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Rehabilitation, Exercise, and Nutrition Sciences _

Certificate of Supervised Practice (SPD)

 What’s the difference between a Coordinated Program in Dietetics, Supervised Practice, a Didactic Program in Dietetics, and a Dietetic Internship?
The University of Cincinnati’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) is a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). It contains both the didactic (coursework) and the supervised practice components. It is not a dietetic internship.

An ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) includes only the supervised practice component. Students who are accepted into an ACEND accredited DI must have completed an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and will receive, or have already received, a DPD verification statement from their DPD Director.

The competencies and standards for the supervised practice portion of a CPD or DI are identical. The minimum number of hours that are required by ACEND for supervised practice experiences is 1200. The minimum number of supervised practice hours scheduled into UC’s CPD is approximately 1224.

The three steps to becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Registered Dietitian (RD) are 1) successful completion of an accredited DPD, 2) successful completion of supervised practice whether in a DI or CPD, and successful completion of the RD exam. The student must also have earned, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree.

Is there anything that I can do proactively during this next spring semester to prepare for the supervised practice? (Documents, signed forms, etc.)
Yes, we will cover this material during the spring semester course Supervised Practice Preparation as well as at the beginning of Supervised Practice Experience I in summer semester.

What paperwork and documents do I need to provide by the start of the SPD Certificate program?
The CPD Director will provide each SPD certificate student with the paperwork internally; there is no paperwork to fill out on-line. A completed physical, immunizations, and flu shot are due prior to the start of rotations.

Information on location/supervised practice placement; when will we know exactly where we will be placed?
Rotation scheduling will begin in spring semester for the upcoming academic year. 

When do we officially start our Supervised Practice?
Fall semester
In recent years, Supervised Practice Experience I has begun on the Monday nine (9) days following UC’s spring commencement and runs Monday through Friday for five (5) weeks until mid-June. Check with the department program coordinator for the official course schedule.

 Is there an option to continue with supervised practice in summer semester following the 5 week rotation? If I choose that option would that replace and will I get to skip either Supervised Practice Experience II or III?
The supervised practice in the CPD and SPD include all three courses of SPE I (4 credit hours of tuition) and SPE II and III (14 credit hours of tuition each). Failure to complete one of the 3 SPE courses would result in the student not fulfilling program requirements.

All supervised practice is scheduled within the University’s semester start and end dates and accommodates the rotation site and preceptor’s schedule. Due to summer vacation scheduling in the facilities in which we partner, as a general rule few interns are placed in the summer. If interns are placed in the summer it is per their request. The majority of interns are off following successful completion of SPE I until the start of fall semester in August.

How long will each rotation be?
Please visit the curriculum page on the CPD website.

Are all rotations clinically focused?
No. The accreditation standards require that the intern have experience in the areas of clinical, food service management, community, and a concentration area. In the CPD/SPD the two areas of concentration presently available to interns is pediatrics and long-term care.

If we selected the pediatrics option when will we interview at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC)?
As long as CCHMC continues to partner with UC’s CPD, the interviews are held in the spring and conducted by a team of RDNs from CCHMC. Applicants not selected for the CCHMC concentration rotation in pediatrics may have the opportunity to experience a pediatric concentration in a hospital NICU.

You had mentioned for the pediatric concentration that a local hospital accepts 4 interns, how many do the other area hospital NICUs accept?
That number may vary from year to year. Our supervised practice preceptors and affiliation sites are not contracted to provide service; these are unpaid preceptors who serve in the CPD as mentors to the upcoming group of dietetics professionals. The CPD has affiliation agreements with our sites, but preceptors are free to choose whether or not to participate with our CPD and SPD interns from year to year.

Will we be working individually or will we ever have another CPD or SPD intern student with us at our site?
It depends on the rotation site and how many interns they accept, but most sites accept only one intern at a time.

What attire is expected throughout the CPD?
Generally the expectation is business casual. Dress code will be reviewed during orientation to the supervised practice.

Is there information somewhere that explains where you have connections to go for the distance?
No. The CPD has affiliation agreements with our sites, but preceptors are free to choose whether or not to participate with our CPD and SPD interns from year to year. In addition, when CPD students are selected in February, they will not begin Supervised Practice Experience II for 16-18 months. It is not realistic to line up supervised practice rotations placements one and a half years in advance. Preceptors may change jobs, have children, retire, or have a family or personal issue that precludes them from accepting an intern at that point in time. 

