Educational Philosophy and Learning Methods
Central to our program mission and goals is our commitment to providing comprehensive supervised practice learning experiences in a university tertiary health care center to prepare graduates for entry-level practice and lifelong learning as registered dietitian nutritionists. The program is planned to provide a minimum of 1550 supervised practice hours. We elect to plan a curriculum that exceeds ACEND’s minimum requirement of 1200 supervised practice hours because we believe our 50-week program length enables interns to capitalize on the resources afforded by a teaching hospital environment. Approximately 90% of the internship’s scheduled hours are devoted to supervised practice experience, which supports our internship philosophy of learning by doing. Dietetic interns spend at least 65% of internship in inpatient and outpatient clinical nutrition rotations.
Didactics comprise the remaining 10% of internship hours, which include lecture-style and round table-based discussions. We emphasize the value of collaboration and teamwork, leadership and decision-making skills, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and self-reflection in our planned learning activities. Our program plans a range of learning activities that support competency attainment, including direct patient care, interdisciplinary forums, management projects, and case study and journal club presentations. Interns assimilate and apply their new knowledge and skills using a variety of educational methods. In turn, our curriculum helps capitalize on each intern’s learning style and preferences.