ACEND® has begun to identify Noteworthy Nutrition and Dietetics Education Practices among ACEND®-accredited programs and would like to highlight one or more program(s) per quarter for their noteworthy practices on the ACEND® website. The next due date for noteworthy practice submissions is October 15, 2021.
Noteworthy practices in the following topic areas are requested.
Program directors or other individuals associated with an ACEND®-accredited program are asked to complete the submission form and an abstract of their noteworthy practice and email it to ACEND® for review. Submissions will be reviewed by an ACEND® Board review team and selected entries will be posted.
Email completed submission forms and supporting documentation to ACEND@eatright.org with the subject line: Noteworthy Practice Submission.
Missouri State University Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietetic Internship
Sarah Murray, MS, RDN/LD and Hillary Roberts, MS, RDN/LD
Noteworthy Practice: Curriculum
The Didactic Program in Dietetics and Dietetic Internship programs at Missouri State University saw an opportunity to collaborate in a mentor/mentee experience for students enrolled in both programs. This experience was integrated into the curriculum for DTN 539, an undergraduate dietetics senior seminar course, and as part of the dietetic internship practicum. The interns mentored the undergraduate dietetic seniors in their DI application materials, completed a mock interview with the seniors providing feedback on their skills, and encouraged their mentees to attend an outside nutrition-related activity with them. The benefits of the mentor/mentee program were three-fold:
The interns reflected on their experience as mentors through an online discussion board. Discussion board posts were evaluated on to what extent interns described their strengths and areas of improvement as a mentor, in addition to how they described meeting or not meeting the "critical skills for successful mentors" as an outcome of this experience. Interns indicated their leadership and active listening skills increased due to learning how to offer constructive feedback in addition to learning how to "carefully walk the line between leader and friend." Furthermore, several interns stated they hope to become preceptors in the future. Through this activity, Missouri State University's DPD and DI programs are teaching the value of mentorship and motivating students to serve as preceptors when they transition to healthcare professionals.