ACEND UPdates: 2019-2020 Archives

The archived items that follow are from the ACEND® UPdate for 2020.


Pearson VUE Testing Center - Update From CDR

RDs and DTRs are recognized by Pearson VUE as essential medical personnel. This designation means that examination eligible candidates are now able to take the registration examination to become credentialed. Without this designation, individuals are not able to test at Pearson VUE testing centers due to COVID-19 safety restrictions. Limited testing centers are open and available to serve front-line medical workers, who require a credential to practice, during this crisis. Candidates are encouraged to schedule their appointments online. A Testing for Essential Services FAQ is also available on Pearson VUE's website.

As there are currently test center capacity limitations, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) is considering the temporary option of Online Proctoring. At this time, CDR is waiting for its credentialing agency, National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA), to approve its application for an online proctoring waiver. For more information, contact CDR at cdr@eatright.org

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During COVID-19 Situation ACEND Approves Programs to Offer Distance Education

ACEND® is providing broad approval to all its accredited programs to use online technologies to accommodate students whose enrollment is otherwise interrupted as a result of COVID-19 without submitting a substantive change and going through the regular approval process. If a program chooses to continue using distance education in a manner requiring ACEND®'s approval after that point, only then would it need to seek approval under ACEND®'s normal process.

To meet USDE's requirements for providing distance education, instructors must initiate substantive communication with students, either individually or collectively, on a regular basis. There are many acceptable means of communicating with students, including simply telephone and/or e-mail. In other words, an instructor could use email to provide instructional materials to students enrolled in the class, use chat features to communicate with students, set up conference calls to facilitate group conversations, engage in email exchanges or require students to submit work electronically that the instructor will evaluate.

ACEND® will continue to keep its programs informed of any changes and/or additional information during these challenging times. Please contact ACEND@eatright.org or your ACEND® program manager if you have any questions or concerns.

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COVID-19 Situation and Supervised Practice Requirements

ACEND® has received numerous questions regarding COVID-19. ACEND® requires that all programs follow institutional and/or program policies and procedures in any instance that may affect the program. If needed, the program may consider alternate experiences or additional make up hours should any student/intern need to make up time missed due to illness or facilities unable to accept interns/students due to COVID-19.

It is up to the program to determine when and how those experiences take place or the program may be able to incorporate alternate supervised experiences i.e. simulation, case studies and/or role play. The ACEND® Board determined that in instances where programs and/or students/interns are affected by COVID-19 and only during this occurrence, programs may award up to 600 hours, of the total 1200 hours, to alternate supervised experiences for RDN programs and up to 225 hours, of the 450 hours, for NDTR programs.

If any program must include alternate supervised experience hours over the maximum hours stated above, the program must notify ACEND® according to ACEND®'s Emergencies and Disasters Policy (Policy 4.7, p. 71).

ACEND® is closely monitoring the information emerging regarding the spread and scale of the COVID-19 virus and its potential impact on dietetics programs. ACEND® will continue to keep its programs informed of any changes and/or additional information. Please contact ACEND@eatright.org or your ACEND program manager if you have any questions or concerns.

Read the latest information regarding COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Talking Points for Administrators and Students About Future Education Model Programs

ACEND® has developed talking points for Future Education Model programs. For program directors who are interested in applying to be a demonstration program, the talking points for administrators can be used to describe the benefits of Future Education Model accreditation to the program and students. The talking points for parents and students can be used to help programs discuss Future Education Model demonstration programs to parents and students and describe the benefits of these program types as they explore options.

Read the talking points.

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Call for Cohort 5 Applications for Demonstration Programs under the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards

The ACEND® Board has issued the call for applications for those interested in being part of cohort 5 demonstration programs under the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards. Applications for cohort 5 are due December 2, 2020 at 11 a.m. (Central time).

A workshop for those interested in learning more about the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards will be held in Chicago on August 13-14, 2020.

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Evaluating International Students Applying to US-based ACEND® Accredited Programs

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics has developed a webinar for program directors that explains how to work with international students who wish to apply to your program. These students may have been educated at non-ACEND® accredited international programs or be from an ACEND® accredited Foreign Dietitian Education program.

