Dietetic Internship

Program Description
Mission Statement
Goals and Objectives
Program Completion Requirements
Program Calendar
Open House
Procedure For Admission Consideration
Tuition and Fees

Program Director: Shahla Wunderlich, PhD, RD, FACN
Co-directors: Maria Stanish, MS, RD; Donna Duardo, MA, RD
Office: University Hall, Room 4019
Phone Number: (973) 655-4375 or (973) 655-4172
Email: stanishm@mail.montclair.edu, duardod@mail.montclair.edu

Program Description

The Dietetic Internship at Montclair State University is a 10-month, full-time, post-baccalaureate program with a nutrition therapy emphasis. It consists of a minimum of 1232 hours of supervised practice in the field of dietetics as well as classroom education and the completion of 6 graduate credits. There is an opportunity for some students to gain more hours at other professional meetings, program planning events and participation in health fairs.

 A maximum of twelve students are accepted into the program. The Montclair State University Dietetic Internship is currently granted full accreditation by Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60696-6995, 312-899-0040. It is being considered for reaccreditation in Winter 2015.

The Dietetic Internship is offered on a full-time basis over 40 weeks in order for students to achieve the competencies set by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, and become eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians. Upon passing the examination, graduates earn the credential Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Dietitians and nutritionists are not licensed in New Jersey at this time.

Four days each week are devoted to supervised field experience. Students rotate through various facilities for experience in clinical dietetics, foodservice management, community nutrition, wellness, education and research. In-patient clinical nutrition rotations include medicine and surgery, intensive care, pediatrics, long-term care, and rehabilitation. Out-patient settings provide experiences in diabetes management, dialysis and maternal nutrition. Additional rotations in school food service management, community sanitation, community nutrition programs such as Head Start, Cooperative Extension, the Nutrition Program for the Elderly, wellness programs, and research allow for the achievement of program goals. Supervised field experiences are completed on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Monday is reserved for didactic education, which includes lectures, guest speakers, and field trips. Students are required to take two graduate courses for a total of six credits. Courses are determined by the program director. Upon completing the Dietetic Internship, students may continue their graduate studies following matriculation.

Potential areas of employment following program completion include healthcare institutions, foodservice operations, wellness programs, home health agencies, health clubs, government programs, research, consulting, and business.

Information can be obtained from Montclair State University, Dietetic Internship, University Hall, Montclair, NJ 07043. All applications are due by the February deadline designated by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, which may be found at http://www.eatright.org/ACEND/. For the Spring 2015 computer match, the deadline for applications is February 15, 2015. For further information, please contact the Dietetic Internship at 973-655-4172.

Mission Statement

The Montclair State University Dietetic Internship Program is dedicated to preparing graduates for excellence in dietetics practice, to be lifelong learners with academic skills and real-world supervised practice experience in nutrition and dietetics.  Students will be prepared for leadership roles in dietetics through both classroom education (including two graduate courses) and extensive supervised field experiences encompassing culturally diverse populations and interdisciplinary collaborations. Students will engage in critical reflection, inquiry, and critical thinking to become stewards of best practice and ethical performance, resulting in creative solutions to challenges in human nutrition. The program provides an education in all areas of dietetics with a nutrition therapy emphasis so as to achieve the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics competency requirements for program accreditation. Through an understanding of the standards of practice and development of skills, students can successfully pass the registration examination and apply their knowledge effectively to careers in clinical nutrition, food service and program management.

Goals and Objectives

Goal #1: The program will prepare students to be competent entry level dietitians, displaying professional attitudes and behaviors consistent with ethical and professional practice.

           Objectives:

  • Over a five-year period, the pass rate for Dietetic internship graduates taking the RD exam for the first time will be at least 83% (measured by report sent to by the Commission on Dietetic Registration).
  • Ninety percent of dietetic interns will complete program requirements within 150% of the time planned for program completion (60 weeks vs. 40 weeks).
  • At one-year post-program completion, 100% of all surveyed work supervisors will provide an overall rating of “adequately prepared” regarding graduate practice abilities.
  • At one-year post-program completion, 100% of all surveyed work supervisors will provide an overall rating of “adequately prepared” regarding ethical practice.
  • At one-year post-program completion, 100% of all surveyed work supervisors will provide an overall rating of “adequately prepared” regarding professionalism.
  • At one-year post-program completion, 100% of all surveyed graduates will provide an overall rating of “adequately prepared” regarding their practice abilities.
  • Over a five year period, at least 80% of DI graduates who sought employment in dietetics or a related field will be employed within twelve months of program completion.

