ACEND UPdates: 2019-2021 Archives

Archived articles from ACEND® UPdate from 2019 to 2021 are listed below.

2021 | 2020 | 2019


ACEND® UPdate: 2021

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The archived items that follow are from the ACEND® UPdate newsletter for 2021.


January 2021


Helpful Features for Program Directors on New ACEND Portal

Now that program directors have all used the new ACEND® Portal to complete the 2020 Annual Report, ACEND® recommends that program directors explore the other features of the Portal. These can be found under "Actions" and "Download Templates" and include:

  • Access DocuWare to upload reports: Click "Upload Reports to DocuWare" to access the DocuWare upload form. DocuWare is ACEND®'s report upload system used by programs to submit substantive changes, interim reports, self-study reports, site visit report responses and other documents.
  • Change names and contact information for institution administrators: The "Manage Administrator Contacts" section allows program directors to update administrator names and contact information when there is a personnel change within their institution.
  • Access to open invoices due to ACEND®: Click "Pay Open Invoices" to check for invoices from ACEND® on our payment system. The payment system will list open invoices or note that there are no open invoices for the program.
  • Download Summary Data from the Annual Report: The "Download an Annual Report Submission Summary" allows program directors to access annual report data starting with the 2020 annual report. Please note that some fields will not automatically populate. ACEND® recommends downloading this summary prior to completing your annual report to input this data.
  • Auto-populated report templates: On the main tile, under the heading "Download Templates", program directors can download the required Substantive Change Cover Page template and the optional Interim and Progress Report Cover Page Template. Program information, like program name and type, will auto-populate into these templates when downloaded from the portal.

Log in to the portal to try out these features. Contact your ACEND® manager if you have any questions.


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

Due to Covid-19, the ACEND® Standards Committee has issued a second 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 May 3, 2021 at 11 a.m. (Central time).

A webinar series that presents an overview of the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards and the Accreditation review process will be available in February 2021.

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February 2021


ACEND® Webinar Series on the Future Education Model Standards Available for Purchase

This webinar series was developed by ACEND® to guide program directors and faculty to successfully participate in the ACEND® accreditation process using the Future Education Model accreditation standards. The series includes 10 modules which include an overview of the FEM ACEND® Accreditation Standards (Standards 1-9), competency-based education and the accreditation review process.

By completing the webinar series, learners will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose of accreditation to stakeholders.
  • Analyze your program to determine compliance with the FEM ACEND® Accreditation Standards.
  • Prepare a self-study report using the ACEND® FEM templates.
  • Identify the steps and requirements to host and effectively participate in the site visit process.

This webinar series consists of ten webinars and a quiz and provides 8 CPEUs. Obtain more information about this webinar series.


Invitation from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Board of Directors

The Bridging the Boardroom and Classroom program is open to all nutrition and dietetics education programs. Members of the Academy Board of Directors are available to virtually join nutrition and dietetics education program classrooms or student group meetings, such as student dietetic association meetings, to present an update on Academy activities and initiatives relevant to students. The presentation will inform students of the benefits of Academy membership and activities within the Academy and the Foundation, featuring scholarship and grant opportunities and programs for students. Please see the letter and request form for more information Contact Dante Turner at dturner@eatright.org if you have any questions.


March 2021

Cohort 5 Future Education Model Demonstration Program Applications Due May 3, 2021

Due to Covid-19, the ACEND Standards Committee has issued a second 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 May 3, 2021 at 11 am CT. Application forms and a webinar detailing the application process are posted. A webinar series that presents an overview of the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards and the Accreditation review process will be available in February 2021.

ACEND® is no longer accepting applications for the Future Education Model Bachelor's Degree Programs, if your program has started an application or was interested in a Future Education Model Bachelor's Degree Program, please contact ACEND at futuremodel@eatright.org.