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ACEND 2017 Standards Syllabi/Rotation Descriptions Requirements

Based on questions and feedback from program directors, ACEND® would like to explain the requirements needed for course syllabi and rotation descriptions.

  • Syllabi and/or Rotation Descriptions must include the KRDNs, CRDNs, or CNDTs that are covered in that specific course or rotation. Note the KRDNs, CRDNs or CNDTs included on the syllabi must match the KRDNs, CRDN, CNDTs marked for that course or rotation on the curriculum map.
  • Syllabi and/or Rotation Descriptions must include the learning activities used to measure the achievement of the KRDNs, CRDN, CNDTs that are noted in the SLO assessment plan.
  • KRDN/CRDN/CNDT and the associated learning activity do not need to be listed side by side in a syllabi or rotation description. Both simply need to appear within the syllabi or rotation description.
  • Syllabi and/or Rotation Descriptions must include the learning activities noted in Summary of Learning Activities Template for that specific course or rotation.
  • Competencies and Knowledge Requirements do not need to be written out in its entirety on the syllabi or rotation descriptions. A program can simply include the competency or knowledge requirement number. For example, CRDN 3.5. If a program chooses to only include the competency and knowledge requirement number, students/interns must receive a listing of all the competencies and/or knowledge requirements and their descriptions in another format (i.e. a student/intern handbook) at the beginning of the program.

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DICAS and D&D Digital Overview Handout Available

ACEND® acknowledges that the information on the computer matching process has lacked clarity. ACEND® has developed a handout which includes an overview of the current application and matching process which will be posted to the ACEND® Website. There are also instructional videos from D&D digital and DICAS which provide guidance for both DPD and DI program directors for the D&D digital match process and DICAS application sections related to coursework, transcripts, and selecting designations.

In May 2019, the NDEP Council voted to approve the development of a task force to review the application and computer matching process. This task force will complete a comprehensive evaluation of the dietetics supervised practice programs application process with the intent to develop recommendations on the future of the application process. This task force will contain representation from DPD directors, supervised practice program directors, FEM program directors, ACEND® Board Member representative, ACEND® Staff representative as well as an NDEP Council representative. The Task Force will share updates on its work as it becomes available.

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Reminder: Virtual Town Hall Meeting April 14, 2020

The next Virtual Town Hall Meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 from 11 a.m. - noon (Central time). ACEND® hosts periodic virtual meetings to answer stakeholder questions about the accreditation standards.

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DICAS and D&D Digital Overview Handout Available

ACEND® acknowledges that the information on the computer matching process has lacked clarity. ACEND® has developed a handout which includes an overview of the current application and matching process which will be posted to the ACEND® Website. There are also instructional videos from D&D digital and DICAS which provide guidance for both DPD and DI program directors for the D&D digital match process and DICAS application sections related to coursework, transcripts, and selecting designations.

In May 2019, the NDEP Council voted to approve the development of a task force to review the application and computer matching process. This task force will complete a comprehensive evaluation of the dietetics supervised practice programs application process with the intent to develop recommendations on the future of the application process. This task force will contain representation from DPD directors, supervised practice program directors, FEM program directors, ACEND® Board Member representative, ACEND® Staff representative as well as an NDEP Council representative. The Task Force will share updates on its work as it becomes available.

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ACEND 2017 Standards Syllabi/Rotation Descriptions Requirements

Based on questions and feedback from program directors, ACEND® would like to explain the requirements needed for course syllabi and rotation descriptions.

