Policies and Expectations

Program standards and expectations provide guidance for interns throughout the program. As graduate students at SUNY Oneonta, interns are subject to the Graduate Academic Regulations. Study Policies and Procedures published in the College Graduate Catalog.

Academic advisement is a shared, ongoing, collaborative process between SUNY Oneonta's M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program faculty and the graduate student interns. Graduate student interns are expected to consult with the Program Director and/of course instructors at any time that they have questions or concerns and at regular intervals with regard to:

  • Schedule planning and registration
  • The need for information regarding services for students
  • Academic progress and the need for monitoring and/or intervention
  • Progress towards achieving The Core Competencies for the Supervised Experiential Learning Component of Entry-Level Dietitian Education Programs with a Community Emphasis

These individuals can be reached via e-mail, course websites, by telephone and by mail.

Note that students are responsible for keeping all program faculty, appropriate Oneonta offices, and site personnel advised of their current address, phone number, and electronic addresses.

Graduate student interns are responsible for completing course work and planned experiences in an honest and ethical manner. All graduate students at SUNY  Oneonta are expected to abide by the college's academic regulations including the Code of Academic Conduct and the Policy on Use of Human Subjects in Research found in the college's Graduate Catalog.

SUNY Oneonta's online M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Students who complete the program successfully will be eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

Supervised experiential learning Assignments

Attendance is required as planned by the graduate student intern and assigned by the preceptor and course instructor. Graduate student interns must make up as soon as possible any supervised experiential learning hours missed due to accident, illness, or another unavoidable event.

If any situation prevents a graduate student intern from adhering to any or all of the scheduled hours, it is the graduate student intern's responsibility to notify the site preceptor, course instructor, and program director as far in advance as possible.

In the event of circumstances requiring an absence of more than two days, it is the graduate student intern's responsibility to report in a timely fashion all pertinent information to the program director, course instructor, and the site preceptor and to inform them of your expected date of return.

In the event of sudden injury or illness which prevents advance notification, graduate student interns are expected to provide appropriate notification of absence to the preceptor, course instructor, and site to which the graduate student intern is assigned.

Courses and Conferences

Dietetic graduate student interns are expected to participate in all classes and conferences as scheduled by either the course faculty or the site preceptor. Typically, the online format used for courses permits graduate student interns to accomplish assignments on a flexible schedule; however, all deadlines and group discussion schedules must be adhered to.

Professional Meetings

The dietetic graduate student intern is responsible for asking preceptors for information regarding professional meetings and is encouraged to attend whenever possible. The time spent attending professional meetings should be an addition to the regularly scheduled supervised experiential learning hours.

Requests for Time Off

The program schedule requires that supervised experiential learning hours are met for each rotation. Graduate student interns are expected to attend to personal agendas during off-duty time. The graduate student intern is expected to schedule time to accomplish all course and practicum responsibilities and assignments by the posted deadlines.

Make-up Policy

Students will be expected to attend every day of the assigned rotations and all other required experiences. Students will be required to make up any missed days or portions thereof.

The online M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program courses may not be challenged. All graduate student interns must register for and complete all courses required for the program.

Prospective graduate student interns who believe that they have previously accomplished the required didactic and/or practicum experiences for any course module are encouraged to plan their supervised experiential learning experiences to demonstrate their ability to meet the program competencies as soon as practical during each course module. In consultation with the graduate student intern's preceptor and the course instructor and program director, the graduate student intern may then devote required supervised experiential learning hours to gaining additional knowledge and experience related to the field of dietetics.

Graduate student interns must successfully complete their planned supervised experiential learning experiences and all other course work required in the syllabus for each of the four program courses. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in each of the required courses and pass the comprehensive exam in order to receive certification of program completion. The comprehensive exam is part of the last requirement for the program course. Students will be allowed one retake of the sections of the comprehensive exam that they do not pass the first time they take the exam. If a student does not pass all sections of the comprehensive exam with two attempts, that student may be dismissed from the program or required to accomplish remedial work at their own expense and on their own time prior to the director's verification that the student has successfully completed the program.

Graduate student interns must also complete all of the evaluation components delineated in the "evaluation of graduate student interns" section of these policies.

Graduate student interns must not have any outstanding bills or other obligations to the college in order to complete the program.

