Dietetic Internship Program

Dietetic Internship Program


The Teachers College, Columbia University Dietetic Internship Program (TC DI) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The TC DI follows all ACEND standards and provides an exemplary variety of supervised practice experiences. This along with the strong didactic foundation of TC’s Program in Nutrition, prepare graduates for entry-level practice in a variety of disciplines within the field of Nutrition and Dietetics. Upon completion of TC’s full-time DI program, graduates obtain a verification statement and are eligible to schedule and write for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Examination for Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists.

Students in the DI Program

Mission & Philosophy

The mission of the TC DI is to prepare competent and effective practitioners for entry-level positions in a variety of domains of dietetic practice. This mission is achieved through integration of a high quality didactic experience and rigorous practice in clinical, community and food service management settings supervised by dedicated preceptors.

Program Goals & Objectives

Program Goal #1: Graduates achieve high-level performance in all four domains of the dietetic internship program. And therefore are competent and effective entry-level Registered Dietician Nutritionist.  

  1. Objective 1: Program Completion
    1. 80 percent of program interns complete the program/degree requirements within 16.5 months (150 percent of program length).

  2. Objective 2: Graduate Performance on Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Registration Examination for Dietitians
    1. 90 percent of program graduates take the CDR registration exam for dietitian-nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
    2. 95 percent of graduates pass the CDR registration exam for dietitian-nutritionists on their first attempt.
    3. The program’s one-year pass-rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR registration exam for dietitian-nutritionists is at least 80 percent.

Program Goal #2: Graduates successfully obtain entry-level positions in a variety of domains within the field of dietetics.

  1. Objective 1: Graduate Employment
    1. Of graduates who seek employment, 80 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of program completion.

  2. Objective 2: Employer Satisfaction
    1. Of employers of program graduates within the field of nutrition and dietetics or related fields, 90 percent state that graduates meet expectations for competent entry-level practice in dietetics.

  3. Objective 3: Graduate Satisfaction
    1. Of graduates who respond to employment survey, 80 percent indicate that the education and skills gained from the DI program are above average to prepare them for their entry level position in nutrition and dietetics or a related field

Note: outcomes data are available for the TC DI’s program goals and objectives on request.

Program Components and Facilities

The TC DI is 11-months in length, including a minimum of 1220 experiential practice hours and 172 of didactic course instruction. The program typically begins in the beginning of September and concludes in the end of July the following year, following the institution's academic calendar.

 

Minimum Practice Hours

Didactic Instruction

Clinical

420 hours

60 hours

Community

420 hours

60 hours

Food Service Management

200 hours

28 hours

Elective/Research

180 hours

28 hours

 

By month, experiences can be summarized as such:

  • September – December: HBSV 5241 + clinical/community rotations
  • January – May: HBSV 5242 + clinical/community rotations
  • May – June: HBSV 5244 + food service management rotation
  • June – July: HBSV 5243 + elective rotation

Examples of Teachers College Dietetic Internship Program Sites (in the tri-state area):

  • Alyssa Rumsey Nutrition
  • Amsterdam Nursing Home
  • Anastasia Health LLC
  • Better Beginnings
  • Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center
  • Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center
  • Center for Comprehensive Wellness at Columbia University Medical Center
  • Columbia University Athletics
  • Compass Group USA
  • Confident Health
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • CulinArt Group
  • Culinary Nutrition Cuisine
  • East River Gastroenterology & Nutrition
  • Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center
  • Euphebe
  • Eurest
  • FLIK Hospitality Group
  • GMHC
  • God’s Love We Deliver
  • Healthbarn USA
  • Hoboken University Medical Center (CarePoint Health)
  • Institute for Family Health
  • John Theurer Cancer Center
  • Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center
  • Montefiore Medical Center/South Bronx Health Center
  • Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center
  • Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital
  • New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Norwalk Community College
  • NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • NYC Health + Hospitals | Harlem
  • NYC Health + Hospitals | Metropolitan
  • Nutrition a la Natalie
  • Plus One/Optum
  • Restaurant Associates
  • Savor Health
  • St. Mary’s Hospital for Children
  • St. Vincent De Paul Nursing Home
  • SuperKids Nutrition
  • Susan & Leonard Feinstein IBD Clinical Center at Mount Sinai
  • Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Center
  • The Calhoun School
  • The Hebrew Home at Riverdale by RiverSpring Health
  • The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education, and Policy
  • The New Jewish Home
  • The Riverside Premier Rehabilitation and Healing Center
  • Unidine
  • United Way
  • Virtual Health Partners

