Dietetic Internship Program

Mission of the Dietetic Internship Program

The mission of the Dietetic Internship at The University of Tennessee at Martin is to prepare graduates for the registration examination and the preparation of entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists who are competent to deliver nutrition therapy as Registered Dietitians Nutritionists in hospitals and community based nutrition programs in order to promote a better quality of life for individuals, families, and communities.

Contact Information

Brian D. Carroll MS, RD, LDN
Dietetic Internship Director, Lecturer
University of Tennessee, Martin
330F Gooch Hall
Martin, TN 38238
731.881.7102
bcarro18@utm.edu

Brian Carroll

 

 

Accreditation Status:

The Dietetic Internship Program at the University of Tennessee is currently granted Accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995, 312/ 899-5400, www.eatrightpro.org/acend.

 

Program Overview

The Dietetic Internship (DI) is a post-baccalaureate program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Interns receive 1200 hours of supervised practice in clinical nutrition, food systems management and community nutrition with a concentration in nutrition therapy over a 10 month period.

Goals and Objectives

Broad Program Goals

1. To prepare entry level Registered Dietitians Nutritionists (RDN) in core competency areas with a specialization in medical nutrition therapy as a route to eligibility for credentialing.

  • 80% of program graduates will rate the program and its preceptors as satisfactory or higher on a 5 point rating scale for adequately preparing them for entry level medical nutrition therapy
  • The program’s one year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of the first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitians nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • 90% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • At least 80% of program interns will complete the internship program requirements within 15 months (150% of program length).
  • Of graduates who seek employment, 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • In preceptor evaluations of core and nutrition therapy competencies, 100% of interns will be at or above average.

All program goals will be evaluated annually for achievement of each goal and where necessary changes will be made in program to increase effectiveness.

 

2. To provide a supply of competent entry level RDNs’ to meet the needs of the West Tennessee region and beyond.

  • At least 50% of graduates from the region who successfully complete internship requirements will be employed in dietetics related professions in the West Tennessee area.
  • At least 75% of surveyed respondents who successfully completed the internship program will rank UT Martin as preparing them adequately for entry level RDN related practice.
  • At least 75% of surveyed employer respondents will rank UT Martin as adequately preparing graduates for entry-level RDN related practice.
  • At least 75% of surveyed preceptor respondents will rank UT Martin's graduates as entering the internship with average or above average prerequisite knowledge and skills.

Program Instructional Objectives

  1. To offer a minimum of 1,200 hours of well-rounded quality supervised practice where personal responsibility, initiative and self-analysis are cultivated and practiced.
  2. To prepare graduates who are competent in the ACEND performance requirements for entry-level dietitians in clinical dietetics, food systems management, nutrition intervention, community nutrition, and business and entrepreneurial dietetics.
  3. To increase program responsiveness to regional needs as well as trends in professional practice by conducting bi-annual surveys of interns, graduates and employers of graduates.
  4. To provide opportunities for refinement of presentation, team building, and computer skills among program participants.
  5. To facilitate personal responsibility and initiative for research and independent study for professional growth and advancement of dietetic practice.
  6. To encourage awareness among interns of their own cultural heritage and appreciation of cultural heritage of other ethnic groups.
  7. To enhance professional commitment, leadership skills, and effective participation in public policy matters.
  8. To maintain at least an 80% first year pass rate success rate of graduates on the Registration Examination for Dietitians by continuous self-analysis and facilitation of practitioner input.
  9. To make program accessible to non-traditional students by innovative and flexible curriculum planning.
  10. To provide professional development and renewal opportunities for didactic faculty and Preceptors.
  11. To offer an interdisciplinary curriculum with an emphasis in nutrition therapy in harmony with the mission of The University of Tennessee at Martin, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, and the practice requirements of the area dietitians.

Supervised Practice

  • Rotation experiences are offered at various healthcare facilities in East, Middle, and West Tennessee and Northwest Mississippi. Community rotations are also offered in these areas.
  • Learning experiences are scheduled 5 days per week and include some weekends, early morning and late evenings. The various times will depend on the specific rotation and the preceptor schedule.
  • Computer, printer, and internet access are required to complete projects and assignments throughout the internship.