The Pass/Fail (P/F) grade is not an option for graduate student interns taking the courses required in the program. Graduate student interns who wish to take additional courses may take these courses on a P/F or audit basis if they wish; however, graduate student interns should review the college's Graduate Policy on Pass/Fail grading before choosing this option. All other graduate grading policies and procedures will apply to graduate student interns.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Verification statements, needed to establish eligibility to take the RD exam, are issued to all students who satisfactorily complete the program requirements, including passing the comprehensive exam, and who have no outstanding financial or other college obligations.

Students are expected to keep copies of all materials submitted to and returned by course instructors and preceptors. Should a graduate student intern have a question about a grade or other assessment, the student may be expected to produce copies of any materials being reviewed. Students should keep copies of course syllabi for future reference, such as transferring credit to another program or institution.

All graduate student interns are responsible for ensuring that they can be contacted electronically, by phone and by mail throughout the program. They are personally responsible for providing written notification of any changes in their contact information to the program director, the SUNY  Oneonta Registrar and the Food and Nutrition Area Administrative Assistant. The M.S. & Dietetic Internship director and/or the assistant will notify the Human Ecology Department Secretary, the Graduate Education Office, course instructors and site preceptors.

Each dietetic graduate student intern is required to be properly attired in accordance with each facility and/or preceptor's dress code standards while on duty. Graduate student interns must be in appropriate, professional attire when attending professional meetings or representing the facility, preceptor, college or the program.

At all times, dietetic graduate student interns are expected to present a clean, neat, well-groomed appearance. Graduate student interns are required to dress appropriately for the supervised experiential learning site and consistent with safety and sanitation considerations. Typically, casual attire such as jeans (any color), chino slacks, stirrup pants, flannel shirts, sweat shirts, body suits, leotards, spandex tops, etc. is not allowed. Women are expected to wear tailored dresses or suits; skirts or dress slacks with blouses or sweaters. Skirt lengths should be suitable to the professional setting. Very short skirts are inappropriate. Full-length hose, free of runs or stockings (with slacks) are required. Men are expected to wear suits or dark color slacks with sports jacket and necktie. Socks are required. Shoes must be sturdy and slip resistant. Shoes worn with uniforms should be white, although black or brown may be acceptable to some sites, be laced and clean, with closed heel and toe and be slip resistant. High-top sneakers, canvas sneakers and clogs are not permitted. White full-length lab coats may be worn with approval from the preceptor. When required, uniform attire must be clean and >wrinkle free; fit should allow for such activities as bending, stooping and stretching. No ornamental jewelry is to be worn with uniform attire.

Hair should be neat and well groomed. Long hair should be worn up and away from the face. A hair restraint (hair net or cap) must be worn while working in or walking through a food production or serving area. Men should be clean shaven. Beards and/or mustaches, if permitted by the supervised experiential learning facility, must be neatly trimmed. Fingernails should be kept clean, at a moderate length and neatly manicured. Employees wearing nail polish will be required to wear protective gloves when handling or serving food. Makeup and cologne, if used, should be applied in moderation. With approval from preceptors, graduate student interns may wear a wrist watch, religious metals; small stud-style earrings, and/or wedding, engagement or class rings.

Possession, use and/or distribution of illegal drugs, alcohol and/or prescription medication not prescribed for you is prohibited. An individual's use of alcohol or any other drugs on/off campus, which results in a disruption to the campus community, will be considered a violation of this policy.

Drug Testing and Criminal Background Checks (If Required by the Supervised Experiential Learning Facility)

Graduate Student Interns are required to comply with their facilities' policies and procedures, including criminal background checks and drug testing. Check with your facilities to determine if criminal background checks are required. If so, be sure to follow each facility's policies and procedures for securing a criminal background check. In addition, be sure you are familiar with each facility's drug testing policy.

-Interns are not employees. Dietetic graduate student interns doing supervised experiential learning must not routinely replace employees except for planned professional staff experiences. Typically, dietetic graduate student interns are not employees of facilities where they are training. Detailed information about the college-facility relationship is contained in the SUNY Affiliation Agreement.

SUNY Oneonta is fully committed to the policies of affirmative action and equal opportunity. It is the policy of the college to provide equal employment and educational opportunity to all people without regard to race, sex, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a veteran. Any student or employee who feels that he or she is denied equal opportunity may contact the Director of Human Resources, 208 Netzer Administration Building, 607-436-2509.

