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Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP)

The ISPP at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (VCUHS) is a continuing education opportunity offered through the Dietetic Internship Program. The ISPP is designed to provide doctoral trained individuals working within the field of nutrition an opportunity to acquire competencies needed to practice dietetics in a variety of settings. Upon successful completion of the ISPP, individuals will have gained the knowledge and supervised practice experience in the areas of clinical, foodservice, and community nutrition needed to sit for the National Registration Exam for Registered Dietitians.

Our program may enroll up to 2 ISPP interns annually, subject to availability. Openings will be announced on this website as well as on our Facebook page. All supervised practice rotation sites will be coordinated by the VCUHS Dietetic Internship, and occur onsite in Richmond, Virginia. Interns do not have to secure their own practice sites. We do not offer a distance option.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Have earned a doctoral degree from a US college or university in nutrition or related fields.
  2. A Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement is not required for admission.
    • If a verification statement has not been previously earned, knowledge is assessed to determine if additional coursework is required to meet DPD foundational learning requirements prior to supervised practice beginning.
  3. There are no additional prerequisites for this program.

Application Information

ISPP applicants may choose to begin the program with our August or January start dates. ISPP interns do not participate in the Dietetics Inclusive Centralized Application Service (DICAS), but rather submit all application materials electronically to the Program Director.

A completed application should be submitted in one cohesive PDF document. The application fee ($50; payable to Virginia Commonwealth University Health System) should be sent to the Program Director as noted in the Application Information section, postmarked no later than the below noted application deadlines.

A completed application should include:

  1. Personal Statement (1,000 words or less) addressing the following questions:
    • What is your reason for pursuing a career as a registered dietitian?
    • What experiences have helped you prepare for a career in dietetics?
    • What are your short and long-term career goals?
    • What are your strengths and areas for improvement?
    • Why do you want to pursue the ISPP program at VCU Health?
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
    • All transcripts should be final, with degree conferral noted.
    • All foreign degrees should be submitted with an official evaluation (i.e. WES, AACRAO, etc.) stating US degree equivalence.
  4. Letters of Recommendation - 2
    • References should be able to address your nutritional knowledge and application, communication, and interpersonal skills.
    • At least one of the references should be from a registered dietitian who can speak to your aptitude as a future registered dietitian.
    • *Reference letters should be submitted directly to the Program Director and not included in the application packet.

All applicants wishing for their application to be considered for the August start date, should be submitted no later than March 30th of the current year. For January start date consideration, applications should be submitted no later than August 30th of the preceding year. Regardless of start date, all applicants are encouraged to reach out to the Program Director to discuss potential program scheduling and educational needs.

Selection Process

All applications received by the noted deadlines will be reviewed by the Program Director and Clinical Coordinators who will make a determination of whether or not to offer the ISPP experience to the applicant. Applicants will be notified of selection within four weeks of application deadline. Final selection and placement will depend on submission of a completed Assessment of Prior Learning form that will be sent to applicants upon offer for admission. All incoming ISPP interns will meet with the Program Director to determine an individualized plan and timeline consistent with their experience.

Tuition, Fees, and Program Related Expenses

All anticipated costs and fees for all interns can be found on the Financial Information section of the website. Half of the program fee ($900) is due upon acceptance to the ISPP program. The remainder is due no later than the first day of program orientation. Application and program fees are non-refundable.

Program Length & Substitution for Prior Learning

ISPP interns will have up to 2 years to complete all program requirements and competencies. ISPP interns may elect to complete experiences either full or part time to accommodate their work schedules. Rotation specifics may be dependent on site and preceptor availability. Full program duration will also vary by intern, factoring in credit granted by past and current work experiences. Up to 500 hours (or 50% of the minimum number of required hours) may be substituted for prior learning experiences, while still ensuring adequate time to develop and demonstrate ACEND required competencies. All ISPP interns will be required participate in all required activities, assignments, and classes, unless Program Director determines past experiences meet requirements.

Admission Information

After admission, all ISPP interns will be onboarded as VCU Health Contingent Workers and will be required to meet all new employee onboarding requirements. Interns are not eligible for VCU Health benefits, including Worker’s Compensation coverage, thus will be required to show proof of medical insurance coverage by the first day of the program.

Program Completion

Upon completion of all program requirements, ISPP interns will be issued a Verification Statement which will allow them to sit for the National Registration Examination for Registered Dietitians.