Goal #2: The program will provide a learning environment to promote leadership and community service.
          
          Objectives:

  • At one-year post program completion, 90% of dietetic interns will report adequate training in leadership during the internship.  
  • Within five years post program completion, 20% of program graduates will demonstrate leadership by either an appointment to an organizational committee, holding a professional office, presenting for a professional organization, coordinating a community nutrition initiative, or serving as a preceptor to a dietetic intern.  
  • Within five years post program completion, 20% of program graduates will report involvement in community service or a professional organization over 3-5 years post program completion.
  • Outcomes data are available upon request.

Goal #3: The program will provide an environment that promotes professional attitudes and behaviors consistent with ethical and professional practice.

           Objectives:

  • 100% of all surveyed work supervisors will provide an overall rating of “adequately prepared” regarding graduate practice abilities in the areas of leadership and professionalism within 9 months of graduation (measured 9 months after graduation).
  • 100% of all surveyed graduates will provide an overall rating of “adequately prepared” regarding their practice abilities in the areas of ethical responsibilities of the professional and leadership qualities within 9 months of graduation (measured 9 months after graduation).

Goal #4: The program will provide a learning environment to promote and pursue research and community service.

           Objectives:

  • 100% of all students will obtain a “B” or better in the assigned graduate courses, one of which will concentrate on research (measured at end of semesters).
  • 100% of all students completing the program will meet research rotation requirements with a “3” or better (measured at end of research rotation).
  • 100% of all students will complete community service projects as assigned (measured throughout program).
  • Outcomes data are available upon request.

Program Completion Requirements

  • Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 1232 hours of supervised practice with an average grade of "3" or “Satisfactory” in all rotations. Opportunities exist for interns to incur additional hours at professional meetings and community wellness events.
  • Completion of two graduate courses (6 credits) with a minimum grade of "B".
  • Passing a mid-point and a final exam with a minimum grade of 80%.
  • Satisfactory completion of all didactic component requirements.

Program Calendar

Orientation to the Dietetic Internship usually begins in late August with supervised practice rotations beginning in September. There are no rotations on Thanksgiving. Holiday recess/make-up weeks are provided over the December holiday period and in March. There is no class on Memorial Day. Graduation takes place the third week in June.

Open House

The Dietetic Internship will hold an Open House for prospective applicants the second Saturday in January in University Hall, Room 4008 from 10 a.m.-noon. For 2015, this will be January 10. All aspects of the program will be presented, including the application process, program requirements and rotations, sites, and the graduate courses. Please call the Internship at 973-655-4172 to RSVP, or for information in case of inclement weather.

Procedure for Admission Consideration

Please read carefully. The Montclair State University Dietetic Internship application process is not the same on-line process as the rest of the University.  Refer to http://www.eatright.org/ACEND/content.aspx?id=192  for “Computer Match: Applicant Responsibilities”, which gives specific information for the application, computer matching, and appointment procedures. Other important information, including suggestions for improving your chances of getting an internship, can be found at http://www.eatright.org/ACEND/content.aspx?id=186There are three components to the application process: completion of the on-line application through DICAS (Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System), registration with D & D Digital for the computer match, and an application fee payable to the Montclair State University Dietetic Internship. 

Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS)

Applications for the Dietetic Internship should be submitted to DICAS (Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System), which may be accessed at https://portal.dicas.org. The Montclair State University Dietetic Internship participates in the Spring computer match. Follow the directions listed for the on-line application. The following information will be required:

  • Personal statement in 1,000 words or less. Questions to be addressed in the personal statement include:
    • 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?
    • What other information do you consider important for the selection decision?
  • Listing of GPA and DPD courses; DPD course list form needs to be uploaded
  • Three letters of recommendation (from an instructor and a work supervisor); Applicants must include the name and contact information (specifically an e-mail address) for each reference. This will trigger an e-mail message requesting completion of a reference form, which will be completed on-line. Students submitting more than one application will need to use the same individuals as references for each application.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to: DICAS
  • Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree or DPD Verification Statement to be sent to DICAS; you will need to provide an e-mail address for your DPD Director
  • Listing of paid and volunteer work experience
  • Honors and awards
  • Phone number and address where applicant can be reached, if necessary, on Appointment Day (April 13 for the Spring 2015 match; see  http://www.eatright.org/ACEND/content.aspx?id=186)

The on-line application must be completed for the MSU Dietetic Internship by the date and time stated on the ACEND web site, http://www.eatright.org/ACEND/content.aspx?id=186.  For 2015, it must be received by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on February 15, or 12:59 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on February 16. The fee to use DICAS is $40 for the first application submitted, and $20 for each additional application (subject to change).