Code of Academic Conduct: All graduate student interns are expected to read and comply with the Code of Academic Conduct as it is printed in the college Graduate Catalog. Additionally, graduate student interns are expected to comply with all copyright Laws. Each dietetic graduate student intern is responsible for conducting his/herself in a professional manner and is required to adhere to the standards of behavior as outlined in the personnel and/or policy manuals of practicum sites. Each dietetic graduate student intern is required to adhere to all College policies, all program policies as noted on the web site, and all policies noted within or with regard to each of the program online courses.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Code of Ethics: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its Commission on Dietetic Registration have adopted a voluntary, enforceable code of ethics. This Code of Ethics for the Profession of Dietetics, challenges all to uphold ethical principles.

Confidentiality: Graduate student interns will receive basic instruction in the National Standards to Protect the Privacy of Personal Health Information (HIPAA) during the on-campus orientation. As noted in the SUNY Affiliation Agreement, graduate student interns will receive additional site specific training during the program.

  1. Patients: Patients and information relative to their physical conditions and therapy are to be discussed only in private with professionals concerned with their care. Any information acquired in the work setting relative to patients should be respected as private and confidential and is not to be divulged or discussed with any individual outside of the facility or with any other individuals within the facility who are not involved with patient care. Discussions with other professionals concerning individual patients and their therapy should be conducted in private. Avoid discussions of this nature in public areas such as dining rooms, corridors, elevators, public conveyances, etc. where your conversation may be overheard. Refer any requests for information relative to a patient's condition to the patient's physician or nurse. Use discretion in handling written communications concerning patients.
  2. Personnel/Graduate student interns: Any personal information relative to professional staff, dietetic graduate student interns, and employees acquired in the performance of professional duties should be respected as private and confidential and should not be discussed with others. Refrain from discussions and expressing personal opinions about professional staff, dietetic graduate student interns and employees with others. Use discretion in handling written communications and messages of a personal or private nature in the work setting. All requests received from any individuals, groups or agencies both within and outside of the facility or college concerning facility or college statistics, costs, records or reports should be referred to the preceptor, course instructor or Program Director as appropriate. The program will not provide any information pertaining to current dietetic graduate student interns or program graduates without prior authorization from the dietetic graduate student intern/program graduate.

Hospital and Departmental Records and Information

All information regarding the facility and college operation acquired in the performance of professional duties should be respected as private and confidential and should not be discussed with others or divulged to others without appropriate approval and authorization.

All requests received from any individuals, groups or agencies both within and outside of the facility or College concerning facility or College statistics, costs, records or reports should be referred to the preceptor, course instructor or Program Director as appropriate.

Requests for information received from the media (newspapers, television, radio, etc.) should be referred to the preceptor, course instructor or Program Director as appropriate. No information will be released without prior authorization.

Communications

  1. Telephone Communications: Identify yourself, your position and your facility when placing and receiving calls. Example: Susan Jones, graduate student intern, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. Do not use abbreviations. Example: Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program; not EFNEP. Be brief and businesslike in conveying and receiving information. Obtain and note all necessary information when accepting messages, such as date, time, and name of caller, message (clearly written) and your own signature. Outgoing and incoming calls, including those made with or received on personal cell phones, should be limited to official business only. Telephone calls of a personal nature should not be made nor received while on duty. If it is absolutely necessary to accept a personal incoming call, be brief. In all cases, the policies of the facility take precedence. It should be noted that many facilities prohibit the use of personal cell phones at any time for any purpose.
  2. Oral and Written Communications: In oral communications, while on duty, use surnames only in addressing others. Example: Ms. Jones. Address and sign all written communications including medical record documentation with full name and title. Example: To: Susan Jones From: John Smith, graduate student intern
  3. Personal Conversations: Lengthy personal conversations should be avoided during on-duty time. Use discretion in discussing matters of a non-business nature in the work setting. Avoid discussions of a private, personal or confidential nature, and never in the presence of patients, employees, visitors and personnel from other departments.

Internal and External Customer Service

Internal customers are other facility or college employees, students or work groups. External customers are patients/clients, their family members and vendors. It is the responsibility of every dietetic graduate student intern to represent the college well in all interactions with preceptors, site personnel, customers, each other and others. Graduate student interns are expected to be courteous and helpful.

