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Major Components of the Dietetic Internship

Supervised Practice Experiences

Our program features four supervised practice experiences of 30 to 35 hours per week scheduled over four 10-week rotations for a minimum of 1,200 hours. The student will enroll in eight credits of graduate course work (FDNT 601, 602, 603, 604, and 605) prior to supervised practice; six to nine credits of graduate internship, of which six can be applied to the Master of Science (M.S.) degree; and four credits graduate course work (FDNT 651 and 652) at the completion of supervised practice. Including these classes, the student will earn a total 18 graduate credits which can be applied to the M.S. degree.

The program begins during IUP’s Summer Session II (July) and is completed at the end of Summer Session I (June) the following year, allowing graduate students to take the national examination to become a registered dietitian approximately six weeks following verification of program completion. The remaining M.S. degree requirements (approximately 18 credits) can be completed online during a second year of graduate study.

The four supervised practice rotations are:

  • Nutrition Intervention

    Individual nutrition counseling practice in programs whose primary focus is wellness, cardiac rehabilitation, and private practice. Needs assessment and practice skills are observed and developed in a variety of agencies, such as the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

    Individual and small group nutrition counseling practice will focus on wellness, perinatal care, weight management, cancer, and renal dialysis treatment. During this experience, the student will provide nutrition counseling services through Community Nutrition Services, private physician offices, and the Indiana Regional Medical Center Diabetes Center. These experiences are completed concurrently during the rotation, with the student devoting a specific number of hours each week in each facility. Thus, the student participates in the continuing care of diverse clientele. Use of Nutrition Care Process is emphasized throughout the counseling process.

    Sites include IUP Community Nutrition Service, private physician offices, YMCA, IUP Fitness Center, Diamond Pharmacy Supply, Indiana Regional Medical Center Diabetes Center, UPMC Center Treatment Program, Dialysis Center, Inc., and Women, Infants, and Children program.

  • Nutrition Education

    Instructional design, implementation, and evaluation will be observed and practiced in a variety of agencies, schools, and the regional dairy council. Emphasis is on the learning paradigm and is student-, patient-, and client-centered.

    Instructional design, including lesson content which embraces using a variety of active learning strategies, lesson presentation, and evaluation, will be observed and practiced. Emphasis is on enhancing oral communication skills while incorporating current instructional technology into providing food and nutrition education for a variety of target audiences. Students will:

    1. teach IUP non-major introductory lecture and laboratory classes.
    2. teach a target audience of their choice other than college students.
    3. design an educational brochure/bulletin board for the adult consumer.
    4. research and evaluate website/media as assigned.

    A variety of community-based sites are used. In addition, interns gain college teaching experience by assisting faculty with undergraduate courses.

  • Clinical Nutrition

    Practice of nutrition assessment and implementation of clinical care is included at both acute and extended care facilities.The clinical rotation is practiced at a variety of both acute and long-term care facilities. These sites include regional hospitals, community hospitals, and long-term care facilities. Students will be scheduled in advance for these sites by the faculty coordinator. Students will be given an individualized plan as to how the objectives will be accomplished for each site.

    Facilities include Alle-Kiski Medical Center, Altoona Regional Health System, Armstrong Center for Medicine and Health, Butler Memorial Hospital, Cambria Care Center, the Communities at Indian Haven, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, DuBois Area Regional Medical Center, Excela Health Latrobe Area Hospital, Excela Health Westmoreland Regional Hospital, Hillsdale Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Laurel Crest Rehabilitation and Special Services Center, Ohio Valley General Hospital, Punxsutawney Area Hospital/Laurel Crest Manor, St. Andrew’s Village, UPMC Shadyside, and the Western Pennsylvania Hospital.

  • Management: Food Service Systems

    Management skills are developed in both acute and extended care facilities and school feeding programs. Included are opportunities to participate in quality assurance and cost control functions.

    The purpose of this rotation is to provide the intern with knowledge about: food production (procurement, food preparation, delivery systems), foodservice management, interpersonal communication skills (interviewing techniques, personnel evaluation, human resource management), food policies and procedures, program funding and budgeting, community-based program management, quality assurance, organizational evaluation, menu development and evaluation, food safety, and kitchen sanitation.

    Facilities include Armstrong School District, Butler Hospital, Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, DuBois Hospital, Homer-Center School District, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Pittsburgh Companies North, Regency Nursing Home, St. Andrew’s Village, and Somerset Area Agency on Agency.

Additional Activities

In addition to completion of the supervised practice experience/rotation hours, dietetic internship meetings, and coursework, dietetic interns will participate in the following:

  • Jean Inman Review: An R.D. exam review course
  • DESSG Seminars: Western Pennsylvania Dietetic Education Seminar Study Group educational seminars that take place at various locations throughout the year
  • Continuing Education: Contributes to updating and expanding the intern knowledge base. Interns are required to complete professional development hours (15 total) based on the personal learning plan they complete during orientation. A log is completed and submitted based on individualized professional goals established by the intern after self-assessment. The goals and the log are submitted to the dietetic internship director at the end of the program
  • Special Projects
  • Food and Nutrition Department
  • Ackerman Hall, Room 102
    911 South Drive
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-4440
  • Fax: 724-357-3007
  • Semester Office Hours
  • Monday–Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.– Noon
  • 1:00–4:30 p.m.