The mission of the USC UCEDD Dietetic Internship is to provide education and training to dietetic interns as part of the CA-LEND interdisciplinary leadership training program. The internship emphasizes developing skills and abilities to promote, deliver, and evaluate nutrition services for infants, children and adults with developmental disabilities and chronic illness in both clinical and community settings. We aim to:
- Improve nutrition services for children and adults with special health care needs by increasing the number of registered dietitians qualified to plan for and provide those services.
- Increase the leadership capacity of dietitians in the field of nutrition for children/adults with special health care needs.
Through our graduates, the dietetic internship promotes delivery of care that is:
- Family centered - recognizing the importance of the family in nurturing and nourishing a child.
- Culturally responsive - honoring and respecting the cultural beliefs and practices that influence the behavior and practice of families.
- Care coordinated - utilizing knowledge of systems of care.
- Comprehensive - including evidence-based practice guidelines to ensure appropriate care.
- Developmentally appropriate - providing care that is strength-based.
- Interdisciplinary - practicing alongside other members of the health care team to optimize patient outcomes.
The program provides specialized training in pediatrics and developmental and related disabilities through the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) interdisciplinary training program in addition to clinical and management rotations. In the LEND program, interns also work with a cadre of faculty and trainees from other disciplines to deliver the highest level of care to our patients and their families. Our dietitians use one-on-one teaching in a majority of the rotations to facilitate the most effective learning situation.
The internship lasts 22 months, with at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice in inpatient, outpatient and community-based settings to children with special needs and their families.
It is highly recommended that prospective applicants visit the program prior to applying. Each year the program hosts two open houses, one in December and another in January. See link below for most current information. If you can’t attend an open house, do contact the program director to arrange for a visit at another time (based on the director’s availability).
The USC UCEDD dietetic internship program participates in DICAS, an on-line centralized internship application. The internship also participates in matching using D&D Digital for the Spring Match. Applicants MUST utilize DICAS in order to be eligible to match with this program.
The dietetic internship receives an average of 12 applications per year. The program is currently approved to accept two interns per application year.
- Completion of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic (AND) approved didactic program
- Masters or Doctorate in nutrition, public health nutrition, community nutrition, nutrition education, dietetics (or near completion)
- A grade of B or better in core science and nutrition courses courses (physiology, biochemistry, advanced nutrition and medical nutrition therapy.
- Apply through the DICAS, and participate in the D and D computer matching program. Please see DICAS webpage for application deadlines.
Tuition is $14,000 for the entire 22 months, and may be paid in installments with 30% due on the first day of the internship. As CA-LEND participants, interns are eligible to receive stipends over the course of their training. The level of the stipend will approximate half the cost of tuition.
The program is currently granted continued accreditation by:
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 S Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Telephone: (312) 899-0040 or (800) 877-1600
Hope Wills, MA, Program Director