Latest Updates from ACEND


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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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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Revised Applications for Cohort 4 FEM Programs

The Applications for the Future Education Model Cohort 4 Demonstration Programs have been updated. Two new templates have been added: A Program Director Position Description optional template (Standard 1, Required Element 1.4) and a Program Mission, Goals and Objectives required template (Standard 2, Required Elements 2.1-2.3). The applications may be accessed here. The deadline for submitting applications for Cohort 4 Demonstration Programs is December 2, 2019.

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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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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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Please contact ACEND® (ACEND@eatright.org) with any questions about these data.

Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) Submissions

As spring graduation dates near, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) 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.

Earlier this year, CDR informed all program directors that the RDE and DTRE Misuse forms no longer need to be submitted with REPS applications. Graduates are given access to and agree to the misuse policy when they complete the online portion of their eligibility applications. The REPS FAQ provides a brief summary documentation required for application approval.

CDR has provided the following reminders to highlight the most common reasons eligibility submissions are returned to program directors for review.

  • All Verification Statements (VS) contain two dates; the date the program requirements were completed and the date the program director signed the VS. In REPS, the completion date you are being asked for is the date all program requirements were completed and not the date the VS was signed.
  • The completion date on the Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) VS cannot pre-date the date the individual's degree was granted. Completion of a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required for DPD completion.

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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 Training Webinars – 2017 ACEND Accreditation Standards

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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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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