University of Maryland, College Park, Nutrition and Food Science Department, Dietetic Internship Mission Statement.
The Nutrition and Food Science Department (NFSC) dietetic internship advances the health of the public by high quality training in advanced information technology, and supervised practice in clinical, community and food management dietetics to prepare its dietetic interns for careers in healthcare, research and industry as entry-level dietitians.
Each intern merits the effort of time and energy from the internship and preceptors to become a competent and proficient practitioner. In this university-based program, the intern has a plethora of resources and opportunities that will enrich their learning. The program believes the interns will benefit from a diverse academic setting where every intern is recognized as an integral member of the team.
Many learning experiences are planned for the intern to broaden his/her scope of the field of dietetics in addition to the information technology emphasis. In the current dynamic health care sector, the intern needs to be aware of the many possibilities in his/her career as society has expressed a need for more and varied services. The role of "student" opens doors for the intern to observe, to question, and to evaluate these possibilities. Internship experiences will enable interns to respond to and manage environmental changes now and in the future. The internship believes the exposure of interns to many different career opportunities is an asset of the program.
Through supervised practice experience at many off-site facilities, the intern enhances his/her opportunity to meet role models and possible mentors. The internship believes its preceptors serve as role models and mentors who embody our belief of competent and dedicated practitioners. Further various exposures assist interns in developing critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, effective communication skills and collaborative, team-building skills.
As a participant in the University of Maryland dietetic internship, it is imperative that participants be aware that this and all similar internships rely on a series of “supervised practice” rotations which provide planned experiences to meet accreditation competencies. These rotations are made available by various institutions to the participants of the internships under various agreements between the internship and the participating institutions. Many of these institutions are not part of or under the direct control of the University of Maryland and/or the dietetic internship program. As such, each of these institutions operates under its own set of rules, regulations and policies; any intern assigned to one of these institutions will be expected to follow that institution’s policies and procedures. Examples of these policies include, but are not limited to: hours of operation; need for vaccinations, urine tests, identity verification, and food service operating procedures. And, while the internship is committed to making reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of an intern, there is no guarantee that every requested adjustment can be met as these non-UMD facilities set their own rules, regulations, policies and expectations. In that case, and with adequate notice, the internship will attempt to locate another rotation for placement. To satisfactorily complete the UMD dietetic internship, a student must complete all planned experiences and major projects to achieve competency requirements as defined by the accreditation authority -- the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. The internship is committed to support its students in furtherance of achieving these competency requirements.
There are not enough dietitians to fill vacancies in the Maryland-DC area in hospitals, long term care facilities and community clinics. A continuing need exists to train skilled, entry-level dietitians to meet community needs.
At the conclusion of the internship, the intern will have benefited from working with a diverse group of practitioners, developed an initial dietetic network and enter the field as a well-rounded practitioner who appreciates the importance of active career involvement.
INTERNSHIP PROGRAM GOALS:
- Prepare dietetic interns to become competent dietitians.
- Prepare dietetic internship graduates to meet the employment needs of Maryland - DC area employers.
- Enhance dietetic interns' application of information technology to applied nutrition, food safety and health.
INDIVIDUAL GOAL OBJECTS THAT ARE MONITORED:
1. Goal One -- Objectives
- At least 80% of interns complete program requirements within 15.75 months/66 weeks (150% of planned program length).
- At least 60% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
- The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
- Of graduates who seek employment, at least 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
2. Goal Two -- Objectives
- 100% of interns will complete information specialist training during primary technology rotation at "meets" or "exceeds" expectations.
- 100% of intern professional portfolios will "meets" or "exceeds" expectations.
- 90% of employers of graduates will report interns have above average information technology skills.
3. Goal Three -- Objectives
- At least 25% of each graduating internship class will become employed by a MD-DC employer for at least two years.
- 80% of graduates achieve a satisfactory or greater rating for entry-level practice from employers based upon feedback surveys.
PROGRAM OUTCOME DATA IS AVAILABLE FROM THE DIRECTOR UPON REQUEST.