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April 2021

ACEND Proposed 2022 Accreditation Standards: Call for Comments

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics has released the revised proposed 2022 Accreditation Standards for Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Programs , Didactic Programs, Internship Programs, Technician Programs and Foreign Dietitian Programs for a second round of comments. This draft of the 2022 Standards is the result of a planned five-year review cycle of the 2017 Accreditation Standards followed by one round of public comments completed in Fall 2020 to ensure compliance with USDE regulation. Copies of the draft standards documents can be found on the ACEND® website. Also posted on the website is a webinar that describes the recommended revised changes based on public comments and the rationale for these proposed changes.

This survey allows you to share any feedback you have about this second round of revisions of the 2022 Standards. The survey will take 5 – 10 minutes to complete. Please share this information with your constituents and colleagues.

We value your input! The survey will remain open until June 18, 2021.

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Legal and Ethical Admissions Processes that Promote Diversity Webinar: June 8, 2021

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics invites you to a free diversity, equity and inclusion webinar. ACEND® continues its series of webinars to assist nutrition faculty in addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their programs. Research has shown that developing race-neutral and race-conscious admissions processes can improve the diversity of a program. This session will explore the legal and ethical opportunities and limitations of such processes. The speaker will also discuss how to create a holistic program application that promotes the inclusion of diverse students, while maintaining the rigor needed to ensure meeting the accreditation standards. All ACEND® stakeholders (faculty, administrators, preceptors, students, interns, etc.) are invited to attend.

Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Time: 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Central time)
Cost: Free
CPEU: 1.5

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Spring 2021 Dietetic Internship Match Data

Each spring, 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 results of the first round of the April 2021 computer match and a comparison with the previous five years are shown below:

Graph of 2021 spring di matching

Key Points

  • There were 4% fewer participants in the Spring 2021 match compared to Spring 2020.
  • Of the 3462 dietetic internship openings available to be filled through the match (doesn’t include pre-select openings) only 2414 (70%) were filled through the match with 1048 (30%) positions still available after the match.
  • The spring match rate has steadily improved. 73% of applicants matched to a dietetic internship in Spring 2021.

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July 2021

ACEND® Board Freezes the 2021-2022 Program Annual Accreditation Fee

To assist programs and their institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, at its February 8, 2021 meeting, the ACEND® Board voted to retain the 2020-2021 fee amount and not increase the 2021-2022 annual accreditation fee for all ACEND®-accredited programs. The annual accreditation fee will remain at $2,125.00, the same amount charged in 2020-2021. To review the annual accreditation fees, access the Fee Schedule (Effective June 1, 2021 - May 31, 2024).

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ACEND® UPdate: 2020

To further narrow your search by using specific keywords follow the instructions below.

  1. Press Ctrl+F (Windows) or ⌘ Command+F (Mac)
  2. Type the word in the search field to find it on a webpage.
  3. Check the keyword presence and/or number of keywords (density) on a page.
  4. Press enter to populate all articles related to your keyword.

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


January 2020


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.

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.


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.


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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February 2020


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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March 2020


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.


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.


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.


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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May 2020


Updated Guidance Information for the 2017 Accreditation Standards Released

The Guidance Information Document for the 2017 Accreditation Standards has been updated to provide clarification for several Required Elements. A list of the updates can be found on page 3 of the document. You can also refer to the appendices in the document for information and answers to your questions about the following:

Appendix A: Glossary-Provides definitions for frequently used ACEND® terms
Appendix B: Guidelines for Using the ACEND® Logo
Appendix C: ACEND® Document Retention Procedures
Appendix D: Didactic Programs in Dietetics and Affiliation Agreements

Additionally, ACEND® has developed the following optional templates for your use when completing your reports.

  • Required Element 1.5 Program Director Description Template (all program types)
  • Required Element 4.1 and 4.2 Program Evaluation Plans specific to each program type with the ACEND® required objectives included in the template.

Access the updated Guidance Document and new optional templates.