 

It's relatively straight-forward to become an RDN at Teachers College:

  1. Begin by completing the master’s degree prerequisite courses.
  2. Apply for admission to one of our master’s degrees.
  3. Successfully complete the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) courses by completing one of our master’s degrees while concurrently completing three courses at Lehman College.
  4. Work with Teachers College faculty to obtain the necessary documentation needed to apply to the ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship Program.
  5. Apply to and satisfactorily complete the Dietetic Internship Program (DI) at Teachers College.
  6. Pass the Registration Exam for Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

 

Admissions Requirements & Selection Criteria

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be admitted to the TC DI.

  1. Attend mandatory conference-call information session with Dr. Lora Sporny.
  2. Application and Acceptance for one of the graduate degrees offered by the Program in Nutrition. To apply to the program, please visit tc.columbia.edu/admissions. The application system is exclusively online. The application will include:
    • application form & fee
    • personal statement
    • resume
    • official transcript(s)
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • GRE scores
  3. For Teachers College nutrition students, approximately one year in advance of your planned DI start date (typically September), you must consult with TC instructor Shelley Mesznik. She will guide you through all aspects of the process for applying to a dietetic internship program, including: explanation, assistance, and advice about the various components of the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) online application, obtaining a Declaration of Intent and DPD Verification Statements; as registering for the D&D Digital computer-matching services.
  4. Completion of DICAS online program application. For more information regarding DICAS, visit: https://portal.dicas.org, email dicasinfo@dicas.org or call (646) 612-2855.
  5. Completion of D&D Digital computer-matching system for ranking internships. For more information regarding D&D Digital, visit https://www.dnddigital.com or call (515) 292-0450.
  6. Upon admission to the Teachers College DI, submission of a Verification Statement confirming full completion of DPD courses.

The selection criteria used to rank prospective students include:

  1. Quality of personal statement
  2. Letters of Recommendation (3)
  3. GPA for general, nutrition, and prerequisite courses
  4. GRE scores for the general exam
  5. Honors, awards, activities, and previous experience
  6. Teachers College DI is accredited to admit up to 24 interns each year.

Applications are due to be submitted to DICAS by February 15th each year, with a match announcement of admission from D&D Digital typically in the first week of April.

Tuition & Fees (Subject to Change)

The TC DI consists of 10 credit units, distributed across four didactic courses that accompany practice:

  • HBSV 5241: Fall Semester (3 Credits)
  • HBSV 5242: Spring Semester (3 Credits)
  • HBSV 5244: Summer Semester, special dates (2 credits)
  • HBSV 5243: Summer Semester, special dates (2 Credits)

Program interns should also budget for the following

  • College Fee (each semester x 3 semesters)*
  • Comprehensive Physical Examination (may include drug testing)*
  • Lab Coat (Approximately $25)
  • Books & Supplies*
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership (Annual membership fee for June 2018 - May 2019: $58)
  • Travel/Transportation (Metro Card, Metro North, PATH train, cabs/uber/lyft, etc.)*
  • Living Expenses (room & board)*
  • Food & Personal Expenses*

*Information regarding tuition and fees (updated annually) can be found at: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/admissions/tuition-and-fees.

Note: dietetic interns retain their active TC student status, which grants them continued access to the following:

Accreditation Status

The Teachers College Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Accreditation information can be found at https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/accredited-programs/dietetic-internships, and for direct contact with an ACEND official, please contact (312) 899-0040 ext 5400. You may also email directly to acend@eatright.org. ACEND is located at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL, 60606-6995.

Graduation and Program Completion Requirements

In order to receive a verification statement which indicates successful completion of the ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship Program, interns are required to complete a total minimum of 1220 practice hours, receive satisfactory performance appraisals/evaluations, successfully complete self-assessments and site/preceptor evaluations. Dietetic interns must consistently demonstrate compliance with policies, procedures and standards of professional behavior throughout the internship to complete the program.

Interns are evaluated for a minimum of satisfactory competence for all core competency requirements by preceptors, and/or course instructors and ultimately by the Dietetic Internship Director. Interns must also attend a total of approximately 150 hours of the weekly DI class during the 11-month program and successfully earn a grade of B or better each of the four DI courses and all assignments, quizzes and projects within the courses. If interns do not meet
satisfactory competence in any area, additional work, readings, practice hours or assignments will be allocated to ensure competence is achieved for required core competencies prior to graduation.

