Latest Updates from ACEND


2020 ACEND® Annual Accreditation Fee

By late September, program directors will receive an email with a unique link to the ACEND® Quick Pay online system to access their annual accreditation fee invoice and make either 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 13, 2019. Please note the earlier due date for the fee payment. Payments received after the due date will incur a 10% late fee and the initiation of the Administrative Notification process.

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ACEND® Events at FNCE®

  • Sunday, October 27, ACEND/CDR/CPLS Collaborative Forum: Myths and Realities about Future Requirements for Registered Dietitians, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm – Grand Ballroom B
  • Monday, October 28, ACEND® Consulting Time with ACEND® Managers for Program Directors, 10:00 – 11:30 am – Philadelphia Marriott, Grand Ballroom Salons EF
  • Monday, October 28, ACEND® Forum: Demonstration Program Innovations, 1:30 – 3:00 pm, Room 204 ABC
  • Sunday, October 27 – Tuesday, October 29 – ACEND® Booth-Stop by to meet ACEND® staff

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Opportunity to Provide Feedback for Evaluation of the 2017 Standards

The ACEND® Standards Committee requests your feedback regarding the current 2017 ACEND® Accreditation Standards for nutrition and dietetics education programs. Per United States Department of Education (USDE) requirements, the ACEND® Accreditation Standards are revised every five years. Results of this survey will be used to revise the 2017 Standards.

Your feedback will be critically important as the 2022 Standards are being developed. The survey may take 20 to 30 minutes to complete. You can stop the questionnaire and re-enter at a later time to finish your responses. Please feel free to share this survey with your program stakeholders and anyone that might be interested in providing feedback on these standards.

The survey may be accessed until November 13, 2019. Survey responses will remain anonymous. Your input is extremely important to ACEND® as we review the current standards. We greatly appreciate your taking time to complete the survey.

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Reminder – 2019 Compliance Audit for all ACEND® Accredited Programs

Just a reminder that the 2019 compliance audit is due Friday, September 20, 2019. Each program is asked to attach its Program Evaluation Plan and a separate document containing the website link(s) to its mission, goals, objectives and outcomes statement to an email and send it to standardscompliance@eatright.org. No cover letter or narrative needs to be included.

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2020 ACEND® Annual Accreditation Fee due December 13, 2019

On September 5, 2019 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 13, 2019. Please note the earlier due date for the fee payment. Payments received after the due date will incur a 10% late fee and the initiation of the Administrative Notification process.

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Virtual Town Hall on Free Standing DI Tuesday September 24 at 11 a.m. Central

ACEND® will host a Special Topics Virtual Town Hall via WebEx on Tuesday September 24, 2019 from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Central time). Many dietetic internship program directors have reached out to ACEND® and requested information about what direction they could take as the 2024 graduate eligibility requirement date approaches. As a result, this special topics Town Hall presentation was developed to address options available for free-standing dietetic internship programs. ACEND® Board member and free-standing DI program director, Cheryl Bacon, MS, RD, LDN, FAND will present.

An email invitation has been sent to all dietetic internship program directors. The Town Hall will also be recorded and made available after September 24 to all programs.

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Verification Statement and Registration Examination Policies

Verification Statement Policy
Verification Statements (VS) must be uploaded into the Commission on Dietetic Registration's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) to confirm that graduates have completed the required ACEND® accredited program requirements. Current VS forms should be obtained each year by contacting ACEND® or by logging into REPS and downloading the form.

Note to supervised practice program directors: If you are including a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) VS with your submission, this VS may be an older version form as the didactic coursework could have been completed at any time. CDR will not reject a submission for including an older version VS. CDR will return a submission if the program completion date on the DPD VS predates the conferral date of the bachelor's degree as a bachelor's degree is required for DPD completion.

Registration Examination Name Policy
The name on a candidate's profile with CDR and its testing vendor Pearson VUE must match the candidate's valid, government-issued, photo ID exactly or the candidate will be turned away from the testing center and lose their testing fee. Candidates are responsible for ensuring their name is correct when reviewing the information entered by their program director in their online registration eligibility application. If a candidate needs their name changed before they are eligible, they should contact their program director. If a candidate needs their name changed after becoming eligible, they should use the Name Change Form for Registration Eligibility and mail it to CDR with the required documentation.

The Registration Examination Experience - Sunday, October 27, 2019
CDR would like to invite you and your students to attend an informative session during FNCE for individuals preparing to take the registration examinations. The goals of this session are to assist examination candidates in understanding the exam format, explain how one schedules the examination, and to communicate resources for examination preparation.

