The mission of the Bluffton University dietetics Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway internship is to prepare qualified, knowledgeable, responsible entry-level dietitians through varied educational supervised practice and professional development experiences. Bluffton University seeks to align its internship, which emphasizes community and public health nutrition, with the overall university's mission and core values of discovery, community, respect and service.
The Bluffton University dietetics Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) is a full-time, nine-month program with a curriculum that includes approximately 1,300 hours of supervised practice, seven didactic class or conference days, three days of orientation and three days of RD exam review.
Our ISPP allows students to participate in traditional supervised practice experiences, including hospital and out-patient clinical, institutional food service management, long term care and community sites within an hour's radius of our campus in Northwest Ohio. With an emphasis in community and public health nutrition, however, we also have plans for students to participate in some unique practice experiences including infant nutrition/breastfeeding and emergency/disaster relief services.
Our location, in Allen County, Ohio, has both a rural and an urban population base, which lends itself to a wide variety of area community nutrition options. The university's ties with the Mennonite Church and strong history of providing cross-cultural service-learning experiences for students, will provide opportunities for dietetic intern practice experiences in more varied cultural settings, including a rotation on location with Mennonite Disaster Services.
Bluffton's ISPP is organized much like a traditional internship, in that we have a full-time experience coordinator, who is responsible for contacting preceptors, managing facility agreements and ensuring that interns complete the necessary supervised practice experiences to meet ACEND guidelines and that interns gain adequate knowledge and skills in preparation for the RD exam. The coordinator also works with participants individually to plan elective dietetic experiences and enrichment opportunities specific to their interests and career goals in planning for a rewarding and successful career in dietetics.
We are utilizing a curriculum and evaluation materials developed by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) based on input from several long-standing successful internship programs and their directors. These ISPP kit materials are created so that the individual intern or internship program can tailor the experience to their own unique situation and supervised practice locations while still meeting the dietitian competency requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Our preceptors and rotation sites have been introduced to these materials and will be working with our internship experience coordinator, Jennifer Little, RD, LD, to guide you through these months of intense learning and supervised practice.
Bluffton University's ISPP is a part of the nutrition and dietetics department of Bluffton University. Our program, therefore, has the support of qualified and expert faculty and resources of a Christian campus community. Eighteen hours of graduate credit will be awarded to ISPP participants who complete all the required elements of our program.
While Bluffton University does not have a master's program in nutrition/dietetics, these credits may be transferrable to other institutions based on individual institutional guidelines. Bluffton's ISPP program participants also have the opportunity to live on campus with other interns and take advantage of available cultural, spiritual and athletic events as well as student recreational and career development facilities.