Montana State University

Internships for students pursuing careers in dietetics now available in Montana

April 6, 2011 -- MSU News Service

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University students will now have the option to stay in Montana while completing an internship in dietetics, thanks to a new accreditation granted to Montana State University.

The American Dietetic Association and Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education recently granted accreditation to MSU for the state's first dietetic internship. Previously, students had to leave the state to pursue an internship in dietetics, but the accreditation allows the Montana Dietetic Internship program to offer Montana-based rotations to students pursuing careers in dietetics. MSU students will be given preference when applying to the program, said Alison Harmon, a food and nutrition professor at MSU who was instrumental in the accreditation process.

Possible placements for the student interns include hospitals, K-12 school food services, Extension nutrition programs and sustainable food programs. Students will also complete a six-week self-selected rotation, which could focus on pediatrics, long-term care facilities, sports nutrition or the restaurant industry.

In addition, all student interns will spend two weeks working with Towne's Harvest Garden, MSU's two-acre vegetable farm located west of campus that provides students with hands-on education about locally grown, sustainable foods.

"All dietetic internships in the United States have supervised practice in the areas of clinical, food service and community nutrition," Harmon said. "What makes MSU special is our concentration in sustainable foods. That makes it different from almost all others."

The first class of 14 student interns will begin the 10-month program in August. In addition to a variety of rotations, the program also includes an online course, and professionals in the field will supervise the student interns.

For more information, contact Coleen Kaiser, the director of the program, at coleenk@montana.edu.

Coleen Kaiser, 994-5002 or coleenk@montana.edu; or Alison Harmon, (406) 994-6338 or harmon@montana.edu