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Department of Human Nutrition
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Department of Human Nutrition

Dietetic Internship

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Questions

  1. Do I receive any graduate credit for the Dietetic Internship at Winthrop University? 
  2. Is the Dietetic Internship at Winthrop University accredited by the Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (A.N.D.)? 
  3. What are the requirements for admission to the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship? 
  4. Do I have to take the GRE even if I do not plan to pursue a graduate degree?  
  5. Do I still have to apply to the graduate program if I already hold a graduate degree? 
  6. Who should provide the three references for my application? 
  7. Why is nutrition-related volunteer or work experience so strongly encouraged? 
  8. Who are the people on the WU Dietetic Internship selection committee? 
  9. What criteria are used to select the interns? 
  10. What is the computer matching process? 
  11. Is there an early admission option? 
  12. Does the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship accept applicants who are not citizens of South Carolina and/or are not graduates of Winthrop University? 
  13. When will I know if I have been selected for the Winthrop Dietetic Internship? 
  14. Do all the WU dietetic interns complete their internships in the Rock Hill, SC area? 
  15. Who is responsible for finding me a place to live? 
  16. Are interns expected to get background checks, immunizations or to purchase certain materials like lab coats or reference materials prior to starting the Internship? 
  17. Why do I need a car during my internship? 
  18. How many hours will I be working during my internship? 
  19. Will I have specific objectives that I need to accomplish during the Internship? 
  20. Will I get grades for the graduate credit I earn after completing the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship? 
  21. Will I be a registered dietitian when I complete the Internship? 
  22. How much can I expect to pay for the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship? 
  23. Where can I find out more information about other dietetic internships? 
  24. How do I submit my application for the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship? 
  25. How do I obtain information about taking graduate courses in nutrition at Winthrop University?

Answers

Do I receive any graduate credit for the Dietetic Internship at Winthrop University?

Yes, upon successful completion of the Internship, interns earn six hours of graduate credit. Completion of the Master of Science in Human Nutrition degree is strongly encouraged, but not required.

Is the Dietetic Internship at Winthrop University accredited by the Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (A.N.D.)?

Yes, the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), 120 South Riverside Drive, Chicago, IL 60606, 312/899-0040, ext.5400.

What are the requirements for admission to the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship?

Successful applicants meet the following minimum admission standards:

  • Undergraduate grade point ratio (GPA) of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum score of 291 of the verbal and quantitative sections combined of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Three references from professionals knowledgeable of the applicant's abilities
  • An interview (upon invitation) with the Winthrop University selection committee on campus in early spring
  • Verification Statement from an Academy-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics; undergraduates who are within one semester of graduating may apply to start their Internship in the fall following their May graduation using an "Intent to Complete" Verification Statement (see the DPD Director--at WU this is Mrs. Goodner) 
  • Acceptance to the Winthrop University (WU) Graduate Program,
  • Proficiency of the English Language as required by WU Graduate Program, and
  • Demonstration of recency of education

Do I have to take the GRE even if I do not plan to pursue a graduate degree?

Yes, all prospective intern applicants must take the GRE and apply to the Winthrop University (WU) Graduate School. It is advisable to take the GRE early enough in the year to allow time to repeat the exam if the first set of scores is unsatisfactory. Only the verbal and quantitative from the GRE are considered for the WU Internship; a minimum of 291 (combined) is required for admission.

Do I still have to apply to the graduate program if I already hold a graduate degree?

Yes, if a prospective intern already holds an advanced degree (even a PhD), he or she would be admitted into the Graduate Certificate in Dietetics.

Who should provide the three references for my application?

Registered dietitians, professors and supervisors from work or volunteer experiences are common choices (there is no requirement on who the type of references these should be for the WU program).

Why is nutrition-related volunteer or work experience so strongly encouraged?

The preceptors who make up the selection committee are interested in selecting students who are self-directed learners who have practiced communication skills and patient care in a workplace. They prefer students who have proven themselves as dependable employees and who can participate as team-players. Interns who have had some nutrition-related experience tend to adjust better to the hectic pace of their internship placement facility. Involvement in the Student Dietetic Association is another way students can gain leadership experience and find out about opportunities for nutrition-related experience.

Who are the people on the WU Dietetic Internship selection committee?

In addition to the faculty from the Winthrop University Department of Human Nutrition, the selection committee is made up of registered dietitians (RDs) who are working at various facilities throughout South Carolina and from parts of North Carolina. These RDs serve as preceptors (field placement supervisors) for Winthrop's Dietetic Internship.

What criteria are used to select the interns?

Internship preceptors consider all of the following in making their decisions: interview, overall grade point average, GRE scores, references, honors, involvement in professional activities, as well as nutrition-related volunteer and/or work experience.

What is the computer matching process?

Most ACEND dietetic internships select applicants for appointments through a computer matching process. Applicants to the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship must participate in computer matching. This process occurs twice a year, in spring and in fall. Winthrop University participates only in the spring match. To become part of the matching process, internship applicants mark their top choices with D & D Digital Systems, the computer matching company. D & D Digital takes the students' choices for dietetic internship programs and matches these with the programs' first choices for interns. D & D will inform both the interns and the internship programs of the resulting "match" (selection). Applicants pay a fee to D & D Digital for the matching service. To obtain more details, contact D & D Digital at (515) 292-0490 or by E-mail.

