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A perfect match for dietetics students

For the past seven years, every University of Dayton dietetics graduate has "matched" with one of their preferred internship programs, an impressive rate far above the national average and an essential step toward career success.

Jennifer Dalton, director of the dietetics and nutrition program, said while the national match rate hovers between 57% and 67%, the University’s rate rose to 100% in 2016 and has stayed there since. 

Dalton said this match rate is important because, while graduates are required to complete at least 1,000 hours in a supervised internship to be eligible for credentialing, their experience is significantly enhanced when there is a good fit with the location plus their skills and interests. This translates to more engaged learning, higher credentialing success, better workforce preparedness and excellent patient care.

To help students land placements in high-demand locations like Cleveland Clinic, Rush University and Boston University, the program analyzed these placements’ criteria and then tailored the curriculum to ensure students could be competitive and successful.

The program's results go beyond success in internship placement. More than 97% of UD dietetics graduates pass the registered dietitian nutritionist exam and 100% report employment within six months of earning that credential. They've landed roles in private practice and specialty settings such as pediatrics, as well as leadership and consulting. 

Dalton also credits the perfect rate and the program's overall success to improvements in academic advising based on feedback from dietetics internship supervisors, alumni and employers. 

"Area employers in hospital networks, public health and private practice state how we are really influencing the dietetics profession at a local level by bringing in highly skilled, compassionate, empathetic, strong communicators able to engage fully on interdisciplinary teams," Dalton said.

This May, the program expects to graduate 10 students.

"We understand the dispositions required for our profession so we want to foster that growth and development," Dalton said. "We're not looking to develop cookie-cutter students. It's a beautiful patchwork quilt of strengths and gifts our students are taking forward into the field. Our profession is going to grow and evolve because of it."

Click here for more information on the UD undergraduate dietetics program.


News and Communications Staff