Department of Dietetics expands internship program

The Marshall University Department of Dietetics is expanding its internship program with a Distance Dietetic Internship so students from across the country can enroll.

Dietetic undergraduate students are required to have an internship of 1,200 hours before graduation in order to get experience in the field and show they have the skills to be a dietitian.

Kelli Williams, Ph. D., associate professor and department chair of the Marshall Department of Dietetics, said there is a lack of internship opportunities relevant to the work future dietitians will be doing.

Williams said this can cause many dieticians to be less prepared to enter the work field than their peers who had more appropriate internships available.

The new Distance Dietetic Internship will allow students nationwide to participate in the program from their homes and to study under the appropriate organizations they choose. Some examples of these are hospitals, outpatient clinics, certain government programs and long term care facilities.

“It applies to students who could be going to school at Marshall and just live in the panhandle, or to students who live in Montana,” Williams said.

Williams mentioned that the moving of the department to its new location at Huntington’s Kitchen in January helped to spur the idea to change the internship program.

“It generated a thought of we should start new things, and this change to the program stems from that,” Williams said. “It would also add new revenue to the department.”

The application process for the program begins February 2017, and the internship part of the program will