Spring 2020 Dietetic Internship Match Data

Each spring, 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 results of the first round of the April 2020 computer match and a comparison with the previous four years are shown below:

Spring 2020 Dietetic Internship Match Data 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 five 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 2019 (5,574) was 19% 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 2020 was nearly 1,400 (26%) less than the number of applicants in April 2016.
  • Increased number of supervised practice options: Between 2010 and 2020, 10 new CPs and 18 new DIs have opened and 2020 enrollment (compared to 2010 enrollment) increased by 44% in CPs (n=695) and 45% in DIs (n=1,253) programs. In addition, 969 individuals completed an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) during that time. 17 future education model graduate (FG) programs began admitting students with a 2019 enrollment of 244 students in FG programs.

Program Reviewer Applications: On Hold Until 2021

Given the limited ability and opportunity to travel this year, ACEND® is not accepting program reviewer applications this year. Please check back after March 1, 2021 for information on how to apply for the 2022-2023 Program Reviewer cohort. For more information, contact acendnominations@eatright.org.


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 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


Signing and Distributing Electronic Verification Statements

Program directors can download the most recent version (dated April 20, 2020) of a blank verification statement from CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System. Verification statements can be electronically signed using a digital signature that can be authenticated. Digital signatures can be easily obtained in Adobe Acrobat and are the most secure way to sign an electronic verification statement. As soon as possible after program completion, program graduates who successfully complete program requirements can be provided a verification statement via email with an authenticated digital signature, or a hand-signed copy scanned in color. Photocopies are unacceptable.

Below you can find useful links to instructions on how to create a digital signature in Adobe Acrobat:


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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June 2020


ACEND Fee Schedule

ACEND®'s fee schedule for June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2024 has been published. The current fee schedule remains in effect until May 31, 2021.


List of ACEND Resources

ACEND® has developed a list of frequently used resources and training in one convenient document. You may choose to save this list to your desktop to help you locate answers to common questions such as:

  • How do I sign and issue verification statements to program graduates?
  • Where can I find the templates for a self-study report?
  • What webinars and training are available to program directors?

View the list of resources.


Distance Education Emergency Checklist

Quality Matters, a non-profit organization dedicated to support quality assurance in online learning, has developed a remote instruction emergency checklist. The checklist provides tips and strategies to use if your program moves to temporary distance education.

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Future Associate FEM Accreditation Standards Minor Revisions – Call for Comments

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics is proposing minor revisions to the Associate Degree (FA) Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics Future Education Model Accreditation Standards. Public comments on the proposed revisions to the Standards can be made until August 15, 2020. We encourage you to provide your input. Please share this information with your constituents/colleagues. If you or they have questions, please send them to acend@eatright.org, so we can respond to them.


International Dietitian Education (IDE) 2017 Accreditation Standards Minor Revisions – Call for Comments

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics is proposing minor revisions to the International Dietitian Education (IDE) Programs Accreditation Standards. Public comments on the proposed revisions to the Standards can be made until August 15, 2020. We encourage you to provide your input. Please share this information with your constituents/colleagues. If you or they have questions, please send them to acend@eatright.org, so we can respond to them.


Update to Spring 2021 Computer Match Dates and DICAS Fees

The NDEP Computer Match Committee reviewed the Spring 2021 match dates and made the decision to move the date of notification and appointment days due to notification day occurring during multiple holidays. The committee established a timeline that fits within typical business hours for as many time zones as possible, including moving notification day from a Sunday to a Monday. Note the updated computer match calendar for Spring 2021 below.

Monday, April 5 at 11 a.m. (Central time) - Notification Day: Match results available on D&D Digital.

Tuesday, April 6 at 11 a.m. at the time zone of the program - Appointment Day: Matched applicants must notify program of acceptance of match by this time.

Tuesday April 6 at 6 p.m. (Central time) - Interim Match Period Occurs: Dietetic Internship program directors with available openings can review the list of unmatched applicants to see if any qualified applicants they originally entered on the D&D Digital website are listed. Dietetic Internship program directors may contact and invite any of those applicants on their original list who did not match to attend their program.

