Dietetic Internship Mission, Goals and Philosophy

Internship Program
Program Overview
Mission, Goals and Philosophy
Application Process
Rotations and Sites

Legislative Day, Lansing, March 2019

Mission and goals

The mission of the Western Michigan University Dietetic Internship Program is to prepare self-directed entry-level nutrition professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to practice as competent registered dietitian nutritionists in diverse and changing health care, community, and food service environments. 

WMU DI program goals are that upon successful completion of the Western Michigan University dietetic internship program, graduates:

  1. Are competent for entry-level practice as registered dietitian nutritionists in all core performance areas; 

  2. meet employment needs and opportunities in dietetics, nutrition, health, and food in Michigan and beyond; 

  3. demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning.

Program philosophy

The WMU Dietetic Internship Program seeks to: help students build on the knowledge already gained in meeting the academic requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, provide opportunities for the application of that knowledge in a variety of settings, and develop the clinical and management skills essential for quality dietetics practice. The program includes both supervised practice and didactic opportunities in clinical nutrition (acute care and long-term and-community care), community nutrition, food service management, wellness, and school food and nutrition. A one-to-one preceptor-student ratio enables interns to build skills and achieve core competencies for the RDN required by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). 

WMU’s internship provides a concentration in Sustainable Food Systems per ACEND requirements.  This is integrated into the current core curriculum where possible.  More information on this is located later in this manual. 

PROGRAM outcomes from 2017 through 2021

  • Program completion rate over five years: 100%. 
  • Passage rate on Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam within one year of first attempt, average pass rates from 2017 through 2021: 95.7%; 
  • Of those seeking employment, percent of graduates who found employment in dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation: > 80% all five years; 

  • Graduate satisfaction (“met expectations, satisfied with match”) by classes 2017 through 2021: 4.4 average out of 5. 

  • Over 30 percent of 2013-17 graduates have earned a master's or advanced practice certificate; 60 percent are enrolled in a graduate program and/or are working toward certification.

Additional program outcomes and data is available upon request.