  • Syllabi and/or Rotation Descriptions must include the KRDNs, CRDNs, or CNDTs that are covered in that specific course or rotation. Note the KRDNs, CRDNs or CNDTs included on the syllabi must match the KRDNs, CRDN, CNDTs marked for that course or rotation on the curriculum map.
  • Syllabi and/or Rotation Descriptions must include the learning activities used to measure the achievement of the KRDNs, CRDN, CNDTs that are noted in the SLO assessment plan.
  • KRDN/CRDN/CNDT and the associated learning activity do not need to be listed side by side in a syllabi or rotation description. Both simply need to appear within the syllabi or rotation description.
  • Syllabi and/or Rotation Descriptions must include the learning activities noted in Summary of Learning Activities Template for that specific course or rotation.
  • Competencies and Knowledge Requirements do not need to be written out in its entirety on the syllabi or rotation descriptions. A program can simply include the competency or knowledge requirement number. For example, CRDN 3.5. If a program chooses to only include the competency and knowledge requirement number, students/interns must receive a listing of all the competencies and/or knowledge requirements and their descriptions in another format (i.e. a student/intern handbook) at the beginning of the program.

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The archived items that follow are from the ACEND® UPdate for 2019.


Future Education Model Template Revisions

ACEND® made a number of changes to the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards required templates based on feedback from demonstration programs. For Standard 1, Required Element 1.5, a new "Planned Supervised Experiential Learning Hours" template was added as a requirement. In addition, the curriculum map template (Standard 4, Required Element 4.1) was revised; the competency-based course plan template Standard 4 (Standard 4, Required Element 4.1) was removed as a requirement; and, a new competency assessment table (Standard 5, Required Element 5.1) was added as a required template. The revised curriculum templates remove the requirement of student-level assessment data collection by ACEND® and ensure that all performance indicators are incorporated in the curriculum through learning activities. Assessment of performance indicators is no longer required.

Accredited FEM programs must submit the completed revised and new templates by May 31, 2020 to demonstrate compliance. All demonstration programs must meet these new requirements by July 1, 2020.

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April and November 2019 Computer Match Results

Every spring and fall, graduates of didactic programs in nutrition and dietetics participate in a computerized match process run by D&D Digital for placement in a nutrition and dietetic internship program. The combined results of the first round of the April and November 2019 computer match and a comparison with the previous two years are shown below.

A table displaying April and November 2019 computer match results.

As shown in the table, the match rate (i.e. the percent of applicants who match to a DI program in the first round of the computer match process) has steadily improved over the past three years. Factors contributing to this improved match rate likely include:

  • Decreased number of graduates from didactic programs in nutrition and dietetics (DPD): Data from DPD programs indicate that the number of graduates in 2018 (6,281) was 9% less than the number of graduates in 2016 (6,887) reflecting a nationwide trend in declining university undergraduate enrollment.
  • Decreased number of applicants participating in the computer match: The overall number of applicants participating in the computer match in 2019 was nearly 800 (14%) less than the number of applicants in 2017.
  • Increased number of supervised practice options: ACEND® has encouraged growth in nutrition and dietetics internship and coordinated programs. Between 2010 and 2018, 10 new CPs and 17 new DIs have opened and 2018 enrollment (compared to 2010 enrollment) increased by 22% in CP (n=347) and 47% in DI (n=1,330) programs. In addition, more than 800 individuals completed an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway during that time. In 2019, 12 newly accredited future education model graduate programs began admitting students.
  • Moratorium on new Didactic Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics: ACEND® has not accredited any new DPD programs since 2009.

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FAQs: Future Options for Free-Standing Dietetic Internships

ACEND® hosted and recorded a topic-specific Virtual Town Hall meeting on Tuesday September 24, 2019. Program options for free-standing dietetic internships were discussed regarding the 2024 CDR graduate degree eligibility requirement and the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards. You can access the recorded webinar and slides here.

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ACEND® Welcomes New Program Accreditation Manager

Laurie Kruzich, MS, RDN, LD, joined ACEND® as a Program Accreditation Manager on November 11, 2019. Laurie previously worked as a clinical associate professor with the dietetic internship program at Iowa State University. She has experience with distance education, online learning, and coordinating an ISPP program. She served as the interim program director from 2017-2018. She is excited to apply her experience in dietetics education to her new role with ACEND®. For a list of updated Accreditation Manager state assignments, which includes the states assigned to Laurie, view ACEND Staff.

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Webinar Series on Interprofessional Practice and Education

The National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education is learning important lessons about how to redesign impactful interprofessional practice and education programs in ambulatory and community settings. Join them on webinars on "Real Stories with Real Impacts: What Worked for Accelerating Initiative Teams."

