Latest Updates from ACEND


School Spirit: Register Students for FNCE® 2020

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 register them for FNCE® 2020.

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 register the highest percentage of students to FNCE® will have the opportunity for a virtual VIP Meet and Greet after FNCE® with Academy President Linda Farr, RDN, CSOWM, LD, FAND and the Board of Directors. In addition, each winning school will receive complimentary site access for a Center for Lifelong Learning online module from the Certificate of Training programs. 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 your number of total enrollment for your program, number of students registered for FNCE® and the percentage this represents to education@eatright.org by October 9.

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2021 ACEND Annual Accreditation Fee due December 18, 2020

On September 1, 2020 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 18, 2020. Payments received after the due date will incur a 10% late fee and the initiation of the Administrative Notification process. The current fee schedule is available on ACEND’s website.

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ACEND Leadership and Professional Communication Skills Certificate

ACEND is pleased to announce a newly developed certificate program that will provide ACEND® stakeholders with training to improve communication and management skills and help build leadership skills. This certificate includes eight modules that were chosen by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics from the Academy's Leadership Training Courses to provide ACEND® stakeholders with training to improve communication and management skills and build leadership skills. After completion of all eight modules, participants will receive 16 CPEUs and an ACEND Leadership and Professional Communication Skills Certificate. The Certificate training costs $160 (both Academy members and non-Academy members). Obtain more information or purchase the modules.

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ACEND Proposed 2022 Accreditation Standards – Call for Comments

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) has released the proposed 2022 Accreditation Standards for Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Programs (CP), Didactic Programs (DPD), Internship Programs (DI), Technician Programs (DT) and Foreign Dietitian Programs (FDE). The draft 2022 Standards are the result of a planned five-year review cycle of the 2017 Accreditation Standards to ensure compliance with USDE regulation. Copies of the draft standards documents can be found on the ACEND website. Also posted on the website is a webinar that describes the recommended changes and the rationale for proposed changes. Feedback is encouraged and can be provided at the Survey Monkey® link. This survey allows you to share any comments or concerns you have about the proposed 2022 Standards. The survey will take 10 – 30 minutes to complete. Please share this information with your constituents and colleagues. We value your input! The survey will remain open until November 18, 2020.

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ACEND required information from all programs due Oct 2, 2020

The United States Department of Education (USDE) requires that ACEND® monitor temporary changes that programs are making as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes may include transitioning coursework online, offering alternative grading options, and changing the total number of supervised practice hours and alternative experiences. In addition, according to the ACEND standards, all ACEND accredited programs leading to the registered dietitian nutritionist credential must post language on their website with the requirements to become an RDN which includes notifying prospective students or interns about the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s requirement for a minimum of a master’s degree to take the credentialing exam for registered dietitians beginning on January 1, 2024. Note, this is not required for Dietetic Technician and Future Education Model Bachelor Programs. Suggested wording for website information was provided in the May 2020 ACEND UPdate. Program directors will receive an email on September 15, 2020 requesting they complete a brief survey to provide the required information by October 2, 2020. Please contact ACEND staff at acend@eatright.org if you do not receive an email message with a link to the survey on September 15, 2020.

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ACEND Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Webpage

ACEND® has published a webpage that includes information and resources to support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in ACEND® accredited programs. Information on the web page includes:

  • A message from the ACEND® Board
  • Diversity and enrollment trends
  • Training and other resources
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Noteworthy Practices

Read more information about submitting a DEI noteworthy practice or accessing DEI training and other resources.

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USDE Requirements for Disclosing Licensure Information to Students

The United States Department of Education now requires that institutions with programs designed to prepare students for professional licensure or certification must disclose three categories of States to students interested in enrolling in the program:

  1. States for which the institution has determined that the curriculum meets State requirements for licensure/certification.
  2. States for which the institution has determined that the curriculum does not meet State requirements for licensure/certification.
  3. States for which the institution has not made a determination that the curriculum meets State requirements for licensure/certification.

ACEND® accredited free-standing dietetic internships must disclose the states for which their program meets State requirements for licensure/certification as they are considered institutions since they are eligible for Title IV student aid as a result of their ACEND® accreditation. Programs located in colleges and universities may be asked to provide this information to their administration for publication on the institution's website.

All U.S. states and territories with licensure and certification laws accept the RDN credential for state licensure and certification purposes. To meet USDE's requirements, programs are encouraged to use the information they post on their website for the ACEND® Standards which state that programs must publish "Information about the requirements and process to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), including education, supervised practice, passage on the CDR credentialing exam, and state certification/licensure, if applicable; and how the program fits into the process."

