Breakout success

By Tim Belter ’13
November 30, 2011

The first students to complete Bradley University’s dietetics internship have proved the program’s breakout success with a 100% pass rate on their first attempt at the Registered Dietician Exam. With the completion of the exam, all 10 graduates are now registered dietitians.

“I knew they’d all pass,” said Professor Amanda Newell, director of the internship program. “These students excelled in Bradley’s highly competitive program, which features supervised experiential learning exercises in food service and wellness settings.”

There are three steps to becoming a registered dietician: graduate from a registered undergraduate program, complete a one-year internship program and pass the registration exam. Nationally, only about 50 percent of dietetics students make it to the second step; at Bradley, 90 percent go on to an internship.

The Registered Dietician Exam is a national standardized test administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency for the American Dietetic Association.

Bradley’s undergraduate dietetics program has been thriving for years, but the internship is almost brand-new. Bradley began the program in 2010 to help alleviate the scarcity of internship programs.

“We already had a very established undergraduate program,” Newell said, “and the need for internships was very high.”

The first class of interns graduated in July and the second class started the program in August. Bradley’s program enrolls 10 interns per year, a number that, like Bradley itself, is neither too big nor too small.

“Our students, in addition to taking classes, work in 10 different institutions in the Peoria area,” said Newell. “Our size allows them highly effective one-on-one interaction with dieticians in the field. It’s bigger than some programs with limited resources, but small enough that we can give each intern our undivided attention.”

Newell expressed confidence in the graduates and knows they will do well in their careers.

“I wasn’t really shocked when they passed,” she said. “But, I was very happy to receive the confirmation.”