BLUFFTON UNVEILING DIETETIC INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Bluffton University’s bachelor’s degree program in dietetics has long prepared its alumni for post-undergraduate internships nationwide. Beginning next fall, Bluffton will host an internship program of its own.
Successful completion of an accredited internship is required for eligibility to take the national registration exam. Passing that exam leads to state licensure in Ohio, allowing an individual to begin practicing dietetics.
Bluffton will launch its dietetic internship program in 2012-13 with curricular themes centered around public health nutrition. Dr. Deborah Myers, an associate professor and director of the university’s dietetics program, outlined the new internship program in a recent campus colloquium.
"Students are forewarned that this will be like a fifth year of school," she said, noting that internships are usually nine months long, with work averaging about 40 hours a week. To apply, students will have to submit their application, resume, cover letter and letters of recommendation "like any other job," she added. "Bluffton students will be able to apply, but we think we’ll also get many outside students."
Besides getting hands-on experience and, sometimes, access to an open door for a career, student interns learn to be flexible and to do a wide range of things, Myers pointed out. "In an internship, you are taught to be a generalist; you have to be willing to do everything," she said.
Becoming a generalist is valuable for graduates, who go on to work in hospitals and long-term care facilities, nutrition counseling, food service management, research/teaching, public health departments, fitness and health centers, private practices and corporations.
"Bluffton interns will have a lot of opportunities to learn in our regional area because we have both urban and rural settings," Myers said.
Bluffton’s undergraduate dietetics program is accredited by the American Dietetic Association’s Commission on Accreditation of Dietetics Education. Its placement rate of alumni in ADA internship positions within a year of graduation—more than 90 percent—compares to a national average closer to 50 percent.
Bluffton public relations, 2/21/12