Wednesday, April 7 at 8 p.m. (Central time) - Interim Match Period Ends: All appointments of the Dietetic Internship's own unmatched applicants must be confirmed by applicants to dietetic internship program directors.

Thursday, April 8 at 11 a.m. (Central time) - All Dietetic Internship Directors and Didactic Program Directors may access the current Match/No Match list of applicants who authorized their names to be released.

The computer matching calendars have been updated.

All programs must update their website to reflect the 2021 computer match dates.

DICAS Fee Increase:

Starting in Spring 2021, the DICAS application fee has increased. The first designation is $50 and $25 for each additional designation (Previous fees were $45 and $20, respectively). If you list the DICAS application fee on your website it must be updated with these new application fees.


States that Offer Provisional Temporary Licenses

2020 program graduates may have some delays in taking the registration exam because of limited access at Pearson VUE testing sites because of the pandemic. Some states offer provisional or temporary licenses for graduates who may not be able to take the RDN exam right away.

Please share this information with your program graduates who may be anxious to get licensed to practice in their state.


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July 2020


COVID-19 Pandemic and Reporting Changes to ACEND

If your program is facing a situation with the potential for short-or long-term impact on your program's operations that may affect the ability to remain in compliance with the Accreditation Standards, you are asked to contact ACEND® with a request for any needed modifications in order to maintain compliance with the Standards. More details may be found in the July 14 letter sent to program directors and posted on the ACEND® COVID-19 page.


Reminder: Virtual Town Hall Meeting November 10

The next Virtual Town Hall Meeting will be held on November 10, 2020 from 11 a.m. - noon (Central time).

The topic will be determined at a later date.


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).

The August 13-14 Workshop has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Training modules will be available for those interested in learning more about the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards.


ACEND Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Webpage

ACEND® has published a webpage that includes information and resources to support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in ACEND® accredited programs. Information on the web page includes:

  • A message from the ACEND® Board
  • Diversity and enrollment trends
  • Training and other resources
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Noteworthy Practices

Read more information about submitting a DEI noteworthy practice or accessing DEI training and other resources.


ACEND Policy and Procedure Manual and Substantive Change Guidelines Revised July 1, 2020

ACEND's Policy and Procedure Manual:

The Policy and Procedure Manual has been updated based on the revised U.S. Department of Education recognition criteria which went into effect on July 1, 2020. The changes to ACEND® policies based on revisions to the USDE criteria include:

  • Revisions to the accreditation decision process including timeframes for coming into compliance.
  • The publication of ACEND® decisions with updated requirements for programs placed on probation.
  • Requirements for candidacy programs to submit teach-out plans.
  • Revisions to what is considered a substantive program change and the approval process for substantive changes.
  • In addition, the emergencies and disasters policy was updated to simplify the notification process to ACEND® for programs impacted by a disaster affecting normal operations and potential compliance with the Accreditation Standards.

Substantive Change Guidelines:

As a result of these policy changes, the Guidelines for Requesting Substantive Changes have been updated. Key revisions simplify the review and approval process. Clarifications have been made to branch or satellite locations and distance education. USDE has also identified some changes that can be reported within 30 days after they have been implemented. Teach out plan requirements have also been updated.

Programs should use the Substantive Change Guidelines document effective July 1, 2020 for specific requirements related to the submitting a substantive program change. Program directors are encouraged to contact ACEND® staff with any questions.


USDE Requirements for Disclosing Licensure Information to Students

The United States Department of Education now requires that institutions with programs designed to prepare students for professional licensure or certification must disclose three categories of States to students interested in enrolling in the program:

  1. States for which the institution has determined that the curriculum meets State requirements for licensure/certification.
  2. States for which the institution has determined that the curriculum does not meet State requirements for licensure/certification.
  3. States for which the institution has not made a determination that the curriculum meets State requirements for licensure/certification.