The program faculty and preceptors are committed to providing graduate student interns with timely and constructive assessment information so that graduate student interns may improve. There will also be frequent opportunities for graduate student interns to engage in self-assessment. The processes for assessment of dietetic graduate student interns and the forms that are a part of each online course will be shared and discussed with graduate student interns during the on-campus orientation. Assessment of graduate student intern' s development of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics competencies will occur at regular intervals. Graduate student interns will also have ample opportunity to assess the online faculty and the program.

The dietetic graduate student intern may review any material within his/her online M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program file under the supervision of the program director. The dietetic graduate student intern does not, however, have access to review any material received by the program which has been labeled as confidential from the source received, such as certain college transcripts and references for which the dietetic graduate student intern has waived his/her access. Intern files are confidential and are made available only to the graduate student intern and program faculty.

The college will make directory information available upon request to third parties unless the student notifies the Registrar's office that he/she wishes such information to be withheld. Directory information is defined by the college, under FERPA, as follows: student's name; address; telephone listing and e-mail address; major field of study; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance; degrees and awards received; and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.

Students' education records not deemed as "directory information" will not be released to third parties without written consent from the student. Graduate student interns who wish to release information must do so by completing the "release of information" form and sending it to the program director.

It is the policy of the online M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program and the college to provide a method for the objective review of dietetic graduate student interns' concerns. Graduate student interns are encouraged to voice the concerns about problems encountered during the program without fear of reprisal. The resolution of such concerns will be consistent with the college's established policies and procedures as contained in the college's Graduate Catalog section on grievances. Graduate student interns are encouraged to discuss complaints and questions with their course instructor or site preceptor first. If the issue is not resolved satisfactorily, the graduate student intern should contact the program director. The director will work with the graduate student intern and other personnel as appropriate to resolve the issue.

Faculty will seek the advice and counsel of the Division of Human Resources and/or Division of academic Affairs, as deemed appropriate, prior to final resolution of grievances and/or concerns. Procedures for complaints against programs may be viewed at the ACEND website. ACEND is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Post secondary Accreditation and the United States Department of Education. ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics) can be contacted as follows:

ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics)
c/o Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Phone - 800-877-1600

Procedures for complaints against the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (Approved April 1996)

A complaint about the standards, policies, and procedures of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) may be submitted by any individual, for example, student, faculty, dietetics practitioner, and/or member of the general public. The following procedures will be used in the investigation of a complaint.

All written complaints will be forwarded to the Chair and a Public Member of the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education for action. The Commission will not intervene on behalf of individuals, or act as a court of appeal for individuals in matters of admissions, appointment, promotion, or dismissal of faculty or students. It will intervene only when it determines that the complaint against ACEND is related to ACEND's standards, policies, or procedures.

  • If the chair determines that the complaint does not relate to the Standards of Education or accreditation/approval policies, the complainant will be notified accordingly.
  • If the chair determines that the complaint does relate to the Standards of Education or accreditation/approval policies then, under his or her direction, a written acknowledgment of receipt of the complaint, along with a description of the process of handling the complaint, will be forwarded to the complainant and to the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • The chair will appoint a review committee that considers the complaint, along with all relevant information, and takes appropriate action.
  • The Commission or the Commission Chair may determine that legal counsel is needed to address the complaint. The AND Education and Accreditation Team Leader will work with the Commission and AND legal counsel to identify a plan to address the complaint.
  • The complainant will have the right to appeal a final action by ACEND to the Accreditation Appeals Committee.

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics' Process for Reviewing Complaints Against Accredited Programs. ACEND has established a process for reviewing complaints against accredited programs in order to fulfill its public responsibility for assuring the quality and integrity of the educational programs that it accredits. Any individual, for example, student, faculty, dietetics practitioner or member of the public, may submit a complaint against any accredited or approved program to ACEND. However, ACEND will not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for individuals in matters of admissions, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty or students. It will act only upon a signed allegation that the program may not be in compliance with the accreditation standards or policies. The complaint must be signed by the complainant. Anonymous complaints will not be considered. The following procedures will be used in the investigation of a complaint against an accredited or approved program. AND Accreditation staff will forward all written complaints to the ACEND Chair within three weeks of receipt of the complaint. If the ACEND Chair determines that the complaint does not relate to the accreditation standards or policies, the complainant will be notified in writing within two weeks of the Chair's review that no further action will be taken. If the ACEND Chair determines that the complaint may relate to the accreditation standards or policies, the complaint will be acknowledged in writing within two weeks of the Chair's review and the complainant will be provided a copy of the process for handling the complaint.

