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New Dietetics Master's, Internship Partnership Launches in 2019

The University of Dayton School of Education and Health Sciences is launching a new graduate degree program and dietetic internship partnership with Premier Health to meet future requirements for entry-level registered dietitians.

Starting in 2024, a graduate degree, along with an internship experience through an accredited program, will be required to sit for the registered dietitian nutritionist exam.

“With our new master’s in dietetics and nutrition and our partnership with Premier’s dietetic internship program, students can choose UD and Premier Health as a destination to complete all the requirements for the RDN credentialing exam,” said Jennifer Dalton, director of the didactic program in dietetics, which is based in the Department of Health and Sport Science.

The dietetics profession is expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate during the next seven years, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. However, there is a shortage of internship opportunities for students. Every year, about 4,500 students nationwide apply for 3,600 internship positions, according to the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

The partnership between the University and Premier will gradually increase the annual local internship openings from eight to 24.

“Graduates who pass the credentialing exam can work in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, private practice, sports medicine, even as a social media dietitian,” Dalton said. “Our program focuses on providing an integrative interdisciplinary curriculum that emphasizes experiential-learning, professionalism, leadership and evidence-based practice so students develop the knowledge and skills required to work in traditional and non-traditional areas of dietetics.”

The dietetic internship program at Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital is 90 years old, ranking it as one of the longest-running programs in the nation.

“The hospital’s dietetic internship is dedicated to preparing interns for entry-level dietitian roles in a range of diverse and evolving settings,” said Rebecca Lee, the internship’s director. “As part of this new partnership, only students enrolled in the University of Dayton’s master’s program will be eligible to apply for Premier Health’s dietetic internship.”

Added Dean Kevin Kelly: “We are pleased to expand our collaboration with Premier Health. The integration of the Premier-based internship into the master’s program will be a tremendous advantage for our students.”

The first class is expected to begin in summer 2019. For more information on the program, contact Jennifer Dalton at jdalton1@udayton.edu.


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