D & D Digital Registration

Applicants must also register online for computer matching at the D&D web site (www.dnddigital.com) and select dietetic internship priority choices by the date and time listed. For 2015, applicants must register by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 15, or 12:59 a.m. Eastern Time on February 16. There is a $50.00 computer matching fee (subject to change). Applicants must register with D&D Digital to be considered for the internship.

Montclair State University Application

An application fee of $60 must be received by the Montclair State Dietetic Internship postmarked by February 15, 2015 for the Spring 2015 computer match.

The check or money order should be payable to the Montclair State University Dietetic Internship, and sent to:

Montclair State University
Dietetic Internship
University Hall, Room 4019
Montclair, NJ 07043

Total fees for application to the MSU Dietetic Internship as of October 9, 2014 (subject to change) are:
$40 to DICAS
$50 to D & D Digital
$60 to the MSU Dietetic Internship (nonrefundable)

A total Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) GPA of 3.2 is required. Complete applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee for personal statement, grades, paid and volunteer experience, honors and awards, and recommendations. An interview and writing sample will be required for final ranking. Applicants will be contacted by telephone between February 24 and February 27 between 10 am-2 pm to schedule an interview. Applicants are encouraged to bring a sampling of graded, written assignments from their Didactic Program in Dietetics to their scheduled interviews.

The final ranking will be submitted to D&D Digital for the computer match. For the Spring 2015 computer match, applicant matching results will be posted on www.dnddigital.com beginning at 6:00 p.m. Central Time (7:00 p.m. Eastern Time) on Notification Day (Sunday, April 12, 2015).

Applicants who match with Montclair State University must phone the DI program director at 973-655-4375 before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Appointment Day (Tuesday, April 13 for Spring 2015) to confirm acceptance of a match. If a message needs to be left, please provide a phone number where you may be reached to confirm your acceptance. After 5:00 p.m. on Appointment Day (April 13 for 2015), the Internship is under no obligation to hold the opening for the matched applicant.

If all positions are not filled, the DI Director may appoint interns on an individual basis, adhering to Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics requirements.

Accepted students will need to send an original Verification Statement showing completion of a Didactic Program in Dietetics, original transcripts from all schools attended, and transcripts verifying the completion of a bachelor's degree to the Dietetic Internship at Montclair State University before beginning the program.

In addition, all undergraduate coursework, summer assignments and evidence of an acceptable criminal background check must be completed and acceptance to the Montclair State University Graduate School must be verified before beginning the internship. Students whose criminal background checks are unacceptable or show activity may not be able to continue in the internship. An orientation day for incoming interns will be scheduled in early June.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for the Program and the six graduate credits are separate.

Program tuition includes:

  • Supervised work experience
  • Program study guides
  • Classroom instruction other than graduate courses
  • Professional liability insurance

Program tuition is due in two installments (August and October), and is paid directly to the Dietetic Internship. For the year 2015-16, tuition will be $10,000 plus graduate course tuition and fees.

Graduate Courses

Tuition for three graduate credits per semester and associated fees are paid to the University according to standard University procedures. See the MSU web site (www.montclair.edu) for the current tuition and fees. Accepted students will need to apply to the Graduate School as Dietetic Interns (see http://www.montclair.edu/graduate/); there is an additional fee for the Graduate School application. Instructions will be given regarding this at orientation for matched applicants in June. Tuition and fees may change without notice.

Other Costs

Students are responsible for obtaining the following prior to beginning the program:
Health insurance (variable cost)
Textbooks (estimate $500)
Lab coats (estimate $20 each)
Physical exam and lab work (variable cost; estimate $300 depending on individual health requirements and health insurance)
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics affiliate membership ($50)
Background check and urine drug screen (estimate $100+)
Campus parking (see http://www.montclair.edu/facilities/logistic-support/parking-services/ for fee)
for fee)

Additional variable costs during the program include:
Housing
Transportation and car insurance
Some meals
Parking in some facilities (can be up to $40 for one month)
Fees for field trips and meetings (estimate $150)
Supplies and duplicating (estimate $500)

Financial Aid

Please refer to http://www.eatright.org/ACEND/content.aspx?id=7934 for Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Scholarship and other financial aid information. Montclair State University dietetic interns are eligible for personal or private loans (see http://www.montclair.edu/financial-aid/educational-loans/). Student loan deferments may be applicable. Program management will provide requested documentation to students requiring verification of participation in the Internship.