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.
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.
Successful applicants should meet the following minimum admission standards:
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.
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.
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).
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.
In addition to the faculty from the Winthrop University Department of Human Nutrition, the selection committee is made up of registered dietitians (RDNs) who are working at various facilities throughout South Carolina and from parts of North Carolina. These RDNs serve as preceptors (field placement supervisors) for Winthrop's Dietetic Internship.
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.
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.
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.
Absolutely--our program strives for diversity.
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 late May.
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. The program makes every effort to place students within an hour of their "home base". However, somewhat longer commutes may be necessary. Interns must be flexible and be prepared for the time and expense of commuting.
What tuition discounts or scholarships are available to compensate for commuting expenses?
Winthrop University cannot discount tuition to compensate students for their expenses commuting to internship sites. Dietetic interns are eligible for tuition discounts available to all graduate students, including out of state tuition waivers, if they meet the eligibility criteria. Interns are strongly encouraged to apply for scholarships from the University and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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" facility may be able to offer some suggestions.
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 must show proof of Hepatitis B immunization series and a 2-step TB test. These must 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. Interns are required to obtain a varicella (chicken pox) titer and other titers may be required. The costs of all immunizations and titers are the responsibility of the intern. The flu vaccine is also required to participate in the internship program.
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 or scrubs. Business casual or professional office clothes are appropriate. Closed-toe shoes may be required.Interns will be asked to purchase specific textbooks. A pocket-size 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.
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 RDN examination review course which will be scheduled during the 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.
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/nutritionists. 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.
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.
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.
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 RDN exam review fee. The tuition and fees may vary by academic year. See the Winthrop University Cashier's Office for current tuition costs. Prospective internship applicants may request a handout with estimated costs by contacting the internship director.
Contact ACEND on the Web or at 800/877-1600.
Applicants should access DICAS for application and reference forms. For more information contact the Internship Director.
Contact Dr. Carlton Bessinger, Professor of Human Nutrition, Department of Human Nutrition at 803/323-4553 or by E-mail at email@example.com. To apply to the Winthrop graduate program you should call 803/323-2204 or 800/411-7041 or apply online.
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