Frequently Asked Questions
How many applications do you receive?
The internship application process is competitive but don’t let this stand in the way of applying to the internship you feel is a good fit for you. For the 2016 