The proposed Dietetic Internship program at ACU at CitySquare equips students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to become a Registered Dietitian. Throughout the 35 week internship program students will focus on “Community and Poverty”, the only program in the country to include poverty as part of its area of study.
Abilene Christian University’s proposed Dietetic Internship program at CitySquare is one of the first programs in the nation to offer an internship program with an emphasis on “Community and Poverty”. The internship program is 35 weeks and will offer 9 hours of graduate course work.
Two of these courses will be given at the beginning of each internship cycle for the first 10 weeks. In addition, the internship program will allow at least 35 weeks of internship rotations. The internship cycle will begin in September and end in May of each year. Consistent with the mission of CitySquare, interns will focus their time on the issues of “hunger”, “health”, “housing”, and “hope”.
- Hunger - Interns will address hunger of those in poverty by working in the Opportunity Center Food Bank and the Summer Feeding Programs through CitySquare. The internship schedule will include several clinical rotations including but not limited to bariatric, cardiac, endocrinology, intensive care, oncology, pediatric, renal, surgical, and general medical.
- Health - Along with the clinical experiences, an outpatient counseling rotation will address health of the clientele using knowledge gained in the clinical rotations.
- Hope - Hope is manifested in education and gaining skills for employment. Dietetic interns will be instrumental in helping teach basic culinary and food service skills in the food production kitchen and cafe at the Opportunity Center at CitySquare.
- Housing - Indirectly, housing will be addressed through intern involvement in teaching basic selection, procurement, and preparation of healthful meals for home use in the CitySquare demonstration kitchen.
Each student will also be required to develop a community program during the internship based on the needs of the CitySquare clientele.
Abilene Christian University has applied to the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics for Candidacy for Accreditation for a Dietetic Internship.