At the same time as the complainant is notified, the complaint will be forwarded to the program by certified mail. The administrative officers of the institution or organization sponsoring the program, currently on file with ACEND, will receive copies of the correspondence by first class mail. At the request of the complainant, the name of the complainant will be "blocked out" within the body of the written complaint that is sent to the program.

The ACEND Chair will request the program to conduct a preliminary investigation and submit a report addressing the relevant accreditation standards or policies postmarked no more than 30 calendar days from receipt of the notification, as documented by return receipt of certified mail.

The ACEND Chair may also request further information or materials relating to the complaint from the complainant, the institution, or other sources.

The ACEND Chair will appoint a review committee to consider the complaint, along with all relevant information. The review committee will recommend appropriate action to ACEND at its next scheduled meeting.

In determining the appropriate action, ACEND will consider the complaint, materials relating to the complaint, the review committee's recommendation, if any, and additional evidence provided by the program, if any.

ACEND or the ACEND Chair may determine that legal counsel is needed to address the complaint. The AND Accreditation staff will work with ACEND and legal counsel to identify a plan to address the complaint.

If the complaint is determined to be unsubstantiated or not related to the accreditation standards or policies, no action will be taken.

If the complaint is substantiated and indicates that the program may not be in compliance with the accreditation standards or policies, appropriate action will be taken, which may include, but is not limited to, scheduling an on-site visit of the program. If the complaint is substantiated and ACEND determines that the program is not in compliance with the accreditation standards or policies, ACEND may place the program on probation or withdraw accreditation or approval.

The Program Director and administration of the sponsoring institution will be notified of ACEND's decision and action in writing within two weeks of the decision. The complainant will be notified of the final decision and action when the reconsideration and appeals process expires.

The program will have the right to request ACEND to reconsider a decision to place the program on probation or to withdraw accreditation or approval.

Dietetic graduate student interns may observe religious and/or secular holidays as approved by the course instructor, the primary preceptor and the precepting site provided that the graduate student intern completes all assignments as scheduled and completes the supervised 16-24 clock hours per week of practice required in each course.

In a typical week, the dietetic graduate student intern will spend 40 clock hours in supervised experiential learning experiences. Graduate student interns should find that they have some flexibility when scheduling their supervised experiential learning hours and the additional ones required for completion of the online curriculum requirements. The graduate student intern's identification of duty hours in any given week must be done in consultation with the preceptor and program faculty. The choice should always be made so that the graduate student intern has the maximum opportunities for learning and the development of competency.

It should be noted that there may be differences between the college's schedule of holidays and vacations, the program's schedule, and that observed by the site. Graduate student interns must meet all expectations of the course and the site with regard to "on duty" days and hours. This may necessitate a graduate student intern's working on holidays, evenings, and/or weekends.

In order to have a computer access in Blackboard (the course management system for the delivery of online courses at SUNY Oneonta) graduate student interns must be enrolled at SUNY Oneonta, a process that is managed by the Graduate Office. Access to course materials within Blackboard is controlled by the login/password authentication provided by the student when accessing the Blackboard system.

The site and/or College ID card must be worn conspicuously while in a supervised experiential learning site. Some supervised experiential learning facilities may require that graduate student interns wear a facility-specific ID.

If you become ill or are injured during a practicum experience, you should follow the policies and procedures established by the preceptor and/or the site supervisor. In most instances, they will suggest that you see your private physician for care. Graduate student interns are required to have appropriate health insurance.

The responsibilities of SUNY Oneonta, its officers or employees and those of affiliating agencies are described in the agreement signed by the college and the agency. As noted in the application materials, these agreements must be signed prior to a graduate student intern's beginning the program.

