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To become a Registered Dietitian (RD), one must:

  • Complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college AND course work accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Apply to and complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program, such as the Golden Gate Dietetic Internship (GGDI) program.
  • Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). The GGDI Program trains Interns to take and pass the Registered Dietitian credentialing examination to achieve the RD credential. California does not require licensure.

GGDI is a full-time, 40-hour per week program that does NOT allow for outside employment. However, graduates have reported less potential income lost because of the short eight (8) month duration, which also allowed for passing the RD exam and being employed sooner than graduates of other dietetic internship programs.

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Expectations:

  • Interns are available for a minimum of 40 hours per week for 30 weeks/1200 hours of supervised practice experience
  • Attendance is required of Interns at the Orientation for Supervised Practice on the Friday after Labor Day AND at all Intern group meetings, mostly held in Santa Rosa.
  • There may be specific needs by Facilities, Preceptors and/or schedules for Interns on weekends, evenings and/or holidays.
  • Intern professionalism, maturity, integrity, and flexibility are key to successfully completion of this invaluable experience in all dietetic internship programs.

The Program Concentration is a Nutrition Leadership Project—about 6 weeks in length. This rotation provides Interns the opportunity to practice leading and managing a nutrition project they elect in any area of nutrition & dietetics. Interns, utilizing the 5 Phases of Project Management and Instructional Systems Design (ADDIE), assess needs or gaps in the community to be able to design and provide specific solutions. Interns then analyze and design a realistic plan, develop and implement solutions to address the identified needs, and evaluate the results of the project and further grow professionally. Project Management competence is also included in ACEND’s future, new model for education in nutrition and dietetics!

Graduates have reported the project portfolio was advantageous in securing employment. These real-world projects and learning experiences are excellent preparation for graduate school and/or future jobs careers in the dietetics profession.

Intern Group Meetings are at a relatively central location for the Program (usually in the Santa Rosa area). Although each Intern may reside near their geographical rotations, they are required to travel and attend these meetings. These meetings are for teaching and learning (didactics) and are integral to the GGDI program and supervised practice. Meetings also focus on material for CDR’s Registration Examination for Dietitians and future employment. Occasionally, these meetings coincide with a professional conference or field trip!

Rotations: Supervised practice takes place at a variety of clinical, foodservice and community organizations. An Intern spends a few weeks in one facility (or site) then “rotates” through the schedule at other facilities, which are mostly within the same geographic area. For more information about the locations and rotations, please see the Rotations page.

In addition, the GGDI program is uniquely certified as a Green Business. Interns learn about how to be proactive about the environment. The carbon footprint of food contributes greatly to climate change. Interns are required to propose and teach procedures to reduce waste and protect the environment through lessons, assessments, in-services, tours, audits and projects. GGDI wants graduates to be mindful and educate future clients to adopt sustainable practices that effect climate change. Our graduates are our future!

Download GGDI Program Year Cost Table

GGDI Program Year Costs*
Fixed Costs Intern GGDI Includes/Pays*
Program Fee Deposit: 1st Installment — Soon after match $1,600
Balance of Program Fee: 2nd Installment — Postmarked mid-July $12,000
Supplies (printing paper, ink) & lab coat $50
Customized Rotation Binders and Books; RD Exam Materials $287
Student Academy Membership $55
Student Professional Liability Insurance $24
CPR/First Aid (& Bloodborne Pathogen Training, if required) $39-$69
Criminal Background Check $45
All Fingerprinting(s) & Additional Drug Screens required by facilities $64-250
Orientation, Professional Conference(s), & lodging, as needed $300-$500
Sub-Total Program Fee and Costs $13,650
ESTIMATED VARIABLE COSTS / 8 months – WORKSHEET
Physical Examination, TB Test(s), Drug Screening and Immunizations $150
Major Health Insurance – HIGHLY VARIABLE and personal Sanitation Manager Certification (Many DPDs required this) $40
Auto Liability Insurance; note minimum limits: 100-300-50 Dependent on age of driver, residence and type of vehicle
Gasoline AND maintenance /month–dependent on miles/gallon $150-$400
Rent AND Utilities 8 -12 months – $5000 to $12,000 **
Food and Miscellaneous Expenses***
Income lost and time to complete DI (E.g. SF Bay Area NDTR ~$33.8K/8 mos.)****
Estimated Total (including / excluding lost income)
*These costs are included and reimbursed/paid by GGDI
**Some sign a lease/stay in area beyond the Program completion until a new job is secured. Some already live in locations of rotations. Some room/house together to reduce program year costs.
***Some are eco-green: reducing, reusing, up-cycling and not eating meat to keeping this cost low.
****All DPD Grads with a BS degree without a DI are eligible for the NDTR Exam to work as a NDTR. https://www.eatrightpro.org/practice/career-development/salary-calculator/ndtr-salary-calculator (2017)

Scholarships:

  • Information on scholarship opportunities is available from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. GGDI Interns have received these!
  • A small Program merit award will be awarded to an Intern upon completion of the Program for preceding academic accomplishments, leadership skills, and outstanding performance during the completed GGDI Program year.
  • $500 is awarded to a nutrition leadership project that will increase diversity in the profession of nutrition and dietetics.
  • $500 is awarded to a nutrition leadership project that will encourage ecological sustainability and positively effect climate change.

Program Completion Requirements
To receive a verification statement so to sit for the CDR Registration Examination for Dietitians, the Intern is required, along with other program requirements to:

  • Follow all GGDI Program policies, procedures, requirements, codes, rules, and regulations.
  • Comply with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for the Profession of Dietetics, which include all matters of confidentiality including HIPAA.
  • Successfully complete supervised practice hours and entry-level achievement of all Competencies for the Registered Dietitian (CRDNs) and program competencies
  • Submit all required program paperwork—reports, projects, assignments and rotation evaluations on time—and complete all program evaluations to help the program plan for improvements.
  • Do NOT misappropriate copyrighted material or plagiarize.
  • Complete the internship program within 12 months (at 150% of the 8-month program year).
  • Do his/her best to enjoy a successful, fun, and productive program year. Everything in life is “one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration” (Thomas Edison).

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