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Human Nutrition

Dietetic Internship


Dietetic internship graduates meet or exceed entry-level competency standards for dietitians, as established by the Accreditation Council for Education and Dietetics (see Accreditation). The hands-on and didactic learning experiences for the program are guided by a set of competencies structured within four graduate courses. The emphasis of the program is nutrition therapy for inpatients and outpatients. Upon successful completion of the program's learning experiences, internship graduates are eligible to take the national registration examination for dietitians (RDN exam). Participants in the internship are directly supervised and evaluated by well-qualified preceptors/registered dietitians in conjunction with WU faculty.

Interns, even those holding advanced degrees, are required to be accepted to the Winthrop University Graduate School as either a degree-seeking student or as a student pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Dietetics.  In addition to individual living and transportation expenses, the primary internship program costs to interns are the tuition (12 credit hours) and laboratory fees and an exam review course.  Tuition fees are set by the university so they vary annually; see the WU Graduate School website for current application and tuition costs. Upon satisfactory completion of the internship six graduate hours may be applied to an M.S. degree in human nutrition at Winthrop University. Successful completion of the internship meets the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Dietetics.  Completion of a graduate degree is not required but is strongly encouraged.

Interns are responsible for arranging their own housing accommodations. Rotation assignments are not all based near campus; each individual student is assigned to a specific geographical location in South Carolina or in the southern region of North Carolina. Interns may, or may not be paired with another intern. Since interns rotate at various facilities within their specific geographical area in the Carolinas, they are required to attend seminars on campus and participate in selected program activities; access to reliable transportation is necessary. Interns must commit to a 36-week time frame including orientation,supervised practice (rotations), written assignments, scheduled seminars, professional activities, and Inman's RDN exam review course in addition to various holidays and a winter break. Interns must be aware that rotations are tightly scheduled and time does not permit week-long vacations other than what is scheduled. Interns should not hold jobs during the program as they are assigned for a minimum of 40 hours per week including weekends and shifts in various rotations. The internship requires full attention and dedication in order to meet program expectations. Any absence from the program must be made up, regardless of the reason. Interns who do not meet competency requirements at any point throughout the program will follow procedure for meeting with the preceptor and DI faculty to develop a plan of action, which may include the following options: alternate site placement, additional coursework, extended rotation experience to evaluate competency progression, additional services as deemed appropriate to the individual case, counseling for alternate career paths, and possible dismissal from the program. Program completion is expected to occur within 12 months from start of program (program length = 8 months; 150% = 12 months).


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