DI Application Policy & Procedures

Application Policy for the M.S. in Community Nutrition with Dietetic Internship (MSCN/DI) track and the Post-Master’s DI certificate program

MSCN/DI track: Students must have earned a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement, have been accepted to the WCU MS in Community Nutrition (MSCN) program using the graduate admission requirements, and meet the DI admissions requirements to apply to the Dietetic Internship (MSCN/DI Track). 

Post-Master’s DI Certificate:  Students pursuing the Post-Master’s Dietetic Internship Certificate Program must hold a DPD verification statement, have earned a graduate degree with a minimum 3.25 GPA, and meet the DI admissions requirements to apply to the DI. 

All eligible dietetic internship applicants have two application options for applying to either of the two tracks of the WCU Dietetic Internship (MSCN/DI or Post-Master’s Dietetic Internship Certificate).

Each of these options are outlined below:

Option 1 (Traditional DICAS application):

All applicants must participate in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Service (DICAS) and D&D Digital processes, which include meeting all DICAS and D&D Digital spring match deadlines; typically, by mid-February. Applicants are responsible for fees paid directly to DICAS and D&D as well as for the WCU graduate program application fee. 

Option 2 (WCU Preselect application): 

The preselect option is open for any of the following:

  1. WCU DPD students and program graduates
  2. WCU Accelerated BS to MS students
  3. WCU MSCN students and program graduates

Eligible preselect applicants must submit the pre-select application to DICAS for review by the WCU Dietetic Internship selection committee by Sunday, January 8, 2023. 

Please visit the DI Preselect Page on our website, or contact the Dietetic Internship Director, Jena Wood for more information regarding the preselect application and process. If not accepted into the Dietetic Internship during the pre-select process, student applicants are eligible to participate in the traditional application process through Spring match with DICAS and D&D Digital.

Steps for applying to the DI

For WCU MSCN/DI, applicants must participate in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Service (DICAS) and D&D Digital processes, which includes meeting all DICAS and D&D Digital deadlines for spring match. Applicants are responsible for fees paid directly to DICAS and D&D as well as for the WCU Dietetic Internship application fee.  
Visit ACEND’s website for more detail.    

Please connect with the graduate program coordinator and dietetic internship director to ensure you meet the admission criteria for the DI and understand the process. 

Applying to the Dietetic Internship

Step 1: Secure site/preceptors for Clinical I (inpatient) and Community rotations by Feb. 15 DICAS deadline.  

As a distance program, all applicants applying must secure their own preceptors for the following dietetic internship supervised practice rotations: 

  • Clinical I (inpatient at a large or small acute care hospital, subacute hospital, or long-term care) – 264 hours or 33 days 
  • Community (WIC, food bank, SNAP-ed, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Commodity Supplemental Food program, Congregate and home delivered Meal Program) – 256 hours or 32 days 
  • Clinical II (outpatient at an acute hospital, ambulatory care center, clinic, private practice, diabetes center, dialysis center) – 264 hours or 33 days 
  • Foodservice management (school nutrition, hospital, long-term care, corporate foodservice operation) – 256 or 32 days 

Applicants must secure one clinical I preceptor (inpatient) and one community preceptor by February 15 to be considered for acceptance to the WCU DI.  Securing all preceptors for all four rotations is encouraged.

Please see Dietetic Internship Rotation and Course Schedule 2023-2024 for specific dates for rotations. Foodservice Management and Community are to be completed in the fall semester and Clinical I and Clinical II in the spring semester. 

Reference the rotation competencies on the Assignment and Learning Outcomes Evaluation form to match the supervised practice experience to the tasks/competencies that must be met in each rotation.  Contact the DI Director for the assignment and learning outcomes evaluation form. 

Rotation competencies:

Community rotation checklist – NTD 521

Foodservice management rotation checklist – NTD 524

Clinical I (in-patient) rotation checklist – NTD 523

Clinical II (outpatient) rotation checklist  - NTD 525

 

Step 2: After you have found a preceptor for each (Clinical I and community required), preceptors will need to fill out & submit the DI Preceptor Selection & Commitment Form.   

Make sure that each preceptor has reviewed the rotation requirements in the Checklist and Evaluation form for that specific rotation (Clinical I, Clinical II, Community, or Foodservice Management).  You will submit the preceptor forms to DICAS portal. Request preceptor resume. 

The more preceptors you secure for the distance internship the more complete your application will be.