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The ACEND® Board Endorses the Core Competencies on Disability for Health Care Education

There are currently 53 million people with disabilities in the United States and this number with continue to grow as baby boomers age. Americans with disabilities still experience barriers to access routine clinical and preventive services as well as public health and wellness initiatives.

The Core Competencies on Disability for Health Care Education defines standards for disability training, including social, environmental and physical aspects of disability, to improve health care for people with disabilities. ACEND® supports these Core Competencies on Disability and is committed to continue to promote the development, implementation, and rigorous evaluation of nutrition and dietetics programs and ensure appropriate training of future graduates on health care quality and health outcomes for people with disabilities.

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ACEND® Board Approves Enrollment Monitoring Policy Revisions

The ACEND® Board recently reviewed and revised its Enrollment Monitoring for ACEND Accredited Programs policy. Enrollment monitoring requirements are now the same for all program types.

The policy states that each ACEND® accredited program must establish an enrollment maximum, taking into account normal attrition rates, enrollment history, projected enrollment increases, and adequacy of resources to support student/intern success. Any program wishing to increase its maximum enrollment by three students/interns or 20%, whichever is greater, in one year will be required to submit a Substantive Program Change Request. The request would consist of current enrollment, proposed enrollment and resources to support an increase in enrollment.

More information about the documentation required to be submitted to request an increase in enrollment can be found in the ACEND®'s Guidelines for Requesting Substantive Changes.

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April and November 2019 Computer Match Results

Every spring and fall, graduates of didactic programs in nutrition and dietetics participate in a computerized match process run by D&D Digital for placement in a nutrition and dietetic internship program. The combined results of the first round of the April and November 2019 computer match and a comparison with the previous two years are shown below.

A table displaying April and November 2019 computer match results.

As shown in the table, the match rate (i.e. the percent of applicants who match to a DI program in the first round of the computer match process) has steadily improved over the past three years. Factors contributing to this improved match rate likely include:

  • Decreased number of graduates from didactic programs in nutrition and dietetics (DPD): Data from DPD programs indicate that the number of graduates in 2018 (6,281) was 9% less than the number of graduates in 2016 (6,887) reflecting a nationwide trend in declining university undergraduate enrollment.
  • Decreased number of applicants participating in the computer match: The overall number of applicants participating in the computer match in 2019 was nearly 800 (14%) less than the number of applicants in 2017.
  • Increased number of supervised practice options: ACEND® has encouraged growth in nutrition and dietetics internship and coordinated programs. Between 2010 and 2018, 10 new CPs and 17 new DIs have opened and 2018 enrollment (compared to 2010 enrollment) increased by 22% in CP (n=347) and 47% in DI (n=1,330) programs. In addition, more than 800 individuals completed an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway during that time. In 2019, 12 newly accredited future education model graduate programs began admitting students.
  • Moratorium on new Didactic Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics: ACEND® has not accredited any new DPD programs since 2009.

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FAQs: Future Options for Free-Standing Dietetic Internships

ACEND® hosted and recorded a topic-specific Virtual Town Hall meeting on Tuesday September 24, 2019. Program options for free-standing dietetic internships were discussed regarding the 2024 CDR graduate degree eligibility requirement and the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards. You can access the recorded webinar and slides here.

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Language for Accredited Program Website regarding CDR's Master's Degree Requirement

The following language has been developed for programs to post to their websites regarding the requirement for a minimum of a master’s degree prior to taking the CDR exam for RDNs beginning in 2024. It is recommended that four-year programs such as the DPD or CP post this information for potential students and the public in 2019 when students are applying to universities and programs and no later than prior to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year. This language is intended to serve as a guide and does not need to be posted on the website verbatim. Dietetic internships will also want to post similar information for their prospective interns as well.

"Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited [program type] program at [Institution name] are eligible to [apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN].

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN please click here."

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July 2019 Virtual Town Hall Meeting Minutes

Thank you to those who participated in the July Town Hall; there were over 90 people on the call! In the past, the questions asked during the town halls were incorporated in the Monthly Standards Update. Since ACEND® stopped publishing the Monthly Standards Update in late 2018, ACEND® will now publish the Town Hall minutes, questions and responses.

