News and Updates
2024 Annual Fee for Program Budgets
As many ACEND-accredited programs start planning future budgets, this is a reminder that the 2024 Annual Accreditation Fee can be found on the Accreditation Fee Schedule, in the Policies and Procedures section of the ACEND website. Refer to the February 2023 ACEND UPdate article for information about recent changes to the annual fees. Annual fee invoices are typically prepared in September and due mid-December. Program directors will receive an email from ACEND when annual fee invoices are ready. There are two ways to access a program's open invoice:
- Log in into the ACEND Portal and click the "Pay Open Invoices" QuickPay link, under "Actions"
- Save the QuickPay Link separately and access it at any time without having to log into the ACEND portal. ACEND recommends sending this link to the person who pays program bills for future reference as the QuickPay Link will not change
Share Your Noteworthy Practices with Other Educators
Beginning in April 2023, DEI Noteworthy Practice submissions will now be reviewed by the Noteworthy Practice Committee. The process for submission and review of all ACEND Noteworthy Practices has been combined.
If you would like your noteworthy practice to be reviewed by ACEND’s Review Committee and possibly be selected for the next quarter, please visit the ACEND's Noteworthy Practice page to download the submission form.
Noteworthy practices in the following topic areas are requested: Activities, practices, and/or processes that promote DEI, Preceptor Recruitment and Recognition, Interprofessional Education, Curriculum (i.e. simulation, review process, integrated experience) and Program Improvement (i.e. data collection, technology, pass rate). ACEND strongly encourages submissions related to achieving compliance to KRDN 2.9 and CRDN 2.8.
Please submit the completed submission form and supporting documentation to ACEND by one of the upcoming due dates: April 14, July 14 and October 20.
If your noteworthy practice is chosen next quarter, the practice will be posted to the ACEND website and in the ACEND UPdate newsletter.
Reminders and Deadlines
Virtual Town Hall Meeting
The next town hall meeting will be on April 18 at 11 a.m. (Central time).
2024 Annual Accreditation Fee Incorporates Substantive Change and Other Fees
During its January 2023 meeting, the ACEND Board approved a new annual fee structure. Previously, the annual fee covered costs associated with ACEND communications and meetings, software use and support, staffing and office expenses and responses to general Program Director questions. Starting January 1, 2024 the annual fee will cover additional costs, specifically those associated with:
- substantive changes including major program changes and administrative changes, and
- program director changes, access to ACEND Accreditation Standards Webinar series for new program directors and discount to attend one ACEND Program Director Workshop (in-person or virtual).
After June 1, 2023, ACEND will not charge programs for substantive changes submitted, including program director changes. ACEND will also no longer charge programs paying by credit cards, the 2.5% processing fee. The 2024 annual fee is set at $2,680 and payment is due in December 2023. The updated Fee Schedule may be accessed on the ACEND website.
ACEND Board Discontinues the Future Associate (AP) Demonstration Program
ACEND launched its Future Education Model (FEM) demonstration program pilot in 2017 and since has been collecting data to evaluate and monitor the success of the FEM Standards. Current data suggest the great benefit of competency-based education in preparing Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), indicated by the number of programs that have applied to become a Future Education Model Graduate (GP) demonstration program, the pass rate on the registration exam for these programs, and the many benefits reported by faculty and students. This underlines the value of elevating the education of the RDN to the graduate level. Over the past six years, there have been no applications for the Future Associate (AP) Demonstration Program; therefore, at the January 25-27, 2023 Board meeting, the ACEND Board voted to discontinue the AP demonstration program. ACEND is committed to a thorough and honest evaluation of its FEM Standards and programs. ACEND will continue to accredit Dietetic Technician programs (DT) as the associate nutrition and dietetics degree. Furthermore, ACEND will continue to accept applications for GP programs in rolling applications for the FEM demonstration program.
ACEND Staffing Changes
Congratulations to Elise Cowie for her upcoming retirement from ACEND on April 25, 2023. Elise began as an Education Program Manager in June 2016 and was promoted to Senior Education Manager in September 2022. Elise has been such a wonderful part of the ACEND team, and she will be greatly missed. We hope she enjoys her retirement and spending time with family and friends!
We are also pleased to announce the addition of a new staff member. Doris Taber, MPH, RDN, joined ACEND® as a Program Manager on February 13, 2023. Doris previously worked as an Assistant Director of Dietetics and Dietetic Internship Director at Patton State Hospital. She has experience in program management and quality improvement processes, including the development of preceptor trainings for supervised practice. Doris is looking forward to her new role with ACEND® and continuing to advocate for the dietetics profession.
Updated ACEND® Manager State Assignments
With the addition of new staff to the ACEND team, there has been a redistribution of assignments of the states that ACEND Managers oversee. For a list of updated Accreditation Manager state assignments, view ACEND Staff.
April 1, 2023 Clinical Skills Workshop – Omaha, NE
ACEND will be sponsoring a Clinical Skills Workshop addressing new KRDN 3.4 and CRDNs 3.3-3.6 in the 2022 ACEND® Accreditation Standards in connection with the 2023 NDEP Spring Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. The workshop is intended to provide hands-on instruction on blood pressure measurement; point of care testing (cholesterol and glucose fingerstick); feeding tube placement, flush and site care; and a swallowing screen in a simulation setting. Attendees will receive handouts and evaluation tools to assist in student/intern assessment of each of the skills.