Step 3: Complete the DI Distance Rotation Schedule Template.

DI Distance Rotation Schedule Template 2023-2024 form serves as the candidates proposed supervised practice rotation schedule for all rotations over the fall and spring semesters.  Please complete to the best of your ability and include the name of the site, the proposed dates and identify if the rotation is SECURED or PROPOSED. 

Step 4: Complete the DICAS application and be sure to address the following required WCU Program Materials:

  • Answer all WCU specific questions in DICAS.
  • Include three letters of recommendation:
    • Candidates within two years of degree completion, should submit two faculty and one employment/volunteer supervisor recommendation.
    • Candidates greater than two years from degree completion are welcome to submit any combination of recommendations from professional sources such as faculty or employment/volunteer supervisors.
  • Write and include a personal statement including 1,000 words or less. Be sure to answer the following questions within your personal statement – 
    • What areas of nutrition are you interested in and why?
    • What are your professional goals?
    • Why do you want to complete the MSCN and DI at WCU?
  • Include current resume in PDF (eportfolio not required but will be reviewed if included)
  • Preceptor Selection and Commitment Form for each site, + preceptor resume
  • Dietetic Internship Rotation Schedule & Template (see Step 3)
  • Recency of Education Form (if DPD Verification Statement was issued five or more years ago)

Step 5: Register and complete a D&D Digital matching registration.

Step 6: Complete a virtual interview with West Chester University’s DI Committee

Only candidates being considered for acceptance will be contacted for a virtual interview in late February and March. 

Prepare for the virtual interview the same way you would for an in-person interview.  Be prepared. Dress professionally.   Minimize external distractions.  Ensure your technology systems work appropriately before the interview. Confirm date and time of the interview. 

Please contact WCU's Dietetic Internship Director, Jena Wood for any DI application questions. 

 Acceptance to the DI

Traditional DICAS Match: 
Dietetic Internship candidates applying through traditional DICAS for Spring match to the MSCN/DI or the Post-Master’s Certificate programs will be notified through D&D digital of their matching results on Notification Day (Sunday, April 2, 2023 at 6 pm CT).   
 
Matched applicants must contact the Dietetic Internship Director, Jena Wood, by telephone (610-436-2264) or e-mail (jwood@wcupa.edu) on or before 6:00 PM EST Monday April 3, 2023, to confirm acceptance of the MATCH. The DI Director will confirm receipt of acceptance. If you have not received confirmation, by 5pm EST. on Monday, April 3, 2023, call Jena again at 610-436-2264. 

Preselect Applicants: 
Dietetic internship candidates applying thought the preselect WCU MCSN/DI process will be notified by February 1, 2023.  Preselect candidates who accept the WCU DI program slot may not apply for any other DI programs through DICAS.   
Preselect candidates who are not accepted or decline the program slot invitation may re-apply through DICAS to the WCU MSCN/DI program by the spring DICAS deadline (February 15, 2023 by 11:59 pm CST).   

Finding Preceptors

Applicants are responsible to arrange preceptors and rotation schedules. By application, applicants must secure Clinical I (inpatient) and community preceptors.  

Where to Find Preceptors

  • Start early – many preceptors start booking interns a year in advance.
  • Discuss with your academic professors, your DPD program director, advisors, classmates. 
  • Join LinkedIn and use it to search RDs in your area. 
  • Attend local dietetic association meetings, conferences, community events, and other programs. Introduce yourself, ask for business cards or if it would be okay for you to reach out about potential internship opportunities. 
  • The accrediting body of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics maintains a list of RDs  who have indicated that they are willing to be Preceptors.  You may find the list on the Find a Preceptor Page.
  • Google local area to search RDNs and location sites
  • If you have contacted a preceptor and they are unable to host you, ask if they have suggestions.
  • Do NOT email or call without being prepared - prior to contacting a potential preceptor or site, read about the facility, their programs and offerings, who the contact person is, etc. 
  • Contact the Dietetic Internship Director to discuss previously used sites. 

Prior Learning Experiences

Each intern must successfully complete all supervised practice rotations which includes a minimum of 1000 supervised practice hours and the five graduate courses associated with the DI. No credit will be given for prior learning experiences or competence. All graduate program prerequisite courses must be successfully completed prior to beginning the supervised practice component of the internship.  These courses are intended to provide interns with the foundation of knowledge and tools needed to complete the foodservice, clinical, and community rotations.

 

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