Master of Science Dietetic Internship Program

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Hello from Benedictine University,

I am delighted that you are visiting Benedictine University’s Dietetic Internship/Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition & Wellness program website.  The Dietetic Internship (DI) is a unique program that has a general emphasis with a focus in Public Health & Community Nutrition. In just 15 months, students are able to complete the internship as well as their MS in Nutrition & Wellness.  The DI 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 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (800) 877-1600 ext. 5400.

To be eligible for the Dietetic Internship and to participate in the Spring match process, you must have a verification statement or a declaration of intent from your undergraduate didactic program in dietetics (DPD). You can obtain information about the computer match process for the DI either from your DPD Director or by visiting the D&D Digital website at http://www.dnddigital.com.

Each year the DI program begins in August. Students begin by taking two courses in an accelerated 5-week format. Then for the remainder of the program, interns will be simultaneously taking MS courses in the evening or on weekends, while completing DI practical experiences during the day (Monday through Thursday). The DI rotations consist of experiences in hospitals, long term care/sub acute clinical, food service, maternal and child health, elderly nutrition, community, and much more!

Applying to our program requires that you complete two application processes as follows:

If a student does not match to the DI program, you may wish to pursue the Master of Science Nutrition & Wellness degree. Enrolling in this degree may be helpful in obtaining a future internship match. Also, by becoming a Benedictine University student you would then be eligible for our annual December pre-match application process. Our DI program may accept 6 Benedictine University students to the DI annually.

I am so pleased that you have visiting our website. Please consider visiting our campus at either a graduate admissions event or at our annual DI open house.

I am happy to address any questions you may have, so please feel free to contact me to learn more about our DI program. I look forward to your call or email.

Best regards,
Julie M. Moreschi, MS,RD, LDN
Dietetic Internship Director

Overview

The Benedictine University Dietetic Internship program provides interns with over 40 weeks of practical experience. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, the intern will be a competent entry-level dietitian, eligible to apply for active membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and able to take the Registered Examination for licensure as a Registered Dietitian.

Why should you consider the Benedictine University Dietetic Internship Program for your first choice? Consider the advantages of Benedictine University’s Dietetic Internship program...

  • Benedictine University is Highly Ranked! Forbes magazine has named Benedictine University among the top 20 percent of America's colleges for 2011.
  • The Benedictine University Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (800) 877-1600 ext. 5400). Upon completion of this master degree coursework, including the Dietetic Internship concentration, the student will receive a Dietetics Practice Verification Statement. This Verification Statement enables the graduate to take the Registered Dietitian examination administered by the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR). Upon receipt of a passing score, the student meets the eligibility requirements to become a nationally registered and state licensed dietitian, and an Active Member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • The program is a combined master degree dietetic internship. Thus students work towards both the Dietetic Internship Verification Statement and a degree in Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness, or a dual degree in MS in Nutrition and Wellness/Master of Public Health (M.P.H.).
  • The program strives to develop an academic community that supports each person in the pursuit of knowledge, personal development, and a life lived in balance.
  • This program, as part of Benedictine University, prepares its students for a lifetime, as active, informed, and responsible citizens and leaders of the dietetics and world communities.
  • Although you will gain a solid practice experience base in medical nutrition therapy and management, through unique site rotations our program is designed to provide a strong community & public health emphasis, with a lifespan focus.
  • The program grants credit for prior learning experiences then providing interns with the opportunity to experience other areas of nutrition & dietetics rather than repeat skills they may already possess.
  • This program is designed for those persons whose career aspirations may include nutrition and health education assessment, planning, program delivery, counseling, outcome evaluation, and program administration in community, school, outpatient, corporate wellness, and private practice settings.
  • The program is supported by a large team of talented faculty, as well as site preceptors from over 100 facilities in and around Benedictine University.
  • A 15 year history of excellence in preparing entry-level dietetics professionals.

Objectives

The Dietetic Internship program is a concentration in the M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program. The M.S. Foundation courses meet the M.S. program objectives.

Dietetic Internship Concentration course outcomes have been designed to meet the specific competencies/learning objectives as outlined by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These competencies/learning objectives are listed in rotation packets.

Based on program priorities, a five-year timeframe for assessment of all key learning outcomes for the program is planned. Numerous benchmarks are prioritized and tracked as part of the annual program assessment improvement plan.

As part of the practice of effective teaching to foster and improve learning, all faculty are encouraged to engage in assessment of their own courses. There are numerous ways to measure course improvements. The Dietetic Internship rotation outcomes and courses in the concentration directly contribute to meeting Dietetic Internship program objectives (i.e., they are aligned).