Upon successful completion of all TC DI requirements, the DI Director will issue verification statements and a certificate of completion to each graduate. The maximum amount of time allowed for completing program requirements applicable at the time intern enrolls is 24 months (2 years) under special circumstances and at the discretion of the DI Director and Program in

Nutrition faculty.

Success of Our Graduates

The Teachers College, Columbia University Dietetic Internship graduates have consistently achieved an extremely high pass rate on the Registration Examination. Graduates work in a variety of clinical, community, public health nutrition, food service and food advocacy settings. Here are several recent graduates and their career biographies, shared with current nutrition students during our annual alumni panel discussions:

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Students who wish to apply for financial aid must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and mail the application to the Teachers College Student Aid Office. Forms and information are available through TC. For COE forms to continue financial aid during the DI, after you register for the DI course each semester, you must provide your TC advisor the correct completed paperwork in a timely fashion to qualify.

We encourage interns to pursue scholarships from both the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and the New York State Dietetic Association or other local affiliates.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Scholarship

Most of the scholarships from this category are for $1000. However, available scholarships range from $500 to $10,000.

Applications for the 2018-2019 academic year were due by April 23rd, 2018. Please contact the Academy for future deadlines. To be eligible to apply for scholarship, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Currently admitted to an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship Program. If you are in the process of applying for the DI, you should await acceptance before submitting the application.
  2. Future promise of being a valuable, contributing member to the profession.
  3. Current U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  4. Current Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics membership

For more information, visit: https://eatrightfoundation.org/scholarships-funding/#Scholarships

For frequently asked questions: https://eatrightfoundation.org/scholarships-funding/foundation-scholarships-faqs/

To contact the foundation directly: foundation@eatright.org

Note: subgroups such as NY State Dietetic Association, Westchester Rockland Dietetic Association (WRDA) or other local chapters may also offer scholarships each year. Please check with your local chapter for scholarship details.

FAQs

Is the TC Dietetic Internship Program full-time?

Yes, the TC DI is a full-time program, 11-months in length.  

Do I complete the Dietetic Internship Program while taking master's courses or after all of my master's courses are completed?

Since the TC DI is full-time, you will not be able to take master’s courses while completing the DI Program. You must complete all master’s courses prior to beginning our DI.

Where are the practice sites for the Dietetic Internship Program located?

Practice sites are located throughout the tri-state area, including Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Westchester, Connecticut, and New Jersey. The best effort is made to place interns close to where they live. However, since it is the goal of the Dietetic Internship Program to provide interns with the best possible practice sites, it is necessary to be flexible and willing to travel.

Is there an enrollment limit for the Dietetic Internship Program?

Yes, there is a cap of 24 interns for each internship year, which begins in September alongside the fall academic semester.

My undergraduate degree is not in nutrition, can I still apply to the Dietetic Internship Program?

Yes. However, first you must complete the master’s courses as part of the Program In Nutrition. Only after you complete all relevant master’s courses are you eligible to begin our DI Program.

Can I start the Dietetic Internship Program before I have taken the GRE?

No. This is a prerequisite for both the TC DI Program and the master’s Program in Nutrition.

Does the Teachers College Dietetic Internship Program participate in DICAS?

Yes, all applications to the TC DI must be submitted through DICAS. Students must also select the TC DI on the D&D Digital computer matching program.

Am I able to obtain financial aid during the TC Dietetic Internship Program?

Yes. Provided you have not submitted for graduation from the master’s program prior to starting the TC DI, you remain eligible for federal loans, using the Certificate of Equivalency (CoE) Form. Please speak with your TC advisor for more information.

I am an international student. Am I eligible to apply to the TC Dietetic Internship Program?

Yes, all international students should review the relevant information from the Teachers College Office of International Services (OIS).  www.tc.columbia.edu/international

For any additional questions, please attend the conference-call information session with Dr. Lora Sporny, where your individual questions will be answered. 

Info Session

Dietetic Internship Program Contact

For questions pertaining to the TC Dietetic Internship Program, please contact the Director of the DI Program, Debbie Rosenbaum, MA, RDN, CDN. dlr2130@tc.columbia.edu

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