If we choose to do distance and need to get into a rotation site that has not been done before, can you explain how that would work?
The student will need to do the leg work regarding contacts. For example if the student needs an acute care (hospital) rotation site, it expected that the student will contact hospitals in the area to obtain the contact information (name and phone number at minimum) of the clinical nutrition managers from the various hospitals. In addition the student should be able to tell the CPD Director whether that site has its own ACEND-accredited dietetic internship, as this will most likely eliminate the facility from becoming a potential site for UC’s CPD. That is only the first step in attempting to develop a new site. 

Is Supervised Practice as intense as they say it is, 8am-5pm Monday through Friday?
Yes. Some rotations will be 8am-5pm Monday through Friday and some will be 4 days per week instead of 5, but all will be a minimum of an 8 hour day, excluding lunch. There may be early start times and late off times, and an occasional weekend rotation. The schedule depends on the site, the preceptor and their hours of work. Supervised Practice is unpaid work experience. It is not co-operative (co-op) education.

 Do we have assignments on top of that?
Yes. The two major assignments that you will present to an audience occur during the acute care rotation.

  • Case study – oral piece and written piece
  • Lunch and Learn – topic of interest to you or preceptor chooses topic

In addition you will have projects and experiences in all of your rotations.

Once accepted into CPD, can we be eliminated or will we automatically be in?
The following is language from the CPD/SPD application for admission:

  • I must earn no less than a B- in the following NUTR courses: Nutrition Care Planning, and Medical Nutrition Therapy I and II. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the CP (and I will seek academic advising for transfer into the Dietetics or Food & Nutrition undergraduate program) or withdrawal of the conditional offer to complete the SPD; 
  • I must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all subsequent semesters of study. If I do not maintain a 3.0 following the completion of the semester, I will be placed on program probation during the next semester. Upon calculating my combined GPA for the semester during which I did not earn a minimum 3.0 and the subsequent semester, I understand that I will be dismissed from the program if the combined GPA does not meet the minimum of a 3.0 average. Should the GPA fall below 3.0 in my last semester of didactic work, I understand that I will be dismissed from the program and I will seek academic advising for transfer into the Dietetics or Food & Nutrition undergraduate program.

In year 2 of the CPD as a CPD or SPD intern, remediate, if required, is permitted only once among the three major concentrations of acute care, school food service management, and/or the concentration rotation.

In the CPD or the SPD, are we still eligible for financial aid? Yes.

Are there specific scholarships that apply for the CPD?
No, but the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has specific scholarships for which you can apply if you are in the CPD.

For the RD exam review session that was mentioned at some point, what is the approximate cost of it in order to plan for budgeting?
$500 approximately but UC sponsors this exam review workshop so the company give our students a discount. Last year the workshop and materials cost $350. The CPD has no say in the cost of this workshop as it is not a UC program. It is generally held the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of UC’s spring exam and commencement week. Interns may take the workshop in another city of more convenient and still obtain the discounted rate.

Will the supervised practice help with the exam?
The exam questions are pulled from textbooks so the questions will be mostly from the didactic portion of the CPD. Attendance at the exam review workshop has proven beneficial because you will receive a good deal of practice materials from which to study.

When do we walk during commencement? Are we able to walk after completing the Didactic portion of the CP or do we have to wait to walk until after completion of the Supervised Practice portion?
CPD interns will walk in the commencement closest to the completion of their supervised practice, but not before spring commencement. CPD students who have completed the didactic requirements but not yet supervised practice do not have the number of program hours for which a degree can be conferred.
Obviously SPD interns have already earned a bachelor’s degree and will not walk in commencement once again.


Nutrition table at the Employee Health Benefit Fair at UC

Contact Us

Department of Rehabilitation, Exercise, and Nutrition Sciences
3202 Eden Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0394

For Nutrition Science Programs:

Kimberly Maco, MS
Phone: 513-558-7503
Email: ​

​For Athletic Training, DPT, MOT, and Health Sciences Programs:

Ashley Sandburg
Phone: 513-558-7477

More Information

For questions regarding the program after reviewing the materials on this website, please contact:

John Pantel, MS, RDN, LDN
Coordinated Program Director 
Department of Rehabilitation, Exercise, and Nutrition Sciences
College of Allied Health Sciences
University of Cincinnati
3202 Eden Ave., Suite 363 D
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0394
Office: 513-558-​2196

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