Dietetic interns are evaluated frequently throughout the internship program. For more details about the evaluation policies and program completion requirements, click here. Numerous measures are employed to assist in this process, producing direct and indirect evidence of learning. Our program employs multiple assessment measures to examine student learning in the dietetic internship program, including portfolio, authentic case studies, projects, and tests. We use project descriptions, criterion grade sheets, and/or rubrics as tools to assess learning throughout the program.

Evaluations of interns by supervisors and self, and evaluation of rotations by interns are regularly conducted.

For more information, visit the "Nutrition Preceptors link" (in the resources tab).

An evaluation is sent to the employer of our graduates following program completion, the program Director also tracks:

  • Enrollment Trends,
  • Conducts Student Surveys,
  • Collaborates in the Collection of Alumni Surveys, and
  • Examines the Pass Rate of the RD Exam. Data collection and analysis is ongoing.

Goals

The goals, outcome measures, and targets/benchmarks of the Dietetic Internship program are as follows:

Goal #1: The Dietetic Internship program reflects the needs of dietetic interns and prepares them for current practice and lifelong learning to become competent entry-level dietitians.

Outcome Measures
  • Over a 5-year period, first time test takers achieve at least 80% passing rate on the RD examination
  • Over a 5 year period, 100% of Benedictine University (BU) graduates will successfully complete the program within 22.5 months or 150% of the anticipated 15 month program completion length.
  • Over a 5-year period, 100% of BU graduates will take the Registration Examination within 1 year of program completion.
  • Over a 5 year period, using data obtained by the BU graduate survey and other information from professional networks, 70% or more of graduates who seek employment will be employed within 12 months of program completion.
  • Based on returned Employer evaluations completed one year post BU program completion, at least 90% of employers of BU graduates will rate graduates as "outstanding" or "above average" entry level dietitians.
  • Based on returned BU graduate surveys completed one year post BU program completion, 90% of graduates will rate themselves 4 on a 5 point scale for "At the end of the DI, I was able to provide counseling/education to individuals/groups".
  • Based on returned Employer evaluations completed one year post BU program completion, 90% of employers will rate graduates at 4 on a 5 point scale for competency for the statement "counsels patients regarding nutrition and diet".

Goal #2: Through encouragement, motivation, and support from the preceptors, mentors and program director the dietetic interns will be adept at demonstrating a high level of professionalism.

Outcome Measures
  • Based on returned Employer evaluations completed one year post BU program completion, 90% of employers will rate graduates at 4 on a 5 point scale for "developing interpersonal relationships" and "practices professionalism".
  • Based on returned BU graduate surveys completed one year post BU program completion, 90% of graduates will rate themselves 4 on a 5 point scale for "interacting effectively with team members.
  • Based on data collected annually from a "Graduate update survey" and other professional networks, 50% of graduates that are employed and that respond to the survey will have experience serving as mentors for dietetic student education.

Goal #3: The Benedictine University Dietetic Internship program will provide experiences to assist dietetics professionals in gaining the knowledge and skills in public health nutrition as defined by Benedictine University’s public health nutrition competencies.

Outcome Measure
  • Based on returned BU graduate surveys completed one year post BU program completion, 90% of graduates will rate themselves 4 on a 5 point scale for "The DI experience increased my knowledge and skills related to public health nutrition?"
  • *denotes a national benchmark that requires monitoring per the February 2012 Update Version 1.01 of the 2008 DI Standards - ACEND Accreditation Standards for Dietetic Internship Programs in Nutrition & Dietetics Leading to the RD Credential
NOTE: Outcome data measuring achievement of program objectives is available to interns, prospective interns, and the public upon request.

Degree Requirements

The combined M.S. Dietetic Internship (DI) program provides the applied knowledge and experience for practice as a registered dietitian. The M.S. in Nutrition and Wellness program requires a total of 64 quarter hours (approximately 43 semester hours) of graduate coursework, which consists of:

  • 36 quarter hours of required Nutrition and Wellness Foundation Courses
  • 28 quarter hours of coursework in the Dietetic Internship concentration.

All dietetic interns must attend on a full-time basis. The course schedule enables completion of the required graduate courses and dietetic internship in 16 months. This concentration is available on campus (Lisle).

Before beginning his/her internship rotations in the regular fall term, a dietetic intern must also complete:

  • All pre-work (assigned in the summer prior to the start of the dietetic internship program),
  • All required medical and drug, security and safety, and academic clearances,
  • Earn a grade of a "B" or better in NTR 615 (4) Medical Nutrition Therapy Advanced Concepts and Outcome Measurement (early fall course), and
  • Earn a grade of a "B" or better in NTR 670 (1) DI Orientation (early fall course).