Mindful of participants time, the Town Hall runs for one hour only; additional questions received but not answered during the Town hall are included in the Q and A section of the minutes.

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Free Pre-FNCE® Workshop for Preceptors

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics in collaboration with The Pennsylvania State University Future Graduate Program invites preceptors to a free Pre-Conference Workshop at FNCE® 2019.

The Role of Preceptors in the Future Education Model: Preceptors are Coaches in Competency-Based Education Programs

Preceptors' roles will be changing and the emphasis on assessment and competency-based education will affect how preceptors interact with and evaluate students. This program is designed to provide preceptors with an overview of the Future Education Model, their role in the process, and the competency-based, integrative approach to educating future dietetics and nutrition professionals. A sample of a participatory approach to creating a program based, preceptor-student-instructor collaboration will be presented. All preceptors are welcome, but space is limited; applying for 2 hours (Level 1) CPE credits for attendance.

Workshop Information

Date: Saturday, October 26, 2019
Time: 1 - 3 p.m. (Eastern time)
Location: Marriott, Grand Ballroom Salon F in Philadelphia, Pa.
Cost: Free (space is limited)

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Integrated Experiential Learning in Nutrition and Dietetics – Definition

Integrated experiential learning in nutrition and dietetics is a curriculum design model whereby didactic coursework is combined with experiential learning in real-world and simulated settings. The curriculum is designed so that the learning that takes place within the classroom is then applied in a setting that is overseen by a preceptor. The key element in experiential learning is that the entire didactic learning does not come first within the program, followed entirely by experiential learning, but that both components are woven together throughout the educational program.

For example, during an introduction to a community nutrition course, students might learn about low literacy in the classroom (didactic) followed by developing a low literacy brochure as a course assignment (experiential learning) and later evaluating the effectiveness of the brochure in a community setting such as the local food pantry (experiential learning).

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Registration Eligibility Processing System Submissions

As spring graduation dates near, the Commission on Dietetic Registration wants to remind all program directors that the most current program director forms, REPS policies, and exam resources are located on CDR's Program Director page. If you need a refresher on submitting students for eligibility in REPS, please review the Program Director Quick Start Guide or contact CDR staff at cdrexams@eatright.org.

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Spring Dietetic Internship Match Data

Each spring, graduates of didactic programs in nutrition and dietetics (DPD) participate in a computerized match process run by D&D Digital for placement in a nutrition and dietetic internship (DI) program. The results of the first round of the April 2019 computer match and a comparison with the previous three years are shown below:


 Student Dietetic Chart


As shown in the table, the match rate (i.e. the percent of applicants who match to a DI program in the first round of the computer match process) has steadily improved over the past four years. Factors contributing to this improved match rate likely include:

  • Decreased number of graduates from didactic programs in nutrition and dietetics (DPD): Data from DPD programs indicate that the number of graduates in 2018 (6,281) was 9% less than the number of graduates in 2016 (6,887) reflecting a nationwide trend in declining university undergraduate enrollment.
  • Decreased number of applicants participating in the computer match: The overall number of applicants participating in the computer match in April 2019 was nearly 1,000 (19%) less than the number of applicants in April 2016. The number of applicants, who had not matched in a previous cycle and were reapplying, also decreased from 936 in 2016 to 546 in 2019, a 42% decrease. ACEND® data from Program Annual Reports indicated that more than half (61%) of DI programs had fewer applications in 2018 as compared to 2016 (25% had an increase in applications; 14% had no change).
  • Increased number of supervised practice options: ACEND® has encouraged growth in nutrition and dietetics internship (DI) and coordinated (CP) programs. Between 2010 and 2018, 10 new CPs and 17 new DIs have opened and 2018 enrollment (compared to 2010 enrollment) increased by 22% in CP (n=347) and 47% in DI (n=1,330) programs. In addition, more than 800 individuals completed an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) during that time. In 2019, 12 newly accredited future education model graduate programs began admitting students.
  • Moratorium on new Didactic Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPD): ACEND® has not accredited any new DPD programs since 2009. ACEND® also monitors DPD enrollment to help control the numbers of DPD graduates to better align with the number of supervised practice openings.

