The Distance Dietetic Internship (DDI) is a ten-month program that combines supervised practice and 21 hours of graduate coursework.
Program Schedule and Length of Rotation
ALL Distance Interns are required to attend an On-Campus Orientation prior to starting rotations (NO EXCEPTIONS). Interns will spend 4 days in Huntington, W.V. meeting faculty, reviewing internship requirements and becoming familiar with documentation procedures.
|Supervised Practice Area||Rotation Description||Hours in Rotation|
|Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)||Must include an acute care experience. May also include in-patient and out-patient care, long term care, dialysis, nutrigenomics, and other areas where nutrition assessment and interventions are conducted.||475|
|Program Concentration Area School Nutrition Education and Grantsmanship||Providing in-school nutrition education. Can be completed in pre-school/Head Start, Elementary, Middle, or High School. Preferred Route is working with an agency that has a grant-based program providing services (e.g. Cooperative Extension Service) or utilizing School Nutrition Directors or School Foodservice Managers.||200|
|Foodservice Management||May include industrial foodservice operations such as hospital, college, or school foodservice operations, or prison/detention center facilities.||172|
|Community Nutrition||Potential sites include any of the following: WIC, Cooperative Extension, Child Nutrition Services (such as USDA National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, Summer Foodservice Feeding Program), Public Health Department, Food Banks/Pantries, or Wellness Programs||185|
|Total Supervised Practice Hours||1032|
|Orientation||Held in early to mid-August in Huntington, WV||30|
General Description of Internship Rotations
Medical Nutrition Therapy
The medical nutrition therapy supervised practice experience and didactic learning activities prepare interns to implement the nutrition care process with various populations and diverse cultures, including infants, children, adolescents, adults, pregnant/lactating females, and the elderly. Disease states and conditions with MNT could include weight management and obesity, pediatrics, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disease, cardiovascular disease, vascular disease, pulmonology, nephrology, burns, transplants, and parenteral and enteral feeding.
School Nutrition Education
Offer “in-school” nutrition education to a diverse population of children and adolescents and acquire skills necessary to design and deliver curricular materials and interventions related to policy, system, and environmental nutrition and physical activity change to pre-K through grade 12.
The foodservice management supervised practice experience and didactic learning activities prepare interns for the production and delivery of meals for patients or students. Interns will work with the facilities’ retail operations, all activities related to menu processing and the service of meals, and nourishments and enteral feedings to patients. Dietetic interns gain experience in systems related to food production, distribution and service operations, the maintenance and sanitation of the serving pantries and equipment, managing human resources and quality assurance, and continuous quality improvement.
The community nutrition supervised practice experience and didactic learning activities prepare interns to practice in a community-based nutrition program. Hands-on experiences include conducting community nutrition assessments, providing counseling and education, conducting wellness promotion activities, and participating in project-related time management duties. Interns will develop skills in evaluating and applying government program guidelines and policies to understand the role of public policy in the regulation of community nutrition programs. Interns will promote good health and wellness to people of all ages. They will also learn how to interact and appropriately educate groups of people.
Program Completion Requirements
Upon successful completion of the following criteria, the intern will receive a Verification Statement and become eligible to take the Registration Examination:
- Ten months of supervised practice in selected sites, consisting of a minimum of 1000 clock hours.
- All learning outcomes for entry-level dietitians as mandated by the 2017 Standards for Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Evaluations indicating competency performance of Meets Expectations or above in each supervised practice rotation.
- Self-evaluation of performance and experience after each supervised practice rotation.
- Submission of online portfolio.
- Final program evaluation upon completion of supervised practice and didactic requirements.
- A total of 21 semester hours of required graduate courses with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better.
Student selected for and enrolled in the distance dietetic internship will complete required internship courses online. At a minimum, a desktop or laptop computer, reliable Internet access, and a webcam and mic for course work are needed. Students will use Blackboard, Marshall’s Learning Management System, to complete online courses. Students must be proficient in the use of computers, the Internet, browsers, Microsoft Office Word, and other common applications. Blackboard support is available 24/7 and the University’s IT service desk is also available to provide technology assistance.
Academic and Program Calendar
Interns will observe the University calendar for all graduate classes. Class breaks for holidays will be indicated on respective course syllabi. Supervised practice rotations, however, may be scheduled during University holidays in order to attain the appropriate number of hours for program completion. The Internship Handbook is updated annually to reflect these dates and is provided to interns during orientation, which takes place a week and a half before fall classes begin.