Professional Liability Insurance: Graduate student interns are covered by SUNY's insurance policy while they are participating in assigned supervised experiential learning experiences at facilities that have signed a SUNY Affiliation Agreement. The anticipated cost of the SUNY insurance will be $35.00 per graduate student intern and will be added to the tuition bill. Students are insured after the contracts have been signed by the appropriate representative of both the facility and the college.

Facility agreements must be signed sufficiently ahead of the starting date for the program so that graduate student interns can be insured before the first day of the program.

Graduate student interns are also required to purchase a personal malpractice policy. Graduate student interns must provide proof of coverage to the program director during the summer prior to attending orientation. There are several commercial sources for professional liability insurance. One possible source is CHPSO, which can be contacted online or at 1-800-982-9491. Another source is Seabury and Smith, which can be contacted at 1-877-687-0845 ext. 45105.

Health Insurance: Graduate student interns must purchase and maintain health insurance coverage for the duration of the online M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program. Graduate student interns must provide the program director and primary preceptor proof of health insurance coverage on or before June 1of the year that they will enter the program.

Car Insurance: Graduate student interns who intend to use personal transportation to and from supervised experiential learning sites are required to purchase and provide the program director and primary preceptor proof of automobile insurance coverage on or before May 25 of the year that they will enter the program.

The State University of New York College at Oneonta's online M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program is not liable for any illness or injury sustained by a dietetic graduate student intern while participating in a required practicum experience or while traveling to or from any practicum experience or field trip.

Graduate student interns are responsible for all meals while in the program. Any exceptions to this policy will be at the discretion of preceptors and/or facilities.

Essential Functions for Participation in Courses

The State University of New York, College at Oneonta is committed to the education of all qualified individuals, including persons with disabilities, who with or without reasonable accommodation, are capable of performing the essential functions of the educational program pursued.

The college will, if requested, provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified enrolled students and applicants with disabilities unless: (a) such accommodations impose an undue hardship to the institution, or (b) direct threats of substantial harm to the health and safety of self and others, due to the disability, cannot be eliminated by any reasonable accommodations available that would allow the student to perform the essential functions, or (c) such accommodations fundamentally alter the educational program or academic standards.

The following standards are described to assist each candidate in evaluating his/her prospect for academic success. It is important to read each standard carefully. By signing your name on your application form for admissions, you are indicating you have read and understood these standards.

General Standards for Dietetics Education: Student must perform the following functions on others including other students, patients or health care workers regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, age or sexual preference.

Observation: Students must be able to acquire a defined level of required information as presented through educational experiences in the basic sciences as well as the clinical sciences, such as information conveyed through physiologic and pharmacological demonstration in animals, microbiological cultures and microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. Students must be able to observe a patient/client accurately and safely and to acquire information from health care providers, and other sources such as: written documents and images from paper, films, slides or videos. Students must have the ability to interpret data (e.g., x-rays and other graphic images, digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomena such as EKG's) with or without the use of assistive devices.

Such observations and information acquisitions necessitate the adequate functional use of visual, tactile and other sensory modalities. Such observations and educational experiences may require travel to facilities off campus.

Communication: The student must be able to gather, utilize and disseminate information in English effectively, efficiently and professionally using a variety of communication modalities. The student must master basic computer and Internet skills and be able to communicate via e-mail.

Intellectual/Conceptual Abilities: The student must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, process, integrate, synthesize, apply and retain facts, concepts and data related to the art and science of health care including pertinent legal and ethical issues. The student must have the ability to perform problem-solving tasks in a timely manner.

Motor: The student must possess the motor functions needed to perform the necessary movements reasonably required to conduct work in his/her program or profession. (These may include but are not limited to: diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures, such as the use of clinical instruments, laboratory tests and handling and transferring patients.) The student must also be able to perform prescribed preventive techniques (properly wash hands, wear protective devices, etc.) and standard precautions to minimize exposing him/herself and others to pathogens (e.g., bacteria and viruses). The student must also be able to utilize a computer, various types of standard software packages, and the Internet for completing required program assignments.

Behavioral and Social Skills: The student must demonstrate emotional stability with appropriate interpersonal relationships and communication skills. He/she must be able to exercise good judgment and sustain an attention level necessary to complete all responsibilities promptly; be attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and develop mature, sensitive, professional and effective relationships with patients/clients (in well and diseased states from every gender, socioeconomic status and cultural group) and health care workers. The student must be able to tolerate taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. He/she must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical setting. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, appropriate hygiene, appearance, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that are required throughout the admissions and educational processes.