ACEND® accredited free-standing dietetic internships must disclose the states for which their program meets State requirements for licensure/certification as they are considered institutions since they are eligible for Title IV student aid as a result of their ACEND® accreditation. Programs located in colleges and universities may be asked to provide this information to their administration for publication on the institution's website.

All U.S. states and territories with licensure and certification laws accept the RDN credential for state licensure and certification purposes. To meet USDE's requirements, programs are encouraged to use the information they post on their website for the ACEND® Standards which state that programs must publish "Information about the requirements and process to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), including education, supervised practice, passage on the CDR credentialing exam, and state certification/licensure, if applicable; and how the program fits into the process."

With that information they can include a link to the CDR web page that has a listing of state and U.S. territory licensure and certification laws:


Virtual ACEND Program Director Workshop – 2017 Accreditation Standards (October 1-2)

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the in-person accreditation workshop scheduled to be held in Indianapolis prior to FNCE® has been cancelled. Instead, ACEND® will host an interactive virtual workshop. The day and a half workshop schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday, October 1, 2020: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Central time)
  • Friday, October 2, 2020: 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Central time)

The workshop will be limited to 24 participants so please sign up early.


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September 2020


School Spirit: Register Students for FNCE® 2020

The Academy's Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo™ helps instill professional practice beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors in students that will prepare them for practice and lifelong learning. Educators: Give your students the best possible start in dietetics and register them for FNCE® 2020.

The Academy will recognize six dietetics education programs, one for each program type: Didactic Program in Dietetics, Dietetic Internship, Coordinated Program in Dietetics, Dietetic Technician Program, Future Education Model Graduate program, and Future Education Model Bachelor's program. The six education programs that register the highest percentage of students to FNCE® will have the opportunity for a virtual VIP Meet and Greet after FNCE® with Academy President Linda Farr, RDN, CSOWM, LD, FAND and the Board of Directors. In addition, each winning school will receive complimentary site access for a Center for Lifelong Learning online module from the Certificate of Training programs. In case of a tie, a random drawing will be held of the programs with the highest percentage of attendees.

If you are interested in having your program considered for this opportunity, work with your educator to submit your number of total enrollment for your program, number of students registered for FNCE® and the percentage this represents to education@eatright.org by October 9.


2021 ACEND Annual Accreditation Fee due December 18, 2020

On September 1, 2020 an email message was sent to all program directors with a unique link to the ACEND Quick Pay online system to access their annual accreditation fee invoice. Programs can either make an online payment or print the invoice and mail in a check for payment. The annual fee covers costs associated with accreditation activities, program support, communications, staffing and office expenses. The fee will be due December 18, 2020. Payments received after the due date will incur a 10% late fee and the initiation of the Administrative Notification process. The current fee schedule is available on ACEND’s website.


ACEND Leadership and Professional Communication Skills Certificate

ACEND is pleased to announce a newly developed certificate program that will provide ACEND® stakeholders with training to improve communication and management skills and help build leadership skills. This certificate includes eight modules that were chosen by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics from the Academy's Leadership Training Courses to provide ACEND® stakeholders with training to improve communication and management skills and build leadership skills. After completion of all eight modules, participants will receive 16 CPEUs and an ACEND Leadership and Professional Communication Skills Certificate. The Certificate training costs $160 (both Academy members and non-Academy members). Obtain more information or purchase the modules.


ACEND Proposed 2022 Accreditation Standards – Call for Comments

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics has released the proposed 2022 Accreditation Standards for Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Programs, Didactic Programs, Internship Programs, Technician Programs and Foreign Dietitian Programs. The draft 2022 Standards are the result of a planned five-year review cycle of the 2017 Accreditation Standards to ensure compliance with USDE regulation. Copies of the draft standards documents can be found on the ACEND website. Also posted on the website is a webinar that describes the recommended changes and the rationale for proposed changes. Feedback is encouraged and can be provided at the Survey Monkey® link. This survey allows you to share any comments or concerns you have about the proposed 2022 Standards. The survey will take 10 – 30 minutes to complete. Please share this information with your constituents and colleagues. We value your input! The survey will remain open until November 18, 2020.