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Modifying DPD Program Curriculum for FEM Graduate Program

Question to ACEND®:
How can an accredited undergraduate DPD program be "modified" to become an accredited graduate Future Education Model program? Is this not "watering down" education?

ACEND® Answer:
For an undergraduate DPD program to become a Future Graduate program under the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards it must include a minimum number of graduate credits (typically 30 credits for a master's degree) and integrate experiential learning within the didactic curriculum. In addition, the Future Education Model Standards specify the required minimum competencies and performance indicators that must be achieved by graduates of the program. The FEM Standards provide much greater detail about the competence expected of program graduates and the performance indicators used to help demonstrate attainment of the competencies. In addition, the competencies have been elevated to meet the expected future practice of the RDN. For example, the competency for prescribing nutrition-related pharmacotherapy, expects that the FEM prepared graduate is able to recommend and prescribe the use of medications to help treat nutrition-related issues. This might include for example prescribing insulin for diabetics or prescribing prokinetic agents, anti-nausea medications, anti-diarrhea medications, and/or motility medications for patients on enteral feedings. A current program under the 2017 Accreditation Standards must revise its curriculum to meet these enhanced competencies. While ACEND® does not monitor the course numbers being used, the expectation is that the graduate degree programs are structured to include the knowledge and experiential learning needed to develop these required enhanced competencies, and ACEND® will closely monitor each program’s competency assessment plan and program outcomes to ensure this higher level of competence is being achieved. Programs that are simply switching course numbers and maintaining their existing 2017 Standards' program curriculum have not yet attended the competency-based education and assessment trainings that ACEND® provides to demonstration programs. Invariably, after attending the trainings, programs have made significant changes and updates to their curriculum and competency assessment.

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Roles of Faculty and Preceptors in Alternate Types of Supervised Practice

Generally, faculty are responsible for teaching the broad topics included in the required components and the core knowledge required by ACEND® in courses. Preceptors supervise students/interns in professional work settings as they complete planned learning activities to demonstrate mastery of the ACEND®-required competencies and the competencies that the program creates for their concentrations. There are some exceptions to this scenario if program directors decide to use alternate supervised practice experiences. Alternate supervised practice experiences use activities outside of a professional work setting, such as role play, case studies and simulations that enable students/interns to learn skills to demonstrate achievement of competencies. Faculty (as opposed to preceptors in a free standing DI) of degree-granting CP, DT or DI programs may include these activities in course work, whereas, free standing DIs may incorporate alternate supervised practice hours into their programs during orientation or class sessions presented by the program director, preceptors or invited speakers.

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Apply today to become an ACEND® Program Reviewer

ACEND® is recruiting nutrition and dietetics educators and practitioners to become ACEND® Program Reviewers! ACEND® Program Reviewers examine nutrition and dietetics educational programs and conduct site visits to universities and other organizations with ACEND®-accredited programs. This peer-review accreditation process strengthens nutrition and dietetics education and the profession as a whole.

ACEND® Program Reviewers serve for three-year terms, beginning June 2020. This year, ACEND® is especially in need of reviewers with experience running ACEND®-accredited Dietetic Technician Programs, as well as reviewers with doctoral degrees. Criteria include the following:

  • Active Membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and registration (RDN or NDTR) by the Commission on Dietetic Registration
  • Master's or higher degree preferred
  • Willing to provide professional leadership
  • Employed in education or practice for more than three years
  • Have a commitment to quality nutrition and dietetics education programs
  • Represent a major area or area of nutrition and dietetics practice
  • Meet the time commitment required by the position (prepare for and conduct two site visits per year and review two to four program reports per year, estimated to be 20 days annually)
  • Be able to attend a Program Reviewer Training workshop following their appointment
  • Program Reviewers may not serve simultaneously on other groups within the Academy that may represent a conflict of interest with ACEND® activities or violate U.S Department of Education regulations (i.e., member of the Academy Board of Directors, Academy BOD Executive Committee, HOD Leadership Team, member of the Commission on Dietetic Registration)

In addition to learning about current nutrition and dietetics education and "giving back" to the profession, there are several benefits. Reviewers will further develop leadership and communication skills, travel to universities and practice sites across the country (expenses covered by ACEND®) and enjoy the camaraderie of peers in the profession. Many ACEND® Program Reviewers comment that the experience has helped them to improve their own practice or educational programs. ACEND® Program Reviewers are also eligible to receive CEUs for their service. Finally, ACENDsup>® Program Reviewers can add to their leadership experience by running for positions on the ACEND® Board of Directors after at least three years of experience as a Program Reviewer.

If you know someone who would make a great reviewer, please pass along this opportunity. Applications are due by November 1, 2019 for terms beginning June 1, 2020.

Please contact acendnominations@eatright.org with any questions.

