Latest Updates from ACEND


ACEND® Staffing Changes

Congratulations to Mary Ann Taccona for her retirement from ACEND® starting June 9, 2022. Mary Ann served as Associate Executive Director and has been an integral part of ACEND® since 2006. Her hard work, commitment and dedication will always be valued and remembered. Her collaborative spirit and great sense of humor will be missed.

With Mary Ann Taccona's impending retirement, I am pleased to announce the following staff role changes that took place starting June 1st:

  • Senior Education Manager Lauren Bozich was promoted to Senior Director of Accreditation. Lauren joined ACEND® close to ten years ago in 2012 and has been fully supporting the accreditation work of ACEND® while also working as the staff liaison to the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) Group. Her experience in accreditation and program management will ease her transition into the new role where she will maintain ACEND®'s United States Department of Education (USDE) recognition while ensuring education programs meet the ACEND® standards.
  • Senior Education Manager Amy Anichini-Schaal was promoted to Director of Operations and Technology. Amy has been with ACEND® since 2015 and was instrumental in the selection, configuration and launch of ACEND®'s Dynamics System. Recently she has focused on maintaining our technology tools and managing ACEND®'s communications with international programs and students. In her new role, Amy will continue to oversee these areas as well as ACEND®'s internal procedures and site visit scheduling.

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New Professional Development Resource Center

The Commission on Dietetic Registration has created a new interactive tool to assist future and current CDR Credentialed Practitioners navigate fee payments, the recertification process and opportunities to advance their careers.

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Resources for Program Directors for collaboration with NDTRs (KRDN/CRDN 2.5)

ACEND® has a free recorded webinar "Dietetic Dream Team: How the NDTR Can Support the RDN" to assist programs in meeting ACEND® knowledge and competencies that address registered dietitian nutritionists collaboration with nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered.

The webinar is intended to be an educational tool for our programs to help program directors, faculty and students understand the role of the NDTR in supporting the RDN. NDTR program graduates share their work experiences and how their roles support the RDNs in their workplace.

Hands-on tools and activities will be provided. The program provides 1.5 CPEUs. This recording and slides are available on the ACEND® Virtual Town Hall Meetings.

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Spring 2022 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 dietetic internship (DI) programs. The results of the first round of the April 2022 computer match and a comparison with the previous five years are shown below.

Graph of 2022 spring di matching

Key Points

  • These results do not include applicants who matched in the second round or those who were accepted to Future Graduate programs, Coordinated Programs or Individualized Supervised Practice Pathways.
  • There were 5% fewer participants in the Spring 2021 computer match compared to spring 2022.
  • Of the ,3379 dietetic internship openings available to be filled through the match (does not include pre-select openings) only 2,218 (66%) were filled through the match with 1,161 (34%) positions were still available after the match.
  • The spring match rate has steadily improved. 74% of applicants matched to a dietetic internship in spring 2022.

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Updated: Substantive Change Deadlines to Add a Graduate Degree and Entering Graduates in REPS after January 1, 2024

Undergraduate Coordinated Programs and Dietetic Internships wishing to add a graduate degree are highly encouraged to submit their substantive change request for adding a graduate degree to ACEND® by December 31, 2022 to allow for the ACEND® Board to approve the change prior to the deadline. Programs will need to work with their institutional review process to ensure that they have adequate time to implement curriculum changes and include it in recruitment materials and admission processes.

To protect students and meet ACEND® requirements, all students/interns completing CP/DI program requirements after December 31, 2023 must have a graduate degree. Programs that are unable to meet this deadline will be reviewed by the ACEND® Board for potential action and are required to establish mechanisms, such as temporary affiliation with an academic institution, to ensure this requirement is met. ACEND® has developed a Compliance with Required Element 1.4 Program Completion Requirements Template to assist with providing the necessary documentation needed for adding a graduate degree.

Entering Graduates in REPS After January 1, 2024

After January 1 ,2024, DI Program Directors cannot enter a graduate from the DI Program into the CDR Registration Eligibility Process System (REPS) until the graduate has met all exam eligibility requirements (graduate degree, didactic, and supervised practice). CDR will not keep track of a graduate in REPS until the graduate has obtained the graduate degree. If a graduate completes a DI, and does not have a graduate degree, the graduate of the program must contact and inform the Program Director when they have completed the graduate degree requirement, and provide documentation of the conferred graduate degree to the Program Director.