Calendar

Application and acceptance to The University of Tennessee at Martin Graduate Studies is required prior to acceptance in the Dietetic Internship. http://www.utm.edu/departments/gradstudies/. While application deadline for the Fall 2019 semester for Graduate Studies is July 2019, you cannot match with our DI program if you have not applied to and been accepted into Graduate Studies by April 1, 2019. We recommend you apply to Graduate Studies using the same calendar due date to apply for DI programs, February 15, 2019. All applications to our DI programs are screened to ensure students have successfully applied to Graduate Studies. If there is a problem, you will be notified and we will work diligently with you to correct it.

 

Academic Calendar

2020-2021 Program Calendar

8/17/2020 Program Start Date
11/26 - 11/29 Thanksgiving Break
12/07/2020 - 1/10/2021 Break
5/7/2020 Program Completion

Internship Director

Brian D. Carroll, MS, RD, LDN

bcarro18@utm.edu

Brian Carroll has been a registered dietitian for several years. He has a BS and MS in Food & Nutrition from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
His professional history includes end stage renal disease/dialysis, weight loss clinic, clinical, long-term care, assisted living, homes for developmentally disabled adults and drug and alcohol rehab.

Prospective Interns

The Dietetic Internship Program at the University of Tennessee, Martin welcomes you and encourages you to submit an application through DICAS at https://portal.dicas.org/

We utilize the D&D digital matching system, found here https://www.dnddigital.com/ada/.

View Handbook

If you have questions, please call 731-881-7102 or email bcarro18@utm.edu. We look forward to receiving your application.

Entrance Requirements

  • Application and acceptance to The University of Tennessee at Martin Graduate Studies is required prior to acceptance in the Dietetic Internship. https://www.utm.edu/departments/fcs/grad.php. While the application deadline for the Fall 2019 semester for Graduate Studies is July 2019, you cannot match with our DI program if you have not applied by the date rankings are submitted on April 1, 2019. We recommend you apply to Graduate Studies using the same calendar due date to apply for DI programs, February 16, 2019. All applications to our DI programs are screened to ensure students have successfully applied to Graduate Studies. If there is a problem, you will be notified and we will work diligently with you to correct it.
  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university must be completed prior to the start of the internship program.
  • Official transcript verifying the degree was conferred
  • Minimum of 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale or equivalent.
  • Verification statement showing completion of or intent to complete an approved didactic program in dietetics (DPD) from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Recency of education in courses related to practice; if the degree is over five years old, six credit hours of college course work must be taken. If degree is over 10 years old, 12 credit hours of course work is required.
  • Preference will be given to applicants whose combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores equal or exceed 300.
  • Strong preference will be given to students with strong dietetic-related work experience, volunteer experience, extracurricular and leadership activities.
  • Student membership to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
  • Computer access, including MS Word, email and the internet
  • A personal, Skype or phone interview is required. You will be contacted by the DI Director after your application is received to schedule the time and type.

Selection Criteria

  • The Dietetic Internship Program at the University of Tennessee, Martin uses the DICAS internship application which can be found at https://portal.dicas.org/
  • Ten interns are selected to complete the internship program that typically runs from August to May.
  • Applications are reviewed by a selection committee which includes the internship director, other department faculty, preceptors, and current interns.
  • Applications are scored based on GPA, GRE score, work and volunteer experience, reference letters, personal letter, extracurricular activities and interview.
  • Any special accommodations can be discussed with the internship program director but will not be considered in the selection process.
  • Appointments are awarded without regard to race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, or genetic information. Marital status, age, and geographic area of the applicant are not considered.