With that information they can include a link to the CDR web page that has a listing of state and U.S. territory licensure and certification laws:

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COVID-19 Pandemic and Reporting Changes to ACEND

If your program is facing a situation with the potential for short-or long-term impact on your program's operations that may affect the ability to remain in compliance with the Accreditation Standards, you are asked to contact ACEND® with a request for any needed modifications in order to maintain compliance with the Standards. More details may be found in the July 14 letter sent to program directors and posted on the ACEND® COVID-19 page.

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ACEND Policy and Procedure Manual and Substantive Change Guidelines Revised July 1, 2020

ACEND's Policy and Procedure Manual:

The Policy and Procedure Manual has been updated based on the revised U.S. Department of Education recognition criteria which went into effect on July 1, 2020. The changes to ACEND® policies based on revisions to the USDE criteria include:

  • Revisions to the accreditation decision process including timeframes for coming into compliance.
  • The publication of ACEND® decisions with updated requirements for programs placed on probation.
  • Requirements for candidacy programs to submit teach-out plans.
  • Revisions to what is considered a substantive program change and the approval process for substantive changes.
  • In addition, the emergencies and disasters policy was updated to simplify the notification process to ACEND® for programs impacted by a disaster affecting normal operations and potential compliance with the Accreditation Standards.

Substantive Change Guidelines:

As a result of these policy changes, the Guidelines for Requesting Substantive Changes have been updated. Key revisions simplify the review and approval process. Clarifications have been made to branch or satellite locations and distance education. USDE has also identified some changes that can be reported within 30 days after they have been implemented. Teach out plan requirements have also been updated.

Programs should use the Substantive Change Guidelines document effective July 1, 2020 for specific requirements related to the submitting a substantive program change. Program directors are encouraged to contact ACEND® staff with any questions.

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Reminder: Virtual Town Hall Meeting November 10

The next Virtual Town Hall Meeting will be held on November 10, 2020 from 11 a.m. - noon (Central time).

The topic will be determined at a later date.

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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).

The August 13-14 Workshop has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Training modules will be available for those interested in learning more about the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards.

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ACEND Fee Schedule

ACEND®'s fee schedule for June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2024 has been published. The current fee schedule remains in effect until May 31, 2021.

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List of ACEND Resources

ACEND® has developed a list of frequently used resources and training in one convenient document. You may choose to save this list to your desktop to help you locate answers to common questions such as:

  • How do I sign and issue verification statements to program graduates?
  • Where can I find the templates for a self-study report?
  • What webinars and training are available to program directors?

View the list of resources.

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Update to Spring 2021 Computer Match Dates and DICAS Fees

The NDEP Computer Match Committee reviewed the Spring 2021 match dates and made the decision to move the date of notification and appointment days due to notification day occurring during multiple holidays. The committee established a timeline that fits within typical business hours for as many time zones as possible, including moving notification day from a Sunday to a Monday. Note the updated computer match calendar for Spring 2021 below.

Monday, April 5 at 11 a.m. (Central time) - Notification Day: Match results available on D&D Digital.

Tuesday, April 6 at 11 a.m. at the time zone of the program - Appointment Day: Matched applicants must notify program of acceptance of match by this time.

Tuesday April 6 at 6 p.m. (Central time) - Interim Match Period Occurs: Dietetic Internship program directors with available openings can review the list of unmatched applicants to see if any qualified applicants they originally entered on the D&D Digital website are listed. Dietetic Internship program directors may contact and invite any of those applicants on their original list who did not match to attend their program.

Wednesday, April 7 at 8 p.m. (Central time) - Interim Match Period Ends: All appointments of the Dietetic Internship's own unmatched applicants must be confirmed by applicants to dietetic internship program directors.

Thursday, April 8 at 11 a.m. (Central time) - All Dietetic Internship Directors and Didactic Program Directors may access the current Match/No Match list of applicants who authorized their names to be released.

The computer matching calendars have been updated.

All programs must update their website to reflect the 2021 computer match dates.

DICAS Fee Increase:

Starting in Spring 2021, the DICAS application fee has increased. The first designation is $50 and $25 for each additional designation (Previous fees were $45 and $20, respectively). If you list the DICAS application fee on your website it must be updated with these new application fees.

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Reminder to Notify Prospective Students and Interns of CDR's Master's Degree Requirement

All ACEND® accredited programs for registered dietitian nutritionists must post language on their websites notifying prospective students or interns about the Commission on Dietetic Registration's requirement for a minimum of a master's degree to take the credentialing exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists beginning in 2024. ACEND® will require all programs to submit to ACEND® a link to where this information can be found on the programs' websites. Program directors will be notified of the procedure for submitting this information in September 2020.

"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 order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. 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). 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].

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.

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

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