Growing Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and Leaders in WIC Programs
The Mission of the California Department of Public Health WIC Dietetic Internships is to prepare highly competent RDNs with the goal of protecting and improving the nutrition and health of our community and diverse populations. The mission is accomplished by maintaining the standards required by the ACEND of the AND for the RDN credential.
I almost gave up on being a dietitian but my WIC agency dietitians didn’t, they encouraged and supported me to achieve my dream as a Registered Dietitian. ~Dietetic Intern
The CDPH WIC Program maintains four WIC-based accredited dietetic internships (DIs) with local agency sponsors and one collaborative program between the Northeast Valley Health Corporation WIC Program and California State University, Northridge Dietetic Internship (CSUN/NEV). The DIs are accredited by the Accreditation Council of Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and graduates are qualified to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitians. WIC dietetic internships focus on community nutrition management but provide comprehensive skills and practice in all areas of nutrition and dietetics for entry-level RDNs.
If it were not for the WIC program, I would not be a RDN today because of the competition, cost and difficulty of how competitive and expensive dietetic programs are. ~Dietetic Intern
WIC Dietetic Internships – Helping Employees Become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists
WIC employees are encouraged to apply for a WIC Dietetic Internship (WIC DI.) WIC supports employees with career development to improve their qualifications to apply to the dietetic internship. In addition, WIC employees and WIC DI graduates are provided resources to pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians (RD Exam). More than 350 employees have graduated from CDPH WIC dietetic internships to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Every year 26 individuals are given the opportunity to enroll in CDPH WIC dietetic internships located throughout the state.
I’m proud to say I just completed the WIC dietetic internship, pass the RD exam and excited about my career as a WIC RDN. ~Dietetic Intern
WIC Dietetic Internship Selection Criteria
The CDPH WIC Dietetic Internships share a common mission and select qualified applicants to achieve program goals. WIC employees receive selection priority for WIC DIs. Certain WIC programs may only select employees from the sponsoring agency. WIC recognizes and values the importance of culture and language skills WIC employees bring to the profession. Therefore, there is a preferred selection criteria for individuals who have had experience working with other cultures and are fluent in a second language.
Master’s Degree Requirement
Beginning January 1, 2024, CDR will require that all candidates have a master’s degree to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians (RD exam). The CDR mandate will impact selection criteria for CDPH WIC Dietetic Internships (WIC DIs) and many other dietetic internships throughout the country. Because it’s important to have the most current didactic and supervised practice knowledge and experience to pass the RD exam, WIC DIs may require that you have a graduate degree or are enrolled before entering the DI. WIC DIs have started the process to transition the programs to meet the master’s requirement by recognizing graduate education in the selection of interns. WIC DIs will accept master’s degree or master’s level coursework in Public Health, Nutrition, Health Promotion, Education, Management or related field as preferred criteria but are not required at this time. Each WIC sponsored dietetic internship will have specific program requirements, selection criteria and application procedures that can be found on their Website.
WIC Dietetic Internships
To learn more about each WIC Dietetic Internship, click on the location on the map for the corresponding Website.
For a printable map, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Dietetic Internships
Q. Will individuals with a baccalaureate degree who established eligibility before January 1, 2024 to take the RD exam but did not take the exam or didn’t pass, have to meet this new requirement?
A. No. Provided registration eligibility is established prior to January 1, 2024 a graduate degree will not be required.
Q. Will current RDs who do not have a graduate degree have to obtain a graduate degree by this deadline date?
A. No. This deadline only applies to initial applicants for registration eligibility and those who lose their registered status after January 1, 2024 and must retake the registration examination for dietitians to reinstate registered status.
Q. I received my verification statement several years ago; can I still apply for an internship?
A. The AND/ACEND no longer places a time limit on the “Verification Statement” (VS). However, if you completed the DPD program with a valid VS that is more than 3-5 years, WIC dietetic internships and most other programs will require that you update your knowledge and that would probably require taking some additional classes. You should check with the internship director regarding the education requirements.
Q. I completed all of my education to become a dietitian in another country. What do I need to do to apply for a dietetic internship?
A. The first step is to have your academic degree(s) validated as equivalent to the bachelor’s or master’s degree conferred by a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. Validation of a foreign degree does not eliminate the need for a “Verification Statement (VS)” of completion of a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). After you have the official document, Credential Evaluation Report, you can request a verification review by a DPD program director in the United States. In most cases, the degree from another country may not meet all the requirements of the U.S. DPD program. The DPD director may require you take additional classes before you would receive a VS. Contact AND/ACEND for information on credentialing requirements for international students.
For More Information
Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR): https://www.cdrnet.org/
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND): http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/acend