UNR dietetics programs receive accreditation

The Dietetic Internship Program and the Undergraduate Dietetic Programs in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources (CABNR) received renewal of their accreditation. Both programs underwent a standard 10-year re-evaluation which included a site visit by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

“Student success is fundamental to the CABNR mission and the accreditation of our dietetics programs speaks volumes of the quality of our faculty and their dedication to providing the highest level of educational experience for our students,” said Ron Pardini, interim dean of CABNR.

The University’s Undergraduate Dietetic Program is one of only two programs in Nevada. The classes in this major are geared toward the dietetic field with a science and food course emphasis that is different from the nutritional science major which focuses on nutrition in society, agriculture and medicine. The reaccreditation assures that the program will continue at the University.

“It is a very long process,” said Judith Ashley, professor of dietetics. “The site visit is three days of intense scrutiny with participation by administrators, faculty, and current students and alumni to assure that our program is meeting the standards for national accreditation.”

Graduates of the undergraduate program who are interesting in becoming a registered dietitian are encouraged to apply to dietetic internships around the country.

“The dietetics internships are very competitive with only a 50 percent acceptance rate,” Ashley said.

According to Karon Felten, the University’s dietetic internship program director, the internship program started in 1990, received full accreditation in 1998 and received reaccreditation in 2013. Every 10 years, the program is reevaluated by the accreditation council.

“ACEND conducted the three-day on-site interview last October where they interviewed me, along with current and past interns,” Felten said.

The University’s internship program is available to 14 post-graduate students. The internship opportunity lasts for a seven-month period where students receive hands-on clinical and food service experience in various medical centers in Northern Nevada.

The accreditation process of the dietetics internship program included the on-site visit, as well as a self-study to evaluate if the program is meeting its 23 standards. The completion of the program allows interns to take the registered dietitian credentialing examination.

“We will continue to meet all of the standards,” Felten said.


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