle
    Marietta, GA 30060
    Please make check payable to Life University Department of Nutrition and write DICAS application number in the memo section of the check.
  10. Interviews will be conducted for selected applicants via phone or Zoom in the first two weeks of April, 2023.

It is highly recommended that applicants allow for turnaround time to submit all required documents by the deadline (see DICAS for specific dates). Incomplete applications will not be accepted.


Learning Experiences

Didactic – Orientation, modules, presentations, assigned projects, debates, exam preparation and career week.

Food Service Management – Exposure to different areas of food service, including purchasing, inventory, production, safety, quality measures and customer service.

Community Nutrition– Exposure to community nutrition in various settings, including senior centers, state department of health, department of education, school nutrition, food banks and other community organizations.

Clinical Nutrition – Exposure to different areas of clinical nutrition, including acute care, long-term care, renal, oncology, general medicine, endocrinology, critical care, etc.

Elective Rotation – Special interest/Electives may be extraordinary to the offerings of clinical, food service and community eg. Sports Nutrition, Diabetes education, etc.


Program Description and Hours

Supervised Practice Experiences Number of Weeks Hours per Week Total Hours
Community Nutrition 7 weeks 40 280
Food Service Management 8 weeks 40 320
Clinical Nutrition (may include critical care, oncology, renal, general medicine, endocrinology, pediatrics, etc.) 8 weeks 40 320
Elective/Private Practice 2 weeks 40 80
1000
Didactic Portion of Program # of weeks Hours per day  Total hours
Orientation/Skills/All Didactic 3 weeks

(14 days)

6 84
Didactic days during the program (not included in the program totals) 14 Mondays
Exam Review & RD Practice Exam, Final Presentations, Career Week, External Seminar & Graduation

(Hours included in the program total)

2-3 6 60
Total 1144


Program Completion (Graduation)

To successfully complete the DI program, each Intern is expected to meet the following program requirements:

  • Achieving a minimum MET COMPETENCY (M) rating in all supervised practice rotations Preceptor Evaluations. The Met competency is defined as the Intern demonstrating sound knowledge, confidence, and effective use of entry-level skills; seeks assistance after investigating potential solutions; little to no guidance or supervision is needed and is considered an entry-level practice.
  • Satisfactory completion (grade of 80% or higher) on all learning assessment activities.
  • Completion of the Preceptor and Site Evaluations for all rotation sites.
  • DI Director confirmation that all ACEND Competencies have been met through the use of the SELF-ASSESSMENT MAPPING TOOL and the CRDN TRACKING DOCUMENT.
  • Achieve 80% or better on the comprehensive RD practice exam.
  • Completion of all didactic work and 1,000 hours of supervised practice within 150% of program length (13.5 months).
  • Adherence to all behavioral and academic integrity standards are expectations for successful completion of the dietetic internship, as outlined in the Academy’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Performance and the Life University’s Honor Code policy outlined in the student handbook.
  • Completion of both the Mid-program and Exit-program reviews of the dietetic internship program.

Contact Information

Any general questions regarding the internship may be sent to LifeUDieteticInternship@LIFE.edu, or you may call 770.426.2736. We regret that we are not able to provide personal tours or interviews.


Open House

An open house scheduled towards the end of November will be announced during Fall Quarter of 2022.

This will provide an opportunity for prospective applicants to meet with faculty, students and preceptors to find out more about our program and have their questions answered.

When: TBD

On campus – CGUS 137/Kitchen Demo/Nutrition Department – with a virtual option.

Last updated on September 12, 2022