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Revisions to ACEND®'s Inactive Status Policy

The ACEND® Board recently updated ACEND® Policy 4.6, Inactive Status. The Inactive Status policy has been revised to change the terminology from 'Inactive Status' to 'Admission Hold' to more clearly represent the substantive change. To correspond with this, the Guidelines for Requesting Substantive Changes have been revised to "Change to Admission Hold Status" and "Resume Active Admission Status".

An Admission Hold is when a program intends to stop the admission of students/interns for up to two academic/program years. To aid programs in providing the appropriate documentation when submitting an Admission Hold request, ACEND® has developed an Admission Hold template. When a program that has been on an Admission Hold Status would like to restart their normal admission process, they must again complete a Substantive Change request to resume active admissions. To view the ACEND® Policy and Procedure Manual, Guidelines for Requesting Substantive Changes and the Admission Hold Template please visit ACEND® Policy and Procedures.

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New ACEND® Tool for Faculty & Preceptor Training

ACEND® has created a narrated Power Point reviewing key topics of interest for faculty and preceptors of ACEND-accredited programs. These slides are intended as a supplement to the orientation and on-going training that a program provides to faculty and preceptors in order to be in compliance with Required Element 7.3. Programs will still need to provide training on the program's mission, goals, objectives and educational philosophy, as well as training for preceptors about program-specific rotation descriptions and intern evaluations, to be fully compliant with Required Element 7.3. ACEND® has also provided a one-page document of directions that will help guide program directors on how to use this tool.

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ACEND® Will Continue to Accredit Associate Degree NDTR Programs

The education requirement for eligibility to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration credentialing examination to become a dietetic technician, registered is NOT changing in 2024 and remains at the Associate Degree level.

ACEND® has recently learned that some associate degree Dietetic Technician Programs, accredited under the 2017 Standards, are considering whether they need to close prior to 2024 because of misinformation about the CDR change in eligibility requirements to take the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credentialing exam. This change, that becomes effective January 1, 2024, means that applicants desiring to take the credentialing exam to become an RDN must have a minimum of a graduate degree to be eligible to take the exam. We would like to clarify that this change by CDR concerns the RD/RDN credential only. Referencing the "Graduate Degree Registration Eligibility Requirement Frequently Asked Questions" dated July 2013, posted on CDR's website, the following question and response is noted:

Question:
Does this mean that the DTR eligibility requirements will move to a baccalaureate degree?

Response:
No. CDR does not plan to change the requirements for eligibility to take the registration examination for dietetic technicians to the minimum of a baccalaureate degree.

At this time, ACEND® has no plans to stop accrediting associate degree DT programs. Since the US Department of Education requires ACEND® to update its standards every five years, the 2017 Accreditation Standards will be reviewed and updated as 2022 Accreditation Standards. This includes the standards for DT programs which require a minimum of an associate degree to prepare graduates to be eligible to take the CDR credentialing exam to become a DTR.

Should you have any questions regarding this information please do not hesitate to contact ACEND® at 800/877-1600, extension 5400 or acend@eatright.org.

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2019 Compliance Audit on the 2017 Accreditation Standards – Due September 20, 2019

ACEND will be conducting a review of each program’s mission, goals and objectives for the 2019 compliance audit. The ACEND Board is asking all programs to demonstrate compliance with Standard 3, Required Elements 3.1-3.3, of the 2017 Accreditation Standards. To do this each program must submit their Program Evaluation Plan and an active link to where the mission, goals and objectives and the statement that program outcomes data are available on request are located for prospective students/interns and the public on the program’s website. All programs were to have made any revisions needed to comply with changes to the Standards by July 1, 2018. To view a webinar for program directors on how to develop program mission, goals and objectives click on this link: Developing a Program Mission- Goals-and-Objectives You can view the checklist that ACEND staff will use to conduct the audit.

To comply with the audit, the ACEND Board requests that programs submit the following to ACEND at standardscompliance@eatright.org no later than Friday, September 20, 2019.

