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    Prior Assessed Learning

    Dr Gaba has completed the Prior Learning Assessment course offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. The authors of this continuing professional education unit clearly describe the value of including this mechanism for assigning credit in DPD and DI programs as follows:

    “Today, one of the fastest growing segments of students in higher education is the non-traditional student. These students who are entering our dietetic programs often bring to the classroom knowledge and experience that have not been obtained in the conventional classroom or a supervised practice setting. Through assessment of this prior learning, university faculty members are able to evaluate previous knowledge and experience as it impacts learning and provide academic credit.

    Dietetic programs are striving to meet the growing need for Registered Dietitians; Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an innovative way to allow students to demonstrate their learning through their life experiences. Higher retention rates for these students have been shown to result in better graduation rates and overall student success which benefits the institution and the profession. Also, students often seek out programs that are willing to work with them to recognize their past experiences, and award credit for their learning.

    An example might be a female student in her mid-forties who has been a dietary manager for 15 years. For didactic coursework, she could be awarded academic credit for food production courses that she took as a dietary manager. For supervised practice, she may be given credit for her work experiences as a manager of a long-term care foodservice operation.”

    The CUNY SPHHP Dietetic Internship participates in the Prior Assessed Learning program recognized by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ ACEND.

    The Prior Assessed Learning program is designed to grant varying degrees of internship credit in specific rotations of the internship based on the qualified applicant’s learning, as demonstrated through paid work or volunteer experiences. Experiences considered for PAL must meet competencies required by ACEND that are equivalent to an entry-level dietitian. Internship credit is given for learning and gaining knowledge through the work experience of a professional career. The credit is not for work experience, but is given when an applicant demonstrates an increase in knowledge and learning. Typically, the individual qualifying for this credit is an older, “non-traditional” applicant.

    PAL will not be granted as a replacement for any of the didactic portion of the internship.

    Experiences submitted for PAL will have taken place after completion of all DPD courses.

    PAL credit will not exceed 900 hours.

    The tuition and fees for the Internship will remain the same, regardless of the amount of PAL granted.

    Submission of a request for PAL credit does not guarantee that such credit will be awarded, in full or in part as requested.

    Decisions regarding the awarding of PAL credit are at the discretion of the Internship Director.

    Applicants are encouraged to discuss potential PAL experiences with the Internship Director prior to preparing and submitting the application materials.

    Application for PAL credit shall include the following:

    Experiences submitted for PAL evaluation must be classified as: Community Nutrition, Food Service Management, or Medical Nutrition Therapy.

    Projects, reports, presentations, and educational materials produced by the applicant which demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills will be evaluated for PAL credit. Job descriptions, performance evaluations, letters from clients, and so on, can be used as supporting documentation of knowledge and skills, as applicable.

    These supporting materials shall be clearly labeled as to which experience(s) they are applicable. They must be neatly bound in a folder or portfolio cover. Electronic files are also acceptable, but the PAL packet must all be in the same format.

    All materials must be typewritten. Hand-written materials are not acceptable.

    Applicants should indicate which of the 2017 ACEND competencies have been met by each experience submitted for evaluation.

    Application for PAL credit should be submitted to the Internship Director at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the internship term. Applications will be evaluated in a timely manner, and applicants informed of credit awarded (if any) prior to the start of the internship term.

    Additional documentation / clarification of activities must be provided to the NDI Director upon request. Failure to do so in a timely manner may preclude obtaining PAL credit.

    The CUNY GSPHHP NDI application for Prior Assessed Learning Internship Credit is attached below for your information. PAL applications will ONLY be reviewed for applicants already accepted to the Internship. PAL applications must be submitted to the Internship Director at least 6 weeks before the start of orientation.

    PAL application documents can be downloaded from this page below.

    PAL Application and Documentation

    2017 ACEND Core Competencies for Registered Dietitian – Worksheet for PAL

    PAL Summary Sheet

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