Is there an early admission option?

Yes, the early acceptance ("preselect") option is for students currently enrolled in Winthrop University. Students have to meet specific criteria in order to qualify for early admission. Applicants selected for early admission do not participate in computer matching. These students follow the same internship calendar and rotation requirements as the other WU interns.  Interns selected for early admission are typically those who have had the opportunity to obtain dietetic-related work experience.

Does the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship accept applicants who are not citizens of South Carolina and/or are not graduates of Winthrop University?

Absolutely--our program strives for diversity.

When will I know if I have been selected for the Winthrop Dietetic Internship?

WU participates in the spring computer matching. Interns will be notified by D & D Digital (the agency that matches dietetic interns with internship programs) through electronic mail. The internship director receives the list of matched (selected) applicants on the same day.  Assignments to rotation sites are determined by the faculty between the date of matching notification and early May.

Do all the WU dietetic interns complete their internships in the Rock Hill, SC area?

No. Interns are assigned to a variety of different geographical areas throughout South Carolina and in the southern portion of North Carolina. The schedule for each intern is individualized based on each intern's interests, background, and the availability of rotation sites within a geographic region. Each intern will be "home based" in a specific city, but may complete rotations at two or more sites within that geographical area. Typically, an intern will complete the entire nutrition therapy (clinical) rotation in one facility while other rotations may be completed at the same facility or at completely different sites. In some situations, an intern may need to travel up to an hour from his or her home base city to reach a particular facility in order to obtain a variety of experiences.

Who is responsible for finding me a place to live?

Interns are responsible for making their own housing arrangements and are not expected to move during the internship. The lead preceptor at the "home base" faciltiy may be able to offer some suggestions.

Are interns expected to get background checks, immunizations or to purchase certain materials like lab coats or reference materials prior to starting the Internship?

Interns are required to have a criminal background check completed through the university; some facilities will require a second background check as well.

In addition to the immunizations required by the Winthrop University Graduate School, interns are strongly recommended to get the Hepatitis B immunization series and a current TB test. These should be obtained before the start date of the WU Internship. Interns can sign a waiver if they refuse to get Hepatitis B vaccinations. The cost of immunizations is the responsibility of the interns. 

Some placement sites require interns to obtain additional immunizations or to submit to drug testing; the cost of drug testing is the responsibility of the intern.

Occasionally facilities will require interns to wear lab coats. Business casual or professional office clothes are appropriate. Closed-toe shoes may be required.

Interns will be asked to purchase specific textbooks. A pocketsize notebook may be handy for recording references. A medical dictionary is recommended.

Interns are required to purchase professional liability insurance and to have personal health insurance.

Why do I need a car during my internship?

Interns may need to drive to neighboring towns to complete some rotations depending upon the intern's place of residence. During each rotation interns may be asked travel to satellite facilities. Interns will meet for a seminar at least once a month at various facilities in South Carolina; some of these seminars may be a two or three hour drive. Interns are required to attend a two-day RD examination review course which will be scheduled during the Internship.

How many hours will I be working during my internship?

Interns are expected to "be on the job" an average of at least eight hours a day, five days a week. There may be occasions when the workday will be extended due to a special event, seminar, or clinic.

Will I have specific objectives that I need to accomplish during the Internship?

Yes, interns are provided with a curriculum (list of competencies/activities) that will guide their experiences during the various rotations. The competencies were developed by ACEND to prepare interns as entry-level dietitians. Preceptors and the internship faculty  will guide interns as to how the competencies can be met and will evaluate whether or not interns have satisfactorily completed each competency.

Will I receive grades for the graduate credit I earn after completing the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship?

Yes, performance in the WU Dietetic Internship is graded as "S" (satisfactory/passing) or "U" (unsatisfactory/not passing). Interns may earn up to six hours of graduate credit at WU for the internship.

Will I be a registered dietitian when I complete the Internship?

No, once the interns have successfully completed the Internship, they still need to sit for the National Registration Examination for Registered Dietitians (RD Exam). Graduates of the Internship will receive authorization by ACEND to take the computerized RD exam at one of the approved testing sites about six weeks following completion of the Internship. Typically, internship graduates are able to take the RD exam within 4-6 weeks of completing the internship.  Verification Statements are awarded to interns upon successful completion of the internship.

How much can I expect to pay for the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship?

Besides living and transportation expenses, interns pay graduate school tuition (12 credit hours) and laboratory fees. There are additional costs for seminars, books and materials and there is an RD exam review fee. The tuition and fees may vary by academic year. See the Winthrop University Cashier's Office for current tuition costs.  Propsective internship applicants may request a handout with estimated costs by contacting the internship director.

Where can I find out more information about other dietetic internships?

Contact ACEND on the Web or at (800) 877-1600.

How do I submit my application for the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship?

Applicants should access DICAS for application and reference forms. For more information contact the Internship Director.

How do I obtain information about taking graduate courses in nutrition at Winthrop University?

Contact Dr. Sarah Stallings, R.D. Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Studies of the College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Human Nutrition and Acting Chair, Department of Human Nutrition at 803/323-2101 or by E-mail. To apply to the Winthrop graduate program you should call 803/323-2204 or (800) 411-7041 or apply online.

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