More Information

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ACEND®'s 2022 Accreditation Standards - Clinical Skills Training and Implementation

The ACEND® 2022 Accreditation Standards were released on September 1, 2021 and become effective June 1, 2022. Programs must comply with the 2022 Accreditation Standards after June 1, 2022, although programs will have until December 31, 2023 to fully implement the new clinical skills knowledge requirement (KRDN 3.4) and competencies (CRDNs 3.3-3.6). Programs with upcoming site visits will either need to show they have incorporated the new clinical skills into the program or show evidence of the plans to implement them. ACEND®

To support program directors in their efforts to implement these new requirements, ACEND® is planning several in-person clinical skills workshops. The first one will be held at FNCE®

ACEND® appreciates the efforts of educators to implement the new clinical knowledge requirements and competencies to meet ACEND®'s mission of advancing the practice of the profession. You can access the 2022 Accreditation Standards, templates and resources.

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NDTR Test Preparation Is Now Available at eatrightPREP

eatrightPREP® for students preparing to take the Registration Examination for Dietetic Technicians, Registered is now available from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The learning platform offers flashcards, pretest questions, and practice and simulated tests to help build and gain confidence in test-taking skills. All flashcards and questions contain a complete rationale and cited reference to explain the correct answer. A special program pricing for educators is available. There is also an eatrightPREP® for those preparing to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

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Removal of Start Date Deadline for ACEND®'s FEM Demonstration Program

The ACEND® Standard's Committee voted to remove the start date deadline for the Future Education Model eligibility applications (candidacy and reorganization) and allow the FEM programs to follow the typical ACEND® timelines for programs moving through the eligibility process. FEM eligibility applications are different than applications following the 2022 Standards because they do not provide curriculum materials until after the program director attends Competency-Based Education training.

Securing institutional and/or state approvals may delay the timeline for curriculum submission; therefore, the Standards Committee set an expiration date of four years on the FEM eligibility application to ensure recency of information submitted within the application. After four years, a program will need to resubmit their FEM eligibility application to ACEND®. The eligibility candidacy and reorganization applications fee waivers remain a benefit to programs who resubmit their application to become an FEM program.

  • View the timelines for FEM eligibility applications for both candidacy and reorganization programs

For questions, contact futuremodel@eatright.org.

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Federal Grant Opportunities for Dietetics Programs to Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics has collaborated with the Academy's Policy Initiatives and Advocacy team to identify federal grant opportunities for nutrition and dietetics programs. These grants will support the recruitment, retention, and completion of nutrition and dietetics education programs for students from underrepresented backgrounds. The document entitled "Grant Opportunities for Dietetics Programs" is posted on the ACEND® Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webpage. We hope that this resource can act as a catalyst for programs to apply for funding opportunities or advocate for funding that their universities may already receive. The document will be updated on a regular basis.

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Find-a-Preceptor Database Available to all Students

The Find-a-Preceptor Database is now available to all students! Academy membership is no longer required to search for preceptors in the database. The Find-a-Preceptor Database allows program directors and students to search for a preceptor within a certain geographical or specialty area. To search for a preceptor on the Find-a-Preceptor Database, visit the ACEND® preceptor webpage.

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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Supervised Practice/Experiential Learning

It has come to ACEND's attention that some students and interns enrolled in ACEND accredited programs are at risk of not completing the program when they choose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Programs with supervised practice/experiential learning should inform applicants of the program's policies related to COVID-19 and other vaccines prior to their acceptance to the program. Programs using the policies of the supervised practice site should inform students or interns that they may be required to show evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination; otherwise, they may not be able to complete the program. This should be clearly communicated on the program's website and in all recruitment materials.

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Reminders and Deadlines



ACEND Decision Calendars

The ACEND® Board will follow a streamlined decision calendar for program accreditation decisions. These decisions include those after an accreditation site visit, certain substantive change submissions and reorganization reports.

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Share Your DEI Noteworthy Practices with Other Educators

ACEND has continued to identify Noteworthy Dietetics Practices among the ACEND®-accredited programs and has recently began highlighting efforts in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

If you would like your DEI noteworthy practice to be reviewed by ACEND®'s Review Committee and possibly be selected for the next quarter, please visit the ACEND®'s Noteworthy Practice page to download the submission form.

Noteworthy practices in the following topic areas are requested: Recruitment and admission practices that encourage diversity, retention practices and program activities that support students/interns with diverse needs, training activities for faculty and preceptors, educational activities in the classroom and/or during supervised practice, Holistic Admissions processes, and other activities that promote DEI.

Please submit the completed submission form and supporting documentation to ACEND@eatright.org by Friday, January 14, 2022. If your noteworthy practice is chosen next quarter, the practice will be posted to the ACEND® website and in the ACEND® UPdate newsletter.

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