Program overview

The Bluffton University dietetics Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) is a full-time, nine-month program that meets Accreditation Council for Education of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) requirements for supervised practice. This allows graduates of our program to sit for the national Registered Dietitian Exam to become registered dietitians/nutritionists (RDN) and licensed dietitians (LD) in the state of Ohio.

The Bluffton University ISPP program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800-877-1600).

Bluffton's program has a concentration of Community Nutrition and Public Health, in keeping with the university's enduring values of discovery, community, respect and service, and based on the demographics of our surrounding community, which includes both rural and urban population settings.

This ISPP is organized much like a traditional internship, in that we have a full-time experience coordinator who is responsible for establishing supervised practice sites, orienting preceptors and ensuring that interns meet the necessary competencies as required by ACEND.

Interns complete rotations in a variety of areas of practice, including clinical inpatient and outpatient, nutrition support, renal services, food service management in patient, institutional and school settings as well as several community rotations within an hour's radius of campus. ISPP interns have the unique opportunity to serve with Mennonite Disaster Services for a two-week rotation at one of a variety of sites around the United States. The coordinator may also work with interns to plan elective experiences and enrichment opportunities specific to their interests and career goals. This ISPP does not currently grant credit for prior learning experiences received outside of Bluffton's planned supervised practice program.

The Bluffton ISPP curriculum is based on materials developed by ACEND and involves a professional development aspect to help interns develop their organizational and leadership skills, and to encourage life-long learning and professional involvement.

Our program includes class and conference days, on-lone learning and resources, as well as an RD exam review course at the end of the year. Interns who complete all the required elements of our program are awarded 18 hours of graduate credit which may be transferable to other institutions based on individual university guidelines.

Bluffton's ISPP is part of the Nutrition and Dietetics Department. We are not a distance internship. Our interns are considered Bluffton University students and have the opportunity to take advantage of student recreational, technical and career development resources, as well as student health and counseling services. Interns may attend cultural, spiritual and athletic events on campus, which are often free for students.