The DI Program Director serves as academic advisor of those in the Dietetic Internship concentration, assisting students through advisement about course options, sequencing, and registration. 

The Dietetic Internship rotations span over the entire 16 month program, and each intern will complete about 40 weeks of internship rotation work. For more information about the types of internship rotations, click here.

For more detailed information about the master degree curriculum requirements and sample course sequences, refer to the program guides and curriculum information. The M.S. Checklist allows you to record completion of the Foundation Courses and those required for your Concentration. You are encouraged to utilize this M.S. Checklist, available in the program handbook.

Practice Experience

Our Dietetic Internship program has a community emphasis, exposing the intern to a vast scope of available career options. The Dietetic Internship provides supervised field placement in community, health care and management organizations. Internship site placements include both traditional and non-traditional settings, most of which are located in or near the Western suburbs of Chicago.

  • Program Length: 15 months (over 40 weeks of internship rotations).
  • Entrance Date: Program starts each year in late August.
  • Class Size: 14 interns per spring match period; six slots may be filled via pre-match.
  • Work Schedule: Dietetic Internship rotations take place Monday through Thursday.Friday is a classroom and/or seminar day. Student will attend graduate classes some evening and/or weekends in each quarter of the program.
  • Vacation: There is a two week break around the winter holidays each year. Interns may request one additional week of vacation. All vacation requests must be approved by the DI Director in advance.
  • Health Insurance: Interns are required to obtain their own health insurance.
  • Automobiles: A car is required for the DI program, as interns must travel to their sites. Interns are required to obtain automobile insurance.

Financial Assistance

Information regarding the Tuition and Fees for the Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness/Dietetic Internship Concentration can be found by clicking here.

Many opportunities exist for nutrition students in need of financial assistance. You are strongly encouraged to apply for grant money, low interest bank loans, and scholarships - may be available from the government, corporations, community or civic groups, philanthropic and religious organizations.

To start the financial aid process, please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can access the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

  • Students must register for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) with the U.S. Department of Education. Your PIN will serve as your electronic signature. You can apply for a PIN online at: www.pin.ed.gov
  • Benedictine University's school code is: 001767.

If you are entering the university to pursue the Lisle campus degree program, contact a representative in the University Financial Aid Office at (630) 829-6100 for a consultation.

For more information on how to begin the financial aid application process for the online program, please request more information or call (866) 295-3104 to speak with an Admissions Advisor.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy) offers students the opportunity to apply for Academy scholarships. To qualify, students must be at least junior standing and enrolled in an accredited undergraduate nutrition program, Dietetic Internship program, or master degree program, depending upon the scholarship. Due to the limited number of available scholarships, these are quite competitive and thus prestigious to receive. Refer to the September Supplement of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics or the Academy web site for more information. Generally, you must be a member of the Academy to receive an Academy or local dietetic association scholarship. Membership information is available on the Academy website or throught the Nutrition Department.

  • There is a required reference list for the Dietetic Internship. Costs vary based on how many of the books the students purchase during their undergraduate studies.
  • Meal packages can be purchased through Sodexho foodservice on campus. Some practice site facilities do give interns a free lunch (variable).
  • Contact an Apartment Finders organization (e.g., Relcon at 630/355-1100). Fully furnished on-campus apartment living (12-month lease) is available for students in Founders' Woods.
  • Interns must provide proof of medical insurance coverage throughout the Program, as well as a physician statement of health status, MMR vaccine, 2-step TB, flu shot and Hepatitis B vaccine.
  • Fingerprinting and police clearance will be required prior to the start of the internship and perhaps the research if the work involves children.

Admission Procedures

Thank you for your interest in to the Benedictine University combined Dietetic Internship/Master of Science in Nutrition & Wellness Program

Please note that to apply for the Dietetic Internship(DI)/Master of Science(MS) in Nutrition & Wellness Program, you will be required to submit two separate applications.

For detailed information on the MS in Nutrition & Wellness Application process- Click Here!

The following information will help to guide you through the DI application procedures.

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor's or advanced degree from an accredited institution
  2. 3.0 overall GPA; Didactic Program in Dietetics GPA 3.2.
  3. GRE score that is at or above the 30th percentile in all categories. The GRE must be taken prior to application. Record this on your Supervised Application Form, and submit the results directly to the MS in Nutrition and Wellness Director as part of your MS in Nutrition and Wellness application.
  4. Minimum academic requirements established by ACEND, as evidenced by a DPD verification statement or intent to complete statement.
  5. Additional coursework in medical nutrition therapy is required when a degree has been completed five or more years prior to internship application.