ACEND required information from all programs due Oct 2, 2020

The United States Department of Education requires that ACEND® monitor temporary changes that programs are making as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes may include transitioning coursework online, offering alternative grading options, and changing the total number of supervised practice hours and alternative experiences.

In addition, according to the ACEND® standards, all ACEND® accredited programs leading to the registered dietitian nutritionist credential must post language on their website with the requirements to become an RDN which includes notifying prospective students or interns about the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s requirement for a minimum of a master’s degree to take the credentialing exam for registered dietitians beginning on January 1, 2024. Note, this is not required for Dietetic Technician and Future Education Model Bachelor Programs. Suggested wording for website information was provided in the May 2020 ACEND UPdate.

Program directors will receive an email on September 15, 2020 requesting they complete a brief survey to provide the required information by October 2, 2020. Please contact ACEND staff at acend@eatright.org if you do not receive an email message with a link to the survey on September 15, 2020.


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October 2020


Information About Distance Education - Substantive Change

ACEND's recent communication to programs discussed the use of distance education to deliver courses to students during the pandemic, after which we received many questions about distance education. ACEND® uses the United States Department of Education's definition of distance education. Thus, if a program uses distance technology to deliver a didactic course, including a hybrid course (a course that combines distance with in-person coursework), it would be considered a distance education course.

While typically ACEND® requires programs to submit a substantive program change request if 50% or more of the didactic courses in the professional curriculum are delivered via distance education, at this time, programs do not need to submit a substantive program change request if they temporarily meet the 50% distance education threshold due to the pandemic. The professional curriculum is considered the courses the student takes after they officially enroll in the program. For example, the last two years of an undergraduate DPD would be considered the professional curriculum.


The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics Invites You to a Free Webinar

Strengthening the Patient Connection: Deconstructing the Complexity of Racism and Food

This webinar is a first of a series of webinars presented by ACEND to assist nutrition faculty in addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their programs. In this session, Wendi El-Amin, MD, will examine the complexities between racism and food, explore the use of cultural humility to strengthen the relationship between dietitian and the patient, and consider strategies to address diet-related disparities. Information may be used in the classroom with students and shared with preceptors and practitioners. Applying for 1.5 hours CPE credits.

Webinar Information

Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Time: 12 – 1:30 p.m. (Central time)
Cost: Free


Information from CDR - Registration Examination – Test Delivery Update

It has been the Commission on Dietetic Registration priority during the current global pandemic to ensure that exam eligible candidates can safely test and become credentialed. Over the last six months, CDR has been in close and constant contact with its testing vendor Pearson VUE regarding the administration of the registration examinations for dietitians and dietetic technicians. Since mid-April, CDR's exam candidates have been recognized as ‘essential medical personnel' and have been able to test. In June, Pearson VUE's preferred test centers (PPCs) reopened (with capacity limits due to social distancing constraints.) To further increase testing capacity, CDR has also allowed its candidates to test in Pearson VUE contracted, third-party owned testing centers. Over the past several months, it has been confirmed that candidates are testing at the same levels as 2019.

As previously communicated, CDR thoroughly investigated a new testing option for high-stakes examinations – online remote proctored exams. Ultimately, due to test measurement incompatibilities, security concerns, and programming modification requirements, CDR and Pearson VUE were not able to integrate this method of testing into its testing program.

Candidates with questions regarding Pearson VUE's COVID-19 safety policies and procedures can visit Pearson VUE's COVID-19 Updates page. As always, if a candidate needs to apply for special exam accommodations, they should read and follow the instructions provided at www.pearsonvue.com/accommodations. If you have any further inquiries regarding testing or exam eligibility, please contact cdrexams@eatright.org.


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November 2020


ACEND® Board Waives the Substantive Program Change Fee to Add a Graduate Degree

At its October 12, 2020 meeting, the board of the ACEND® voted to waive the program change fee for all ACEND®-accredited programs applying to add a graduate degree to a program accredited at the baccalaureate level or accredited as a non-degree option (e.g., Dietetic Internships).