The Saturday, April 1, 2023 workshop will be held from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. CT at the Dr. Edwin G. & Dorothy Balbach Davis Global Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). 6.25 CPEUs have been requested. Registration is limited to 30 participants. Cost is $550 per attendee; however, to offset this cost, ACEND is awarding each participant a $400 scholarship. For additional information and to access the registration link, please visit the workshop webpage.
Updates from U.S. Department of Education
Below are several changes from the U.S. Department of Education (DE) that may impact your program:
Additional Location: An additional location is defined as a location geographically apart from the main campus and offers at least 50% of an educational program. An additional location is different from a branch campus. An additional location does not have separate administration, faculty or budgetary independence, all of which are required for a branch campus. The approval of an additional location is similar to that of a branch campus in that a focused site visit is required for each of the first three active additional locations/branch campuses that offer the program. Note that a supervised practice/experiential learning site is NOT considered an additional location.
Change in Reporting on Distance Education: The DE rescinded its Dear Colleague Letter dated June 2017 on distance education because it determined that the definition of distance education in the Dear Colleague Letter (>50% of didactic coursework; >50% of enrolled students taking distance coursework) conflicted with federal regulations for purposes of Title IV Eligibility (34 CFR 668.8(m)). This change means that if your program offers any didactic course in whole or in part through distance education—even as little as part of a course in an otherwise in-person program—it must be evaluated and approved to offer distance education by ACEND. Note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic flexibilities set by the DE, there is no need to submit a substantive change for distance education at this time. This flexibility applies for the duration of the national emergency declaration and 180 days following the date on which the COVID–19 national emergency declaration is rescinded. This national emergency is still in effect. If a program chooses to continue using distance education beyond the 180 days after the COVID-19 national emergency is rescinded, only then would it need to seek approval under ACEND's normal substantive change process. Note programs do not need to submit any documentation at this time.
ACEND appreciates the time it takes for programs to submit substantive changes and is developing a template for programs wishing to add distance education to ease the submission process for this change. We will send a message update when supplemental documents are made available or when you need to take action.
ACEND Website Update
In December, the ACEND website was reformatted. We are still working to update and reorganize certain sections of the website, so we continue to appreciate your patience. As a result of reformatting, some of the links to ACEND pages have changed slighted. We encourage all programs to review any links to the ACEND website that are included on your program's website, a handbook or other program materials and update those materials accordingly.
Also, in July 2021, we posted an ACEND Update Article titled "USDE Requirements for Disclosing Licensure Information to Students" that included a link to the Academy's licensure page. This page now requires an Academy member log in to view. Please refer to the public facing CDR website for any licensure information. We have also updated our Guidance Document.
Annual Overview of Accreditation Activities and Communications
With the new year starting, we'd like to remind programs about accreditation activities and ACEND communications that take place every year:
- Annual Report—annually, due mid-November (moved earlier in 2023)
- Annual Accreditation Fee—annually, due mid-December
- Interim Report or Progress Report—as needed, find due dates, if applicable on the ACEND portal
- Substantive Changes—as needed, see decision calendar for ACEND board decision-making timelines
- ACEND Policies Changes—keep up-to-date with ACEND announcements in the ACEND UPdate Newsletter
- ACEND UPdate Newsletter—new articles typically sent the third Tuesday of the month
- ACEND Townhall- Quarterly
Foundation Scholarships Available for US and International Students
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation will open its scholarship application for the 2023-2024 academic year within its electronic application portal on February 15, 2023, with a deadline of 10 a.m. (Central time) on April 18, 2023. Students at all levels of study are eligible to apply, including undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, individuals enrolled in dietetic internships and international students enrolled in qualifying educational programs. Most Foundation scholarships do not require US citizenship or permanent residence.
Students and dietetic interns wishing to plan ahead for their scholarship applications are encouraged to review the Foundation's 2023 Scholarship Application Checklist and FAQ. Prospective applicants may also be interested in viewing a 2021 Foundation lecture titled Foundation Scholarships: Setting Yourself Up for Success. All of these free resources and other helpful information regarding the Foundation's Scholarship program are available.
Questions? Email the Foundation.
Updated: How to Lock Verification Statements to Allow Printing
We have updated the instructions on how to lock a PDF document when digitally signing a Verification Statement so that the document becomes read-only and no further changes are allowed while still allowing printing of the Verification Statement. Previous instructions were on how to change the PDF document permission settings, including restrictions on printing. We strongly encourage program directors to select “Lock document after signing” when issuing Verification Statements rather than changing the document permission settings as students/interns and other program directors may not be able to print the verification statement.
For more information about verification statements, signature authentication and expiration, and how to lock the document, visit the FAQs on Verification statements found on the ACEND website.
Remind Your Students about Graduate Degree Requirement
All students who plan to complete an ACEND-accredited Coordinated Program or Dietetic Internship without a minimum of a graduate degree in 2023 must meet all eligibility requirements (including degree conferral) and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12 p.m. midnight (Central time), December 31, 2023.
ACEND recommends that programs remind students of this requirement, as well as describe to them the risk of not completing the program on time. Reasons for not completing the program on time may include needing additional time for remediation or unexpected leaves of absence due to illness or family emergencies. As many programs plan to graduate one last bachelor's level cohort this year, we hope you take the time to connect with your students and confirm they understand that they will need to complete a master's degree to sit for the RDN exam if they do not complete program requirements by December 31, 2023.
For more information about the graduate degree eligibility requirement, visit CDR's website.
Find an ACEND-Accredited Program
ACEND has more than 600 accredited programs across the United States and select countries internationally, with in-person and online options. Use the search filters to find the program that fits your needs.