  • The most recently reviewed Program Evaluation Plan (Standard 4, Required Element 4.1)
  • Link(s) to their website showing where the mission, goals, objectives and outcomes statement can be located (Standard 9, Required Elements 9.3.b and 9.3.c)

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Program Director Webinars – How to Develop Mission, Goals and Objectives and a Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan

ACEND® staff have developed webinars to train program directors on the following 2017 ACEND® Accreditation Standards:

  • How to develop the program's mission, goals and objectives (Standard 3)
  • How to develop the program's Program Evaluation Plan and Continuous Program Improvement Plan (Standard 4)
  • How to develop the program's Student Learning Assessment Plan (Standard 6)

View the webinars.

Please review the webinars to help further your knowledge on ACEND® 2017 Accreditation Standards 3, 4 and 6. Do not hesitate to contact your ACEND® staff manager if you have any questions.

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Update on the Pearson VUE ACEND® Summary of Candidate Testing Report

ACEND® worked with the Commission on Dietetic Registration and Pearson VUE to make a change to the ACEND® Summary of Candidate Testing Report. Many program directors have voiced concern that the data in the section for "Testers within one year of First Attempt" is incomplete for the most recent year as those students had not yet completed their one year time frame before the report was issued.

The three-year pass rate summary reports distributed in February 2019 will be changed so that the data in the "Testers within one year of First Attempt" section will be based on the year in which the candidate's one year time frame ends. Data in the current report included data in the "one year from first attempt" that was based on the year the candidate first took the exam. In the new report, data for 2017, for example, will include all candidates who took the exam for the first time in 2016 and their "one year from first attempt" ended in 2017. This will allow for the report to always have complete data. The results of candidates who take the exam for the first time in 2016 would be recorded in the year 2016 in the "first attempt" table; the results for those same candidates for "one year from first attempt" would be recorded in the year 2017 as that is the year that their one year time period from first attempt ended.

The new report will contain two tables, which will be similar to those shown below. One will include the information on exam results for the tester's first attempt within a specified year and a second table will include exam results for the tester's pass rate within one year of first attempt. Both tables will contain the institution’s results and the national results.

The data are for the same program in both tables. The group of candidates (n=18) who took the exam for the first time in 2015 would have their "one year from first attempt" end in 2016 so they are the same 18 shown for the year 2016 in the second table.

Summary of Candidate Testing Report

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Guidance Information Documents – Updated

ACEND® has recently updated the Guidance Information Document for 2017 Accreditation Standards and the Guidance Information Document for Future Education Model Accreditations Standards. These documents contain information to help program directors interpret the standards and clarify expectations for the completion of self-study documents.

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Future Education Model Accreditation Standards Revisions

The ACEND® Board approved the following revisions to the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards for Associate (FA), Bachelor's (FB) and Graduate (FG) Degree Programs during the January 23-25, 2019 meeting:

  1. Removed the requirement for tracks in RE 1.2, 1.5, 3.2, 4.1, 5.2, 8.3 and 9.1. Programs can continue to have tracks but ACEND® will not require them.
  2. Added requirement for the issuance of a verification statement to FA Standard 1, RE 1.3.
  3. Combined and reworded Standard 2, RE 2.3 and 2.4 (program-specific and ACEND-required objectives) to make them more consistent with the 2017 Accreditation Standards. The changes include the expectation that data on all ACEND®-required objectives be evaluated annually using an average of data from the previous three years and that the specified language is used in the objectives.
  4. Revised Standard 4, RE 4.1 to clarify expectations for the curriculum map.
  5. Revised Standard 5, RE 5.1 to clarify expectations for competency assessment.
  6. Made a few minor wording changes to competencies and performance indicators.

These changes will become effective on July 1, 2019 and demonstration programs accredited under the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards are expected to be compliant with these changes by July 1, 2019.

  • View the changes tracked in the standards

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Call for Cohort 4 Applications for Demonstration Programs under the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards

The ACEND® Board has issued the call for applications for those interested in being part of cohort 4 demonstration programs under the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards. Applications for cohort 4 are due December 2, 2019 at 11 a.m. (Central time).