Policy and procedure for selecting precepting facilities

The process for selecting precepting facilities to mentor/educate/work with the UT Martin dietetic interns involves several components. The precepting facilities used for the internship are Joint Commission accredited and the dietitians are capable of training and teaching the interns. An attempt is made to place interns in a geographical location near their home or where they plan to live during the internship as possible. Even though this attempt is made sometimes it is not possible to find preceptors willing to work with the dietetic interns, for various reasons, to include: short-handed/dietitians on sick leave, unwilling to donate the time and effort needed, unable to get an affiliation agreement between the university and the facility finalized. This contract finalization can be a lengthy process (4-6 weeks), so even if the facility is willing the legal issues involved with the contract can engulf more time than available. When the DI director knows the preceptors and the intern, every attempt is made for placement where personalities are suited for each other. The director is not always able to do this, for instance, when neither the preceptor or the intern are personally known by the director. Prospective interns are told prior to match day that they may be required to relocate in the event that I cannot secure a placement in their geographical location. Once facilities are in place for precepting a dietetic intern, I gain feedback from the intern regarding the learning experience, the professionalism of the faculty at the precepting facility, and any problems that might arise during the rotations. If the need is warranted to remove the intern from a facility, either on behalf of the intern or the facility, the director will seek additional preceptors and bring the intern to a new location.

Program Costs

  • Dietetic Internship Fee $600 (covers Tennessee Regional and State AND Professional Meeting Costs, Costs of Supplies, Licensure Preparatory Course, and Miscellaneous items)
  • Graduate school application fee $30.00
  • D&D Digital Computer Matching Fee $50.00
  • DICAS $20-40
  • Health Insurance $300-$500 month (varies)
  • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics student membership $50.00
  • Books and Supplies $200-$300 (varies)
  • TB Skin Test $7.00 approx.
  • Hept B 3 shot series $115.00 approx.
  • Background check $58.00 approx.
  • Drug screen $25 varies on lab used
  • Living Expenses: Housing/food/transportation $1000-$1100 month (varies with location and if sharing housing)
  • Full Time Tuition + Fees (in state) = $7,320 per year (12 credit hours)
  • Part Time Tuition + Fees (in state) = $3,660 per year (6 credit hours) x 2 years
  • Full Time Tuition + Fees (out of state) = $11,160 (12 credit hours)
  • Full Time Tuition + Fees (out of state) = $5,580 (6 credit hours) x 2 years

Total Program Costs = $1,455-1,775 + Tuition + Living Expenses

Second Round Matching Procedure

Please note that we do not participate in the national second round match after the D&D digital internship match date. Since applicants need to be admitted into Graduate Studies prior to being accepted into the DI Program, if we have any openings after the first round the DI Selection Committee will only consider those students who applied to UT Martin's DI Program for the current calendar year but were not ranked.

Graduation Requirements

The steps to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

  • Successful completion of a minimum 1200 hours of supervised practice provided through various practice courses (Pre Professional Practice I, II, III, V, and VI) and 200 hours of didactic instruction/research.
  • Successful completion of all course with a 80% or better on the evaluations
  • Average (80%) or better scores on examinations
  • Average (80%) or better score on the Graduate Research Presentation Project (GRP). The GRP can be library research, action research for improvement of practice in one of the rotation sites, or development of patient education literature.
  • Successful presentation of material at one of the WTAND meetings or the UT Martin Nutrition Symposium. The presentation will emphasize creative and visual quality for effectiveness and increased audience participation.
  • Average or better score on non-thesis graduate research poster session and abstract, national nutrition month display, and other assignments in syllabi.
  • Interns are expected to comply with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

  1. Minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a US regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Completion of an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)
  3. Completion of an ACEND accredited supervised practice program such as the Dietetic Internship Program at UTM.
  4. Receipt of a dietetic internship verification statement upon successful completion of academic and practice requirements.
  5. Successfully passing the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) national credentialing examination for registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs). Students/interns will need to have a master's degree in order to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist after January 1, 2024.
  6. Many states require licensure before being able to practice as a RDN. Check licensure guidelines for the state in which you plan to seek employment. For Tennessee go to the Board of Dietitians/Nutritionist Examiners at: https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/health-professional-boards/dn-board/dn-board/applications.html
  7. Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited [program type] program at [Institution name] are eligible to [apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN].

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