Dietetic Internship Mission Goals & Outcomes

Mission Statement

The Dietetic Internship at The University of Southern Mississippi integrates graduate level education and research with supervised practice activities to prepare entry-level dietitians that work to improve the health of individuals, families and communities.

 Program Goal 1

To develop and maintain a high quality Dietetic Internship that prepares students for careers in dietetics and provides the knowledge and skills for employment in dietetics.

Outcome Measures

1.180% of Dietetic Internship graduates will pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians on the first attempt.
1.2Dietetic intern program graduates will indicate they are adequately prepared to begin practice as an entry level dietitian in the following areas: foodservice management, school foodservice, clinical nutrition, community nutrition, and long-term care, as measured by an average score of 3.2 out of 4 on the DI Program Evaluation
1.3Program graduates will score at least a 15 on the nutrition portion of the registration exam.
1.4Program graduates will score at least a 15 on the food systems portion of the registration exam.
1.5Employers will rank program graduates overall job performance in their current position as satisfactory, as indicated by an average score of 4/5.

 Program Goal 2

To prepare students to enter the profession with the skills to analyze and synthesize information at the graduate level.

Outcome Measures

2.160% of program graduate will complete the Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems degree within 3 years of receiving a verification statement from the dietetic internship.
2.2Employers will rank the graduate's ability to analyze and synthesize complex information as satisfactory, as indicated by an average score of 4/5.

 Program Goal 3

To prepare and supply dietetic professionals that meet the needs of the Southeastern region of the United States (GA, AL, FL, MS, AR, LA, TX, & TN)

Outcome Measures

3.195% of interns who are admitted into the program will successfully complete all program requirements and earn a Verification Statement within 18 months (150% of timeframe for completion).
3.290% of Dietetic Internship graduates will be employed in an area of dietetics within 3 months of completing the internship or continue in the graduate program.
3.380% of Dietetic Internship graduates will be employed in the SE region of the United States within 6 months of completing the internship.

 Policies and Procedures

As part of the dietetic internship at Southern Miss, interns are required to:

  1. Maintain admission to graduate school throughout the internship
  2. Take all required courses
  3. Have appropriate immunizations and ServSafe® certification prior to entering the clinical facilities
  4. Be covered by malpractice liability insurance
  5. Have the responsibility of transportation to and from the facility, field trips, and on any special assignments required by the internship (e.g. home visits, long term care facilities, etc.)
  6. Attend all required district, state, and national meetings required by the internship
  7. Be responsible for their own housing throughout the internship
  8. Be responsible for all emergency room and other medical expenses for treatment of on-the-job incurred injuries
  9. Be responsible for following the administrated policies of the facility
  10. Be responsible for providing the necessary and appropriate uniforms required, but not provided by the facility
  11. Be responsible for reporting to the designated individual at the facility on time and agree to any additional terms required by the facility

Many other policies and procedures are outlined in the Dietetic Intern Handbook (26-page PDF).

 University Policies and Procedures

Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights

The admission and retention policies of the Internship comply with the University's philosophy and intent regarding protection of civil rights of interns.  The University of Southern Mississippi’s Non Discrimination Policy Statement can be accessed at the Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity Employment. It states:

The University of Southern Mississippi offers to all persons equal access to educational, programmatic, and employment opportunities without regard to age, sex, religion, color, national origin, Vietnam era veteran status, or disability status.  These provisions are pursuant to applicable federal and state regulations.  Inquiries concerning discrimination should be directed to the following:  Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity, The University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive #5168, 223 Weathersby Hall, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39406-0001  Office: (601) 266-6618; Fax and TTY: (601) 266-6344

Accommodations for Disabilities

If an intern has a disability that qualifies under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and requires accommodations, he/she should contact the Office for Disability Accommodations (ODA) for information on appropriate policies and procedures.  Disabilities covered by ADA may include learning, psychiatric, physical disabilities, or chronic health disorders.   Interns can contact ODA if they are not certain whether a medical condition/disability qualifies. 

Address:
The University of Southern Mississippi
Office for Disability Accommodations
118 College Drive # 8586
Hattiesburg, MS    39406-0001

Voice Telephone:   (601) 266-5024 or (228) 214-3232
Fax:  (601) 266-6035
Individuals with hearing impairments can contact ODA using the Mississippi Relay Service at 1-800-582-2233 (TTY) or email Suzy Hebert at Suzanne.Hebert@Southern Miss.edu.

Access to Records

Dietetic Interns have the right to access any personal, academic, or advisement records maintained by the Internship Director.  Any intern wishing to review his/her records should submit the request in writing to the Internship Director, and make an appointment to access the records.

Privacy of Information

The Southern Miss Dietetic Internship assumes responsibility for protecting the privacy of educational records of individual interns, as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin. 

Grievances

The first step in resolution of a legitimate intern grievance is to attempt to resolve the issue with the Facility Preceptor where the grievance originated.  If agreement is not reached, the intern may present an appeal to the Southern Miss Internship Director.  In the event that the grievance is still not resolved to the intern's satisfaction, the line of authority is the Chair of the Department of Nutrition & Food Systems, the Dean of the College of Health, the Southern Miss Provost, and the President of the University.  Refer to the current Southern Miss Graduate Bulletin for the Grade Review Policy for graduate classes.

References for Policies and Procedures Pertaining To Dietetic Interns:                                               

Southern Miss Graduate Bulletin
Southern Miss Faculty Handbook (130-page PDF)

Southern Miss Intern Handbook (26-page PDF)