  • Application forms and a webinar detailing the application process

Application Process

A workshop for those interested in learning more about the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards will be held in Chicago on August 15-16, 2019.

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The archived items that follow are from the ACEND® UPdate for 2018.


Revisions to ACEND®'s Program Closure Policy and Teach-out Plan Requirements

The ACEND® Board recently updated policy 4.3.B Substantive Program Changes, Program Closure. The policy now requires that programs planning to close include the summarized information below in the Teach-out Plan submitted to ACEND®. To view the complete requirements see Section 4.3, pages 66-67, of the ACEND® Policy and Procedure Manual:

  • How prospective and enrolled student/interns will be informed of the program's closing and any implications of the closure.
  • The program must make reasonable best efforts to ensure prospective and enrolled students/interns receive and acknowledge receipt of the information about the program's closure and its implications.
  • How program stakeholders, including faculty, preceptors, academic advisors (including advisors of transfer students), affiliated community colleges and advisory board, as applicable are informed of the program's closure and its implications.

Additionally, the board will now require programs to submit an update at least annually on its closing plan discussing its resources and remaining students/interns progression through the program. The program's closing plan must be submitted on the Teach-Out Plan Template. The Template can be found on the ACEND® website here: Teach-Out Plan Template. Contact the manager assigned to your program if you have any questions about the requirements for closing an ACEND® accredited program.

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Revisions to the Guidelines for Requesting Substantive Changes

The document, Guidelines for Requesting Substantive Changes, was updated in December 2018 to include changes applicable to all program types under the 2017 or FEM Accreditation Standards. Instructions for adding an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) can now be found in the substantive change guidelines. Dietetic Internships that wish to add a pre-select option will find the guidance under "Changes to Program Options and Start Dates." The Substantive Program Change Guidelines, Substantive Program Change Cover Page, Program Director Change Template and Enrollment Increase Report can be found here.

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ACEND® Portal Closing January 31, 2019

In an effort to streamline ACEND®'s communication and available resources for programs, we will be removing the ACEND® Portal at the end of January 2019. ACEND® has been monitoring activity on the ACEND® Portal and usage of the portal and its features has declined in the past several years. All of the resources currently available in the ACEND® Portal library are available on the ACEND® website. The Verification Statements are available in the REPS system provided by CDR and can be accessed there at any time. If you need any documents after Friday, January 25, 2019, that are not available on the ACEND® website, you can request them via email ACEND@eatright.org.


New Definition for "Readily Available" (Standard 9, RE 9.3)

Based on feedback received and data collected through the website audit, the ACEND® Board has revised its definition of readily available to "when information can be accessed by the public without disclosure of identity or contact information and is no more than three 'clicks' away from the program's home webpage." It is not a requirement to include the student handbook on the program website. However, if the program references the handbook for any information required on the website, a direct link to the handbook must be included.

Additionally, there are no materials due to ACEND® in January 2019 to demonstrate compliance with the 2017 Accreditation Standards. Please contact your ACEND manager if you have questions about program specific reports.

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ACEND® Policy Updates

The ACEND® Board recently updated policy 6.6 Enrollment Monitoring for ACEND Accredited Programs.

A Supervised Practice or FEM Program (DT, CP, DI, FDE, IDE, DPD with ISPP, FG, FB and FA) wishing to increase its maximum enrollment by 3 students/interns or 10%, whichever is greater, in one year will be required to submit an enrollment increase report. The report would consist of current enrollment, proposed enrollment and resources to support an increase in enrollment. If a program is requesting to increase enrollment beyond three interns or 10% (whichever is greater) or requesting to increase enrollment by 20% or greater over two years, the program must submit a Substantive Program Change request.

A Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) wishing to increase its maximum enrollment by any amount is required to submit a Substantive Program Change request. In the Substantive Program Change request, the DPD must explain how it will assure that all additional graduates who receive a verification statement will obtain positions in supervised practice programs. The ACEND Policy and Procedure Manual, Enrollment Increase Report template and Major Program Change template can be found here.

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