Enrollment and continued enrollment of accepted students to SUNY Oneonta's online M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program is conditional, based on fulfilling of immunization requirements of the college and the graduate student intern's supervised experiential learning facilities and the results of any other background check, disease and/or drug screening as required by the college and the graduate student intern's supervised experiential learning facilities.

The Accessibility Resources Assistant Director is Jennifer Bagby who may be reached at (607) 436-2137.

All graduate student interns that are participating in a program offsite from the college are exempt from complying with SUNY  Oneonta immunization requirements.

Graduate student interns must also comply with any health examination and immunization requirements established by the facilities that will serve as practicum sites. It is recommended, and may be required by some supervised experiential learning facilities, that graduate students interns receive the Hepatitis B Vaccination series. The process requires time. Plan ahead! Graduate student interns are responsible for any costs associated with completing the physical examination and obtaining needed immunizations.

In addition, graduate student interns should expect to be required to pass substance abuse screening required by the supervising practice facility. Positive results from any drug screen will be grounds for disqualification from entering or continuing in the M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program.

The protection of privacy of student information, including identifying information used for distance education is the same for all students enrolled at SUNY Oneonta as outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) provided on the college’s website. Further information regarding the responsibilities of all users of campus information technology is detailed in SUNY Oneonta’s Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy.

SUNY Oneonta's Policy on Student Records provides information on topics such as:

  • General Procedures for reviewing student records
  • Release of Information to Third Parties
  • Records Students May Not Examine and
  • Release of Records Not Requiring Student's Consent.

Graduate student interns are required to behave ethically and maintain the confidentiality of all information shared with them in their role as graduate student interns.

Becoming a professional involves learning and commitment beyond the mastery of the profession's knowledge and skills. It includes the integration of attitudes and values and the demonstration of behaviors that reflect personal integrity, respect for self, respect for the rights of others, and a sense of responsibility as a contributor to a community of people. The learning experiences included in this program will include teaching/learning experiences that will allow students to work continually toward achieving the following:

  1. A positive view of self and increased self-awareness
  2. Interpersonal competence as demonstrated by listening to and hearing others and skills and strategies to increase collaboration
  3. Commitment to learning and contribution to learning of others

Graduate student interns are expected to work closely with their preceptors, keep them informed of their daily activities and whereabouts, and present themselves in a positive manner in all interactions with clients, patients, employees, staff, preceptors, the public, faculty and fellow students. Graduate student interns are expected to maintain high standards of conduct as they accomplish the required competencies. These personal characteristics and abilities which are important for the graduate student intern to develop and exhibit include, but are not limited to the following:

motivation, diplomacy, initiative, responsibility, accountability, enthusiasm, flexibility, prudent use of resources, professional demeanor, positive outlook, professional appearance, respect for privacy, open-mindedness, assertiveness, credibility, maturity, ability to maintain confidentiality, respect for other's property, time management, sound judgment, self-expression, willingness to learn, openness to criticism, ability to establish priorities and ability to solve problems.

The online M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program faculty at SUNY Oneonta recognizes that some applicants to the program may have completed their academic preparation several years ago. Thus, we have developed the following guidelines with regard to recency of education:

Students who have not taken a graduate or undergraduate course in Advanced Human Nutrition and a second course in Medical Nutritional Therapy within the three years before the start date of their program must take such a course or achieve a score of 80% or better on our competency exam as determined by the program faculty. Applicants must also have had either a course in food service systems management or paid experience as a foodservice manager within the five years preceding their entry into the program. Applicants whose Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Verification of Completion (of Degree Requirements) will be more than three years old when they would be scheduled to begin the program should contact the program director prior to applying.

Students who must take a competency exam in order to satisfy the recency of education requirements are requested to contact Program Director Jennifer Bueche.

In addition to having proper identification, Interns are expected to maintain strict security practices. The dietetic graduate student intern may be issued keys by the site preceptor or a facility representative. It is the dietetic graduate student intern's responsibility to:

  • Maintain possession of these keys at all times.
  • Follow established facility procedures for the use and return of all keys.

In the event of the loss of a set of keys, it is the dietetic graduate student intern's responsibility to notify immediately the site preceptor. The dietetic graduate student intern should expect to be charged a fee for lost keys.

