Philosophy, Mission, and Goals

Philosophy

The Pennsylvania State University dietetic internship program is committed to providing a broad range of experiences in order for future dietetic professionals to become familiar with the breadth of available opportunities. In this changing world, knowledge learned today may be obsolete next week. Therefore, by emphasizing critical thinking skills and evidence based learning while exploring many areas in the field of dietetics, the Penn State dietetic internship prepares professionals for life long learning.

Mission of the Dietetic Internship Program

The Pennsylvania State University dietetic internship program prepares a diverse group of graduates to meet the standards of performance expected of entry-level dietitians in food and nutrition practice. Furthermore, we strive to deliver a quality contemporary education for interns reflecting service, scholarship, science and social responsibility in order to become leaders in the field of nutrition.

Goals and Program Outcome Measures

Program Goal #1 - Penn State dietetic internship program will prepare graduates to be competent entry level dietitians for a variety of positions.

  • Over a 5 year period within 6 months of graduation, 90% of the graduates will pass the registration exam on the first attempt.
  • Over a 5 year period, of those not passing the registration exam on the first attemp, 100% will pass within the first year of completing the program.
  • Within 12 months of completing the program, at least 80% of graduates from the DI program seeking employment will obtain employment related to dietetics.
  • Over a 5 year period, graduates of DI and ISPP are employed in a variety of nutition related fields*
  • Over a 5 year period, 90% of enrolled interns will complete program requirements within 15 months.
  • Over a 5 year period, 90% of ISPP graduates will complete program requirements within 3 years.*
  • Over a 5 year period, 90% of employed gradutes and their employers will rate them as prepared or well prepared for their first position.

Program Goal #2 - The Penn State dietetic internship program will prepare graduates iwth leadership skills such as life-long learning, communication, research, service and ethical skills to advance in the field of food and nutrition.

  • Over a 5 year period, 60 % of graduates have obtained a graduate degree or specialty designation in the dietetics field.
  • Each year, 100% of interns will be able to identify their continuing education needs and reflect those in the five year CDR portfolio.
  • Over a 5 year period, 60% of graduates volunteer with a professional or community organization.
  • On alumni surveys, over a 5 year period, 90% will rate being prepared with life-long learning, communication, research, service and ethical skills are prepared or well prepared.
  • On alumni surveys, over a 5 year period, 90% of graduates will indicate completion of the Strength finder’s assessment and utilizing the data throughout the internship was helpful in developing life-long learning, leadership and communication skills.

*ISPP's are only available for PSU Students. If you are a Penn State student, undergraduate or PhD candidate, please contact Denise Lawson, MS, RD, LDN at dmc209@psu.edu for more information regarding costs, schedules, and graduation requirements

Concentration

The overriding consideration when designating a concentration area for the dietetic internship was the philosophy and mission of the program. The strength of the various sites, facilities, and preceptors of the Penn State Program led to the Leadership in Diverse Practice concentration which stakeholders believed best reflected the nature of the internship.