ACEND® Board Removes Pass Rate Policy

The United States Department of Education (USDE) released revised regulations that became effective July 1, 2020. The goal of the revisions, as stated by USDE, was to provide accrediting agencies with greater flexibility to apply their standards. In addition, recent messaging from USDE has allowed accreditors to focus less on bright line indicators and instead, take a broader approach to accreditation and focus on a number of factors that may impact the quality of education. ACEND has been using the pass rate on the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s credentialing exam as its bright line indicator of program quality.

Following USDE's new regulations, the ACEND® Board determined it will take a more holistic approach when reviewing its accredited programs to focus more broadly on a program's overall compliance with the ACEND® Accreditation Standards, and consider other indicators of student and program success, in addition to the pass rate benchmark. Thus, at its October 12, 2020 meeting, the ACEND® Board voted to remove policy 6.7 Program Pass Rate, from the Policy and Procedure manual to allow for a more holistic program review.

While passing the RDN or NDTR exam remains a key outcome for graduates of ACEND® accredited programs, there are other indicators of program quality that the Board will take into consideration when making an accreditation decision, including program completion, job placement, curriculum, faculty qualifications, program resources, admission practices and advertising and student complaints. In instances when a program's pass rate falls below the required minimum of 80% for RDN programs and 70% for NDTR programs, as stated in the standards, ACEND® will conduct a holistic review of the program, including the degree to which the pass rate is below the minimum. Based on the holistic review of the program’s compliance with the accreditation standards, programs with a pass rate below the required minimum may still be placed on a reduced term with monitoring, on probation or require a focused site visit.

Contact ACEND staff acend@eatright.org if you have questions about this policy update.


Register for Drawing to Gain Complimentary Access to ACEND® Leadership Skills Certificate

ACEND® is offering 10 complimentary registrations for a newly developed certificate program that will provide ACEND® stakeholders with training to build leadership skills. This ACEND® Leadership and Professional Communication Skills Certificate includes eight modules that were chosen by the ACEND® from the Academy's Leadership Training Courses to provide ACEND® stakeholders with training to improve communication and management skills and build leadership skills.

After completion of all eight modules, participants will receive 16 CPEUs and an ACEND® Leadership and Professional Communication Skills Certificate. Obtain more information about the modules.

Registrations will be selected by a random drawing. Those receiving a complimentary registration will provide feedback on the effectiveness of the modules and how they plan to use the information. Registration Deadline November 30, 2020.


Dietetics Preceptor Training Modules Are Being Transferred to a New Online Platform

On December 16, 2020 the Dietetics Preceptor Training Program Modules (8 CPEUs) available on CDR's Online Campus will go offline and will no longer be available for access by preceptors. Registration for the course will be available until November 16, 2020.

While this presents ACEND® with the opportunity to update the preceptor modules, we appreciate the value of this course to our educators and the need to have it available while we revise its content. To ensure a quick turnaround, ACEND® is moving the content to a new online course platform and will provide the link to educators with a target date of early January 2021.



December 2020


April and November 2020 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 2020 computer match and a comparison with the previous three years are shown below. These numbers do not include applicants who matched during the second round.

Chart


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ACEND® UPdate: 2019

To further narrow your search by using specific keywords follow the instructions below.

  1. Press Ctrl+F (Windows) or ⌘ Command+F (Mac)
  2. Type the word in the search field to find it on a webpage.
  3. Check the keyword presence and/or number of keywords (density) on a page.
  4. Press enter to populate all articles related to your keyword.

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


February 2019


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.


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 and Graduate 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

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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April 2019


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)

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.


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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May 2019


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 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.

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.


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.


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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June 2019


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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July 2019


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)


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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August 2019


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."


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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October 2019


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.


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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November 2019


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.

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.


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."


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.


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.


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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December 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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