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Students must earn at least a grade of "B" in each online M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program course and comply with all other policies and procedures as set forth in the current edition of the College Graduate Catalog. Any student failing to do so is subject to immediate disqualification from entering or continuing in the program.

Dietetic graduate student interns who fail to meet the program's expectations and standards due to misconduct or deficiencies in fulfilling required practicum or didactic learning experiences are subject to termination from the program.

Positive results from any drug screen will be grounds for immediate disqualification from entering or continuing in the program.

Graduate student interns must abide by all policies and procedures of the SUNY Oneonta and affiliating sites while completing their experiences. Failure to comply with stated policies and procedures will compel the site preceptor, course instructor, or program director to issue a warning notice to the graduate student intern. (The primary preceptor, course instructor(s) and the program director are to receive copies of any warning notices given to a graduate student intern.)

The warning notice should include the following information:

  • Name of graduate student intern
  • Name of the facility and preceptor; course and instructor
  • Date the warning is being issued
  • A description of the offense
  • Day, date, time, and place that the offense occurred
  • Names of witnesses, if any
  • Specific corrective actions to be taken by the graduate student intern, if any

The warning notice must be signed and dated by the person issuing it. The graduate student intern should be asked to sign and date the warning indicating that they have seen it. The graduate student intern's signature is not necessarily an admission of guilt.

Any graduate student intern who receives one or more warning notices will be subject to disciplinary action that may include failing the course in which they are enrolled, removal from the practicum site and/or termination from the program.

Graduate student interns may also be terminated from the program if their work is unsatisfactory or if they fail to make consistent progress toward the completion of the program. Graduate student interns who do not complete the program satisfactorily within the established timeline will not receive verification of program completion.

Graduate student interns are responsible for any and all travel arrangements and the costs incurred as a result of their participation in and/or completion of all experiences included in their program. This includes the travel required in conjunction with attending the on-campus orientation program.

Most, though not all, of the required experiences will have been preplanned by the graduate student intern before applying to Oneonta's online M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program, thus graduate student interns should consider the resources available to them as they plan their supervised experiential learning experiences.

In most cases, a car, valid driver's license, and proof of proper insurance are required. The college does not cover liability related to travel for graduate student interns and cannot be responsible for travel-related accidents. Graduate student interns should anticipate traveling to at least several locations in order to obtain varied supervised experiential learning experiences. Graduate student interns are responsible for securing all parking permits as required by practicum sites.

Graduate student interns must successfully complete their planned supervised practicum experiences and all other course work required in the syllabus for each of the four program courses. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in each of the required courses and pass the comprehensive exam in order to receive certification of program completion. The comprehensive exam is part of the last requirements for the online M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program course. Students will be allowed one retake of the sections of the comprehensive exam they do not pass the first time they take the exam. If a student does not pass all sections of the comprehensive exam with two attempts, that student may be dismissed from the M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program or required to accomplish remedial work at their own expense and on their own time prior to the director's verification that they student has successfully completed the program.

Graduate student interns must also complete also all of the evaluation components delineated in the "evaluation of graduate student interns" section of these policies.

Graduate student interns must not have any outstanding bills or other obligations to the college and must have returned all parts their assigned PDA in good working order in order to complete the program.

The Pass/Fail (P/F) grade is not an option for graduate student interns taking the courses required in the program. Graduate student interns who wish to take additional courses may take these courses on a P/F or audit basis if they wish; however, graduate student interns should review the college's Graduate Policy on Pass/Fail grading before choosing this option. All other graduate grading policies and procedures will apply to graduate student interns.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Verification statements, needed to establish eligibility to take the RD exam, are issued to all students who satisfactorily complete the program requirements, including passing the comprehensive exam, and who have no outstanding financial or other College obligations.

Graduate student interns must forward this statement to the Commission on Dietetic Registration with the Application for Registration Eligibility to qualify to take the Registration Examination and apply for membership in the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

Family members, friends, and others are not permitted to accompany dietetic graduate student interns during any part of the practicum or M.S. Nutrition and Dietetics Program experience other than the orientation program held at the college. Any exceptions to this policy must be authorized in writing by the preceptor, a representative of the facility, and the course instructor or program director prior to any visit.

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