The Didactic Program in Dietetics Overview
The Didactic Program in Dietetics fulfills the accreditation requirements through the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) standards.
Completion of a DPD program is the first step to obtaining the Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RD/RDN) credential. Upon graduation, students are eligible to apply to an ACEND accredited dietetic internships and ultimately sit for the RD/RDN credentialing exam. The courses taught in the Dietetic concentration emphasize the connection between food, nutrition, and human health. The DPD coursework may be completed with any major but may align better with the sciences. DPD students have opportunities to volunteer and work with VSU extension program specialists and Agriculture Research faculty. Students in dietetics receive a strong, science-based foundation from courses in nutrition science, medical nutrition therapy, physiology, biochemistry, and management.
Graduates of the Program can successfully complete the ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship for RD/RDN credential, enter graduate school, obtain employment in health, food, nutrition, and wellness fields.
Dr. Patricia Lynch, 804-524-5729, firstname.lastname@example.org
"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. View more information about state licensure requirements.
View more information about educational pathways to become a RDN."
Program Options and Requirements for Completion
B.S. Family and Consumer Science, Concentration in Dietetics. Concurrently fulfills the Virginia State University’s B.S. degree requirement along with the requirement for the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Graduates are eligible for ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) Programs. Students who complete this option will also meet the program requirements to receive a verification statement.
Certificate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics. This option is for students who already have a baccalaureate degree. Students who complete the program requirements receive a verification statement, making an individual eligible to apply to any ACEND accredited DI programs.
The mission of Virginia State University’s Didactic Program in Dietetics is to prepare graduates to be outstanding students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to be registered dietitian nutritionists who effectively integrate the science and research of dietetics into practice and, who are committed to applying these principles to individuals in our diverse society.
Program Goals and Objectives:
Program Goal #1:
To prepare graduates to perform proficiently in a supervised practice program and in their professional work.
1.1 At least 80% percent of program students complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length)
1.2 60% of the program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
1.3 40% of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
1.4 The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
1.5 80% of DI Directors will indicate on survey “satisfactory” or better on graduates’ proficiency within the supervised practice program.
1.6 80% of employers of VSU graduates will indicate on survey “agree” or better on graduates’ meeting the job competencies as an entry level nutrition professional.
Program Goal #2:
To prepare graduates to evaluate scientific information and research to solve complex issues.
2.1 80% of graduates will indicate on survey “satisfactory” or better that the DPD program prepared them to evaluate scientific information and research.
2.2 80% of DI Directors/Graduate Program Director will indicate on survey “satisfactory” or better on graduates’ ability to evaluate scientific information and research.
Note: Program outcome data available upon request. Please contact Dr. Patricia Lynch.
The Didactic Program in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800-877-1600, ext. 5400.