To apply:

  • Benedictine University’s DI Program is using the on-line centralized internship application, DICAS, which may be accessed at https://portal.dicas.org , e-mail DICASinfo@DICAS.org. The on-line application must be completed for our program by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 15, 2014. The fee to use DICAS is $40 for the first application submitted and $20 for each additional application.
  • When completing the application form, 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. The form will be completed on-line. Students submitting more than one application will need to use the same individuals as references for each application.

    Please provide recommendations that meet the following criteria:
    1. One from a nutrition professor who can discuss: (a) your academic ability and potential; (b) professionally related memberships and involvement; (c) resourcefulness and initiative; and (d) personal attributes, including strengths, limitations, and leadership ability and potential.
    2. A work/volunteer/practicum experience supervisor/manager.
    3. An academic professor in nutrition, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or written communications.
  • Applicants who apply to Benedictine University’s DI program need to individualize their application letter. The letter, which has a 1,000 word limit, needs to be a professional typewritten business letter, which states:
    1. Why you chose to study nutrition and dietetics.
    2. Both short (5 years) and long term (10 years) career aspirations/goals.
    3. A description of how your unique characteristics and/or experiences (e.g., diabetes camp counselor, teaching nutrition to children, academic minors or concentrations or double majors, bilingual skills, study abroad, certification in sanitation and related fields, such as fitness, leadership positions, regularly scheduled volunteer experience in health care or community based facilities, coaching sports teams, supervisory experience, culinary arts experience, people-orientated experiences, etc.) and/or personal strengths could contribute to this Dietetic Internship and your career goals.
    4. An honest assessment of your limitations and what we need to provide to help you to succeed. Remember, we are trying to make certain that we can provide you with the experience you need and desire!
  • In order to assure our program matches your needs, you may be invited for a phone interview. If we interview you, we will notify you by e-mail or telephone.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to:

    DICAS - Transcript Dept
    PO Box 9118
    Watertown, Ma 02472

    International students must also provide transcripts evaluated in detail by ECE.
  • Applicants must also register online for computer matching and select dietetic internship priority choices by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 15. There is a $50.00 computer matching fee.
  • We require a $40.00 nonrefundable application process fee. A check payable to Benedictine University Nutrition Department must be sent to:

    Benedictine University
    Attn: Julie M. Moreschi
    5700 College Road
    Lisle, IL 60532

    After acceptance into the program, the applicant must send the following:
    1. Applicants are responsible to call the program director within 24 hours of notification to accept. Please call during business hours (8:00AM to 4:00PM Central Standard Time).
    2. A letter accepting the appointment postmarked within 48 hours of the appointment date.
    3. Official college transcript that shows receipt of baccalaureate or advanced degree.
    4. A completed verification statement indicating compliance with current academic requirements by the American Dietetic Association.
Knopf

Kelly Knopf, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.
Nutrition, Class of 2010
M.S./DI, Class of 2011

"Benedictine University's Nutrition Programs helped me achieve my dream of becoming a Registered Dietitian. The small class sizes and knowledgeable faculty made my education very accessible.  And as a result of my combined Masters - Dietetic Internship program, I am well prepared for my current position as Clinical  Dietitian and Dietary Manager at Alden Estates of Shorewood, a brand new rehabilitation facility in Shorewood, IL."


"This Dietetic Internship program is designed as a future-orientated, comprehensive, dynamic curriculum that is interdependent with the surrounding community. Leadership skills are fostered, cooperative learning from peers and mentors is encouraged, and self-responsibility is stressed."


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Mission

"This Dietetic Internship program is designed as a future-orientated, comprehensive, dynamic curriculum that is interdependent with the surrounding community. Leadership skills are fostered, cooperative learning from peers and mentors is encouraged, and self-responsibility is stressed."

Vision

The Benedictine University Nutrition Programs will be recognized at the community, state, national, and international level for their leadership in developing optimal teaching and learning within nutrition programs. The programs will prepare future nutritionists, registered dietitians, and nutrition managers to address important food and nutrition issues that impact the quality of life of people.

Department of Nutrition
Benedictine University

Catherine Arnold, MS, EdD, RD.
Department Chair

Egle Liutkus
Administrative Assistant

Email: eliutkus@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6596

Hours: 9:00 a.m. -  4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 224
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6595