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Overview

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics:  ACEND

The dietetic internship at WVU Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics accrediting agency for educational programs.  Completing an accredited undergraduate program and dietetic internship is required to be eligible to take the registration examination to become an RD or DTR. The examination requirements are set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. (www.cdrnet.org) The program is currently accredited through June 30, 2025.

To become a registered dietitian nutritionist, a path of higher education is a must as well as a dietetic internship from an ACEND-accredited program and passing the national registration examination. The pathway listed below is a common route many traditional students take, but it is not the only path to become an RDN.

The 5 Steps

  1. Complete a bachelor's degree and receive a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited program (Didactic Program in Dietetics, Coordinated Program, Future Graduate Program, Foreign or International Dietitian Education Program) Note, effective January 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be required to be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration. (Dietetic registration exam.)
  2. Complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice dietetic internship program or Individual Supervised Practice Pathway is an option. Supervised practice/experiential learning is combined with the Coordinated Program, Future Graduate Program, and International Dietitian Education Program.
  3. Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration's dietetic registration exam.
  4. Gain licensure in your state of practice, if applicable.
  5. Maintain continuing education.

Accreditation is necessary because dietetics is a unique profession of such complexity and benefit to the health of the population that it requires a defined educational process based on national standards. ACEND is responsible for setting the national standards for what dietetics students are taught, and for evaluating, recognizing, and publishing a list of education programs that meet these standards.

ACEND accreditation is important to students because:

  • The ACEND educational standards are developed and accepted by practicing dietetics and nutrition professionals nationwide.

  • It means that the programs will provide the knowledge, skills and/or competencies you need for entry into the dietetics profession.

  • Only graduates from an accredited/approved academic program (DPD) are able to apply for accredited dietetic internships (DI) leading to the RD examination.

  • Only graduates from an accredited DI or Coordinated Program are able to take the RD exam.

In short, ACEND-accreditation signifies quality education for your chosen profession.

(Information courtesy of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website: www.eatright.org)

Academic Requirements

The Commission for Dietetic Registration establishes requirements for eligibility to take the entry-level registration examinations for dietitians and dietetic technicians. Current requirements include academic preparation, supervised practice, and confirmation of academic and practice requirements by verification. These requirements are periodically reviewed and are subject to change.

Academic Degree

Minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college/university or foreign equivalent.

Current Minimum Academic Requirements

Completion of an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics. All Didactic Programs in Dietetics are listed in the Directory of Dietetics Programs. December 31, 1999, is the last postmark date for submitting registration eligibility applications using Plan IV minimum academic

Supervised Practice Requirements

All dietetic education programs accredited by ACEND must be in the U.S. or its territories. Supervised practice requirements stipulate completion of one of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics accredited or approved pathways.

WVU Medicine Provides:

Accredited Dietetic Internship Program

Provides for the achievement of performance requirements for entry-level dietitians through a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice and the completion of the exam requirements as set forth by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. The program follows completion of an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics through ACEND and a Baccalaureate degree.

(Information from the Commission on Dietetic Registration website at www.cdrnet.org)

West Virginia Licensure for Registered Dietitians or new graduates of accredited dietetic internship / coordinated programs.

Am I required to obtain a license in WV to practice as a Dietitian?

Answer: Yes.  As per West Virginia Code, § 30-35-1 (a), "anyone who represents or implies to the public by use of the title "dietitian" or "licensed dietitian" or any other title intended to convey the impression that he or she is authorized to practice dietetics in this state must be licensed".

See WV licensure website for information on becoming a provisional licensed dietitian once you have a verification statement from an accredited dietetic internship/coordinated program, or licensure if you are already a registered dietitian wanting to practice in the state of WV:  https://www.wvbold.com

Rotations

The 10 month program provides a balanced opportunity to gain experiences in the areas of clinical, administrative and community dietetics but offers an emphasis in Medical Nutrition Therapy. The interns will receive a WVUH Dietetic Internship Handbook during the summer to review the program. 

Orientation - occurs the first week of the internship. 

During this time each intern is given a copy of the syllabus which contains: Schedules/calendar, Nutrition Services policies and procedures, Dietetic Internship policies and procedures, Guidelines and Standards, Program Information and Unit Experiences. The DI director will review the entire syllabus and provide classes pertinent to entry-level intern skill development.