Philosophy, concentration, goals & non-discrimination

Philosophy, concentration, goals & non-discrimination

Dietetic Internship at Oregon State University

Education is a dynamic and complex process that translates the theoretical and ideal into actual application and practice.

Program philosophy

The dietetic internship was created to reflect the Academy’s philosophy that “Education is a dynamic and complex process that translates the theoretical and ideal into actual application and practice.” The program builds from knowledge level to skill acquisition as interns follow assignments beginning with didactic activities and then proceed to supervised practice rotations.

The engagement of the several rotation sites allows for a progression within diverse settings serving varied populations from theory to practice for clients of different ages and with different needs. In addition, the program strives to foster professional development of interns that exhibit leadership and excellence within the profession.


Concentration area

The two concentrations, one in senior nutrition care and the other in community and primary care nutrition practice reflect the dietetic internship’s program goals. As healthcare shifts away from acute care models and practitioners build practice skills in delivery of coordinated care, organizations with healthcare services outside of acute care centers are needed.

Likewise, dietetics practitioners are being trained to provide expanded nutrition services in community organizations and wellness programs that emphasize prevention of chronic diseases.

This internship includes current rotations at Capital Manor Retirement Community, Providence Benedictine Nursing Home, USDA Extension agencies, patient-centered primary care medical homes, college healthcare center, university dining, and school lunch programs.

Community and primary care sites emphasize behavior change and development of strategies to encourage healthy eating. The need for trained dietetic professionals in long-term care and in prevention is evident in our changing demographics.


Program mission, goals & graduate outcomes

The mission of the dietetic internship is to provide a challenging supervised practice program that mentors and trains the next generation of entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) who are prepared to be leaders with advanced skills in diverse practice areas including senior nutrition care and community and primary care nutrition practice. This mission is consistent with the OSU mission to serve the people of Oregon, the nation and the world through education, research and service.

The dietetic internship has a goal of facilitating the development of entry level RDs through the integration of the dietetics competencies from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics Educational Requirements and Standards 2017. Interns are developed to readily make application of theory to practice in a variety of settings.


The dietetic internship Program Goals include

  1. To prepare graduates each year who are competent in the market place as entry-level practitioners pursuing careers in long-term care, senior nutrition care, and primary care and community based practice and organizations.   
  2. To prepare graduates who demonstrate competence in applying research skills in practice and that demonstrate leadership skills.


The dietetic internship Program Objectives include

  • Within three years of completing the program, at least 25% will pursue careers in long-term care, senior care, primary care or community nutrition practice.
  • Within three years of completing the program, at least 25% will begin to pursue an advanced practice credential and/or be involved in leadership or research in their profession or elsewhere.
  • At least 80% of graduates will complete the program within 33 months (150% of the  program length).
  • Of graduates who seek employment, 75% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • 100% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • Of employers who provide graduate evaluations, 50% will indicate a mean overall evaluation score of 3.5 on a 5-point scale for satisfaction with graduates’ preparation for entry-level practice.

Program outcomes data are available by request.


Non-discrimination policy

It is the policy of the dietetic internship to not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, color, creed or nation of origin, disability, sexual orientation, Veteran’s status or otherwise consistent with Oregon State University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Access which are similar to the non-discrimination policies of all participating facilities and rotation sites in the internship. This policy applies to all program aspects including intern selection, faculty, evaluation, discipline and grievance.