Latest Updates from ACEND

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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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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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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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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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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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