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The department of Food and Nutrition Services

Dietetic Internship Program


Program Completion Requirements


Dietetic Intern Program Completion Requirements

To earn the Dietetic Internship Verification Statement, the dietetic intern must:

·    Complete supervised practice rotations with an overall rotation evaluation score of “3 Satisfactory” or above.

·    Complete staff relief assignments with an overall staff relief experience score of “3 Satisfactory” or above

·    Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in graduate courses

·    Achieve a score of 80% or better on all exams administered outside of the graduate college

·    Achieve a score of 90% or better on clinical competency exams.

·    Achieve a score of 80% or better on all assigned written projects.

In the event that a student in the dietetic internship:

·    exhibits habitual disregard of policies and procedures of the program, department, or institution,

·    is absent or late without cause and/or proper notification,

·    acts dishonestly,

·    uses/has possession of alcohol or illegal drugs immediately before or while on duty and/or the use of which affects classroom or supervised practice,

·    takes on responsibilities without authority,

·    violates confidentiality of a patient/client,

action may be taken to dismiss the student from the dietetic internship.

If upon review of the above criteria, it is determined that a dietetic intern is failing to meet performance criteria, the dietetic internship director confers with the dietetic intern regarding performance and/or conduct and implements a plan for improvement that includes the following: 

1.   Written guidelines for improved performance within designated time frames

2.   Copies of the guidelines are given to the dietetic intern, preceptor to whom the intern is assigned, and the department director.

3.   The dietetic intern’s performance is evaluated by the dietetic internship director and program coordinator to the predetermined time schedule.

Based upon completed rotation evaluations, the dietetic internship director, in consultation with the program coordinator, department associate directors, and department director, makes the final decision on the disposition of the dietetic intern.  The disposition will include one of the following:

1.   The dietetic intern improved performance during the probationary period and is assumed to be able to graduate with the rest of the class unless other problems arise.

2.   The dietetic intern is advised that additional time will be required before he/she can graduate.  The time cannot exceed 8 weeks.

3.   The intern is asked to leave the program because it is determined that competencies cannot be reached in any reasonable length of time

Successful Completion of Internship Requirements:

After the program director verifies that each intern has completed all requirements for program completion, Verification Statements are awarded. 

Dietetic Intern Evaluation Process:

The following policies were developed to ensure that each dietetic intern receives frequent feedback throughout the course of the internship, and understands the requirements necessary for program completion and award of Dietetic Internship Verification Statement. 

The evaluation of the dietetic intern is measured using a variety of formative and summative strategies. Formative strategies assess the student's progress, and summative strategies evaluate knowledge and performance at the end of rotations and courses and at the end of the Dietetic Internship.

  1. Frequent verbal feedback from the preceptors, program coordinator, and internship director will be provided to the dietetic intern throughout all rotations and projects.  The interns will receive formative oral feedback throughout the program thus the written summative evaluation at the end of the rotation or project should not contain any feedback that was not shared throughout the rotation.
  2. The dietetic intern must complete 100% of the assigned learning activities. Learning activities are outlined in the curriculum for each rotation.  Upon completion of each rotation, the dietetic intern will submit the work completion logs and all supportive documentation to the preceptor as confirmation that all learning activities have been completed. The preceptor will review all learning activities to confirm that all work has been completed and evaluate the interns on each learning activity and overall performance in the rotation on the scale below:

The completed rotation evaluation forms are turned into the Dietetic Internship Director who monitors that the interns have met the following criteria:

1=UNSATISFACTORY.  Does not meet requirements of the rotation.  Needs basic concepts repeated, consistently demonstrated a poor level of retention and comprehension.  Overall performance leaves considerable room for improvement.  Requires an inordinate amount of supervision and follow-up.

2=NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.  Work is often below quality and quantity standards.  Improvement is needed but overall requirements are usually met.  Requires additional counseling, training, experience, and/or initiative to meet requirements in selected areas of rotation experience.  Requires more than normal supervisory direction and follow-up.  Needs assistance on many projects; required guidance to achieve pre-determined objectives.

