New Dietetic Internship Program Emphasizes Wellness

October 7, 2010

For most students, having an internship under their belt is one way to get ahead of the competition when applying for jobs after college.

For dietetics students, it’s a different story.

In dietetics, getting into and completing an accredited internship program is a mandatory step on the way to becoming a certified dietician. That’s why Bradley University is proud to be in its first year of offering a dietetics internship program.

Dietetics Internship director Amanda Newell said Bradley’s internship program is unique because students leave with approval from the American Dietetics Association to sit for the certification exam, and in the process acquire 13 credits that transfer to master’s programs around the country.

“Our emphasis is wellness,” said Newell. “We try to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the community, taking one piece of nutrition and ingraining it in people’s heads.”

Bradley provides students the opportunity to spend time in different local organizations through rotations in the fields of food service, community and healthcare. No more than one intern is ever placed at the same organization at the same time to ensure one-on-one contact with the preceptor at each location.

Newell says another unique aspect of the internship program is the research project requirement. Students must submit a proposal, conduct a study, and present results. Newell expects most students will choose to publish their research, an opportunity not included in most internship programs.

The 10 students currently participating in the internship program have established a relationship between Bradley and the Peoria community. The program is committed to addressing daily health concerns and working to improve nutrition on a local level.

As word about this unique new program spreads, Newell expects admissions will become more competitive. She anticipates some 70 applications for the 10 spots available in the 2011-2012 school year.