Prior Learning Assessment of Professional Competence to Waive Practicum Course Requirements

Do you have extensive learning and professional competence acquired outside the academic setting? If yes, check out our Waiver for Practical Experience.

Program Description

The Russell Sage College Dietetic Internship program recognizes that learning not only occurs in the structured academic classroom, but significant learning also occurs through work responsibilities, community services activities, employer or armed service training, and disciplined programs of self-education. Additionally, The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) no longer requires the Dietetic Internship (DI) be the sole source of experiential learning to qualify for the registered dietitian examination. ACEND now allows programs the flexibility to modify supervised experiences for individuals with extensive learning and professional competence acquired outside the academic setting.

The Russell Sage College Dietetic Internship program has determined an effective process to assess and validate professional competence, which fits meaningfully into our program requirements. The Russell Sage College Dietetic Internship Assessment of Professional Competence process provides limited waivers for supervised practical experience, recognizing applicable learning achievements of students.


The Russell Sage College School of Health Sciences Dietetic Internship program participates in the “Assessment of Prior Learning” recognized by ACEND. Dietetic interns may apply for credit towards supervised practice hours gained from a paid full-time position of at least six months after successful completion of a ACEND-accredited didactic program in dietetics (DPD).

Policy Standards

  1. Interns are required to complete a minimum of 1000 supervised practicum hours
  2. Hours must meet the defined ACEND learning outcomes and competencies
  3. All tuition and fees for the Dietetic Internship program will remain the same regardless of prior learning credit awarded.
  4. Graduation date will not change regardless of prior learning credit awarded
  5. Intern must complete all associated graduate courses, regardless of prior learning credits awarded
  6. No prior learning credit will be awarded towards the Clinical Practicum Supervised Practice Hours
  7. Students requesting Assessment of Prior Learning must pay a $50 evaluation fee


  1. Intern will contact the program director by phone or email after acceptance into the Russell Sage College Dietetic Internship program to request an assessment of prior learning. If request is verbally approved, intern will submit “Prior Learning Portfolio” by June 1.
  2. Program Director will direct the intern to the Prior Learning Portfolio Guidebook
  3. Interns applying for credit towards supervised practice hours must submit a complete “Prior Learning Portfolio,” by mail or email to the DI Director by June 1.

Michelle Guy, MS, RDN, CDN
Nutrition Science Department
Russell Sage College
65 First Street
Troy, NY 12180-4199

The Prior Learning Portfolio must include the following:

  1. Completed Prior Learning Portfolio Form
  2. Documentation to support that each competency was met (i.e. job description, performance review, samples of projects, reports, presentations, and professional practice that demonstrates advance knowledge and skill in dietetics, etc.).
  3. Completed RSC DI Performance Evaluation for applicable rotation – must be completed by immediate supervisor
  4. $50 Evaluation Fee (make checks out to Russell Sage College).

Eligibility & Criteria for Candidates

  1. Completion of a minimum of a baccalaureate degree and verification statement from an ACEND-accredited program.
  2. Must be accepted in the Russell Sage College Dietetic Internship
  3. Completed 6-months of experience in community nutrition or food service management

The program director will review the prior learning application process with interested prospective and incoming interns. Please contact the Dietetic Internship program director to schedule an appointment to review the process.