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

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

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

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

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FEM Options for Existing ACEND® Accredited Programs

As ACEND® accredited nutrition and dietetics programs explore the Future Education Model, ACEND® would like to respond to inquiries about potential options for programs. An institution with one or more accredited nutrition and dietetics programs that desires to propose a future education model associate, bachelor's or graduate degree demonstration program likely would need to make a decision on how to proceed. Please note that ACEND® encourages directors of undergraduate and graduate coordinated programs in dietetics and master's degree dietetic internships (MS/DI) to consider applying to become a demonstration program in cohort 4. There are three options for existing programs to consider:

Reorganization of Existing Program:
The institution could decide to reorganize its existing accredited program into one of the FEM programs. For example, an MS/CP or an MS/DI may reorganize into a Future Graduate (FG) program. ACEND® policies (Policy and Procedure Manual p. 68-69) about reorganizing an existing ACEND® accredited program into another program type describe the steps that would be involved in such a reorganization. If the ACEND® Board accepts the program’s initial application to reorganize (Phase 1), the program director will attend the required competency-based education training, followed by a report and a phase out plan for the existing accredited program (Phase 2).

Continuation of Existing Program and Opening New Program:
The institution could decide to continue the accreditation of its existing program under the 2017 Standards and apply for candidacy of a newly developed program under the FEM standards. For example, a program may keep its DPD and open an FG program or a Future Bachelor's program. ACEND® policies for newly developed programs (P&P Manual p. 38-41) describe the current candidacy process. If the ACEND® Board accepts the program's initial application for candidacy (Phase 1), the program director will attend the required competency-based education training followed by a self-study report and a site visit (Phase 2).

Opening New Program and Closure of Existing Program:
The institution could decide to apply for candidacy of a newly developed program under the FEM Standards and close its existing accredited program. For example, a program may phase out its BS/CP and open a master’s level FG. ACEND® policies for newly developed programs (Policy and Procedure Manual p. 38-41) describe the current candidacy process and policies for program changes (Policy and Procedure Manual p. 66-68) describe the steps that would be involved in a program closure. If the ACEND® Board accepts the program's initial application for candidacy (Phase 1), the program director will attend required competency-based education training followed by a self-study report and a site visit (Phase 2).

The process to begin the first class of students in a demonstration program typically takes at least nine months for programs categorized as a reorganization and more than a year for those categorized as a candidacy. ACEND® acknowledges that it takes time to develop the competency-based curriculum and obtain necessary approvals; therefore, once a program director attends the required competency-based education training, the program can take as much as five years to submit its Phase 2 report and must start its first FEM class within six years.

Cohort 3

Initial Application Due Date: January 8, 2019

Trainings: May and June 2019

Submit the Following no Later Than:

  • Reorganization Follow-up Report: September 2024
  • Candidacy Self-study Report: Spring/Summer 2024

Begin the First Class No Later Than: Fall 2025

Cohort 4

Initial Application Due Date: December 2, 2019

Trainings: May and June 2020

Submit the Following no Later Than:

  • Reorganization Follow-up Report: September 2025
  • Candidacy Self-study Report: Spring/Summer 2025

Begin the First Class No Later Than: Fall 2026

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School Spirit: Bring Students to FNCE®

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 bring them to FNCE®. The Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo will be held in Philadelphia, Pa. on October 26-29, 2019.

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 bring the highest percentage of students to FNCE® will receive a special reception at FNCE® with Academy President Terri Raymond, MA, RDN, CD, FAND and the Board of Directors, and a complimentary self/group study program recording for each winning program. 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 the total enrollment number for your program, number of students attending FNCE® and the percentage this represents to education@eatright.org by September 30, 2019.

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Nominate a Nutrition and Dietetics Student Representative for the ACEND® Board

Do you know any student members in the Academy with strong leadership skills who will be enrolled in an ACEND®-accredited program during the 2020-2021 academic year? If so, consider nominating them for student representative to the ACEND® Board. Student representatives serve a two-year term in which they actively participate in two face-to-face ACEND® Board meetings and ten conference calls per year. They are appointed to ACEND® committees and participate in the Academy's Student Council Advisory Committee. The ACEND® student representative must be enrolled in an ACEND® accredited program for at least the first two face-to-face meetings (July 2020 and January 2021). ACEND® business related expenses incurred while serving as a Student Representative member are reimbursed by ACEND®.

The student's application must include the nomination form, a letter of interest, student's resume and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member or program director in one PDF document submitted to acendnominations@eatright.org no later than November 1, 2019.

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Cohort 4 Applications for Demonstration Programs Under the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards Due December 2, 2019

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).

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

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

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

View the webinars.

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

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