About the Master’s Required Dietetic Internship

 

Overview of the Master’s Required Dietetic Internship

The Master’s Required 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. The Dietetics Practice emphasis is specifically designed to coordinate graduate coursework with the rotations in this accredited Dietetic Internship, and the research projects in this emphasis focus on activities and projects that are completed during the internship.

The graduate students in the Dietetic Practice Emphasis take courses in the three main areas of practice, including medical nutrition therapy, food systems management, and community nutrition.  Other courses in areas such as leadership, nutrition counseling and education, and health promotion, complement the traditional areas of dietetics, creating a well-rounded food and nutrition professional.  All of the degree requirements are available fully online, requiring no visits to campus.

The Master’s Required Dietetic Internship is a 21-month and 33-credit graduate internship program. Throughout the course of the internship, interns will participate in a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice.  Rotations during the internship include: facility operations, general clinical, renal, nutrition support, long-term care, WIC, child nutrition programs, general foodservice management, staff experience, food bank, and a 2-week special interest rotation at the end of the internship.  In addition, interns gain other experiences through a variety of experiences and activities, including: Health Promotion & Education intervention, Diabetes Camp, Recruiting, Community Health Activities, Journal Club, Menu Planning, Professional Development, and Leadership Activities.  Each intern is assigned to a primary supervised practice facility or group of facilities in Jackson, the Hattiesburg area, or along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.   

To be considered for admission into the Master’s Required Dietetic Internship, applicants must apply concurrently to the dietetic internship program through pre-select or the DICAS system  and Southern Miss Graduate School.  Only those admitted into the dietetic internship can pursue the dietetic practice emphasis. Admission to the Dietetic Practice emphasis is for fall term only, and begins with completion of the Southern Miss Graduate School Application.  Applications will not be accepted without all unofficial transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and immunization records. Please see DI handbook for further information on admission requirements and completion.


 

Health Promotion & Education Intervention

Program Concentration: Health Promotion and Education

This concentration area was chosen to meet the mission of the dietetic internship at The University of Southern Mississippi, through the provision of “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.”  In addition to helping the program to achieve its mission statement, the concentration area draws on the strengths of the department, whose research focus is on community based nutrition interventions.

These competencies have a strong focus on health promotion and education of diverse populations across the lifespan.  In addition, these rotations compliment the competencies outlined for accredited dietetic internships and will enhance the intern’s knowledge and skills working in a variety of settings and improve research skills.

 

Health Promotion and Education Concentration Competencies:

HPE 1. Investigate and gather research and relevant data to make decisions regarding nutrition-related issues in a community or population

HPE 2. Develop an intervention that includes assessment of resources and development of education materials that integrate the needs of the community identified in the needs assessment

HPE 3. Utilize leadership and oral communication skills to organize and disseminate a nutrition education program to the community or population

HPE 4. Assess results of the nutrition education program, using sound research methodologies and data analysis to draw conclusions and make decisions about the success of the intervention

To become a Registered Dietitian (RD), you must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or complete requirements for an accredited dietetics program (resulting in a DPD verification statement); complete an accredited post-baccalaureate dietetic internship (including a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice); and pass the national registration examination for dietitians. Licensure for the RD may also be required depending on the state of practice. Those seeking to become employed as a registered dietitian should check state regulations prior to beginning practice.

Interns successfully completing the Southern Miss Dietetic Internship will be eligible to take the registration examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Successful completion of the internship and the registration examination meet the requirements to be a RD.  

The Dietetic Internship Program at The University of Southern Mississippi is currently granted full accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312/899-4876.


 

 

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