Latest Updates from ACEND

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 or your ACEND® program manager if you have any questions or concerns.

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COVID-19 Situation and Supervised Practice Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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Talking Points for Administrators and Students About Future Education Model Programs

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

Read the talking points.

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

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

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

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

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

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ACEND 2017 Standards Syllabi/Rotation Descriptions Requirements

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

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

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DICAS and D&D Digital Overview Handout Available

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

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

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Reminder: Virtual Town Hall Meeting April 14, 2020

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

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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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