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Meredith College’s Dietetic Internship Program Celebrates 30 Years

The Dietetic Internship (DI) Program is celebrating 30 years at Meredith College.

The program, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), has provided over 515 students with the knowledge and hands-on experience to begin a career in nutrition, as well as prepare them for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) exam. 100% of graduates who seek employment were employed in the field of nutrition or dietetics within 12 months of graduating. Graduates have gone on to work at prestigious organizations such as Boston Children’s Hospital, Davita Dialysis, Johns Hopkins Medicine, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, UNC Hospitals, and more. 91% of graduates pass the RDN exam within one year of their first attempt.

“I am thankful for the rigor of the program as it prepared me to excel in my rotations and the work setting,” said Carolyn Kleffman, ’23 (M.S. in Nutrition), who completed the DI in April 2024. “The internship challenged me in ways I was not expecting and pushed me to find my inner confidence. I am excited to start strong in the field as an intensive care unit dietitian.”

Program Director Cathie Ostrowski said she is most proud of the strengths-based, leadership-focused approach the program has taken over the past 30 years. “Meredith College’s StrongPoints® program offers advising and personal coaching to help students become leaders,” she said. “Through their dietetic internship, students learn leadership skills that they will continue to use in their careers.”

The program continually evolves alongside the ever-changing industry to ensure students have a seamless entry into the field of nutrition. In 2012, the program introduced an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP), established by ACEND in 2011. The ISPP allows students to identify rotation sites up to 150 miles outside Raleigh independently, giving students more flexibility. Starting in 2026, because of changes from ACEND, Meredith will redesign the ISPP into a distance-track internship for students who want to customize their experience.

Additionally, with new parameters introduced by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) which require students to have a master’s degree to be eligible for the RDN exam, the DI program will be combined with the Master of Science in Nutrition. The DI faculty is also in the process of building a Prior Learning Assessment so students can receive credit for previous experience, shortening their time in the program and allowing them to enter the field more quickly.

“The program changes will align incoming students with industry standards and prepare them for robust and productive careers as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists,” said Ostrowski.

Learn more about Meredith’s graduate programs in nutrition.

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330

allenme@meredith.edu
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