3=SATISFACTORY.  Meets the standard of expected performance.  Quality and quantity of work consistent with requirements on most assignments.  Competent in knowledge necessary to perform required tasks; able to utilize resources to meet requirements of the rotation.  Errors are infrequent.  Almost always completes assigned work on schedule.  Rarely requires assistance on routine aspects of experience; however, requires help with non-routine assignments.  Requires normal amount of supervision and follow-up. Performs all activities with some assistance; generally achieves pre-determined objectives.

4=MORE THAN SATISFACTORY.  Exceeds standard of entry level performance, even on some of the most complex assignments.  Exceptional quality of tasks completed.  Extremely accurate; rarely makes errors.  Demonstrates initiative in development and implementation of assignments; gathers information above expectations and is able to utilize in a conceptual manner.  Requires minimal direction or supervision.  Performs all activities correctly; works with minimum assistance once guidelines are established; meets pre-determined objectives.

Interns receiving  two overall ratings of less than 3 (Satisfactory) on the Dietetic Intern Performance Evaluation will meet with the internship director to discuss a plan for performance improvement.  The intern may be required to repeat the rotation experience or be assigned additional work to meet the educational objectives of the rotation.  Students not receiving a score of 3 after remediation, and following the appropriate disciplinary action procedures will be dismissed from the dietetic internship.

  1. The dietetic interns must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the University of Iowa graduate courses required during the dietetic internship program.  They must also maintain reasonable academic progress as outlined in the University of Iowa Reasonable Academic Progress bulletin http://www.uiowa.edu/financial-aid/information/sap/ if they wish to establish or maintain financial aid eligibility. 
  2. The dietetic interns must pass all exams (outside of the graduate classes) covering didactic knowledge including but not limited to:  clinical competency exams, diet meals, ServSafe Certification, management classes, and practice examples.  Interns must earn an 80% or better on these examinations.  The only exception is that 90% or better must be achieved on the clinical competency exam.  Deficiencies will be made up with remedial work, and the exam will be re-administered.
  3. The dietetic intern must complete 100% of all assigned written projects including but not limited to:  Letter to Legislature, Health Habit, Nutrition Bites, and maintaining internship Facebook page.  Written projects are graded against pre-established standards and methods by the Dietetic Internship Director in order to establish grading consistency. All projects must be completed with a grade of 80% or better. Any performance that is unsatisfactory (below 80%) must be performed again for re-evaluation.
  4. The dietetic intern must complete 100% of all assigned projects including but not limited to:  National Nutrition Month Health Fair, Event Planning Project, Nutrition Care Plan (2), AND Portfolio Development, and Management project.  Projects are graded against pre-established standards and methods by the Dietetic Internship Director in order to establish grading consistency.  A minimum ranking of 80% is required to have satisfactory completion of project assignments.  Any performance that is unsatisfactory (below 80%) must be performed again for re-evaluation.
  5. The dietetic intern must complete 100% of all assigned presentation projects including but not limited to: Clinical Rounds, Dietetic Research Seminar.  Presentation projects are graded against pre-established standards and methods by the Dietetic Internship Director in order to establish grading consistency.  A minimum ranking of 80% is required to have satisfactory completion of presentation assignments.  Any performance that is unsatisfactory (below 80%) must be performed again for re-evaluation.  
  6. The dietetic intern must demonstrate professionalism at all times during rotations and related professional development activities as assessed via verbal feedback from preceptors and Dietetic Internship Director, and as rated on the Dietetic Intern Performance Evaluation completed at the end of every rotation.  If at any time a performance evaluation rating or verbal feedback suggests a lack of professionalism (e.g., disrespectful interactions, cheating, lying, plagiarism, forgery, violates confidentiality), the incidence(s) will be investigated and the dietetic intern may be dismissed from the program, or placed on probation and removed from a rotation and/or will be assigned additional work and/or counseling until an acceptable level of professionalism is achieved.
  7. A self-assessment will be completed by the dietetic intern at mid-year and end-of-year evaluations.  This will allow the Dietetic Internship Director and intern opportunities to develop experiences to gain confidence in all core competencies.   
  8. Dietetic interns unwilling or unable to meet all of the standards described above will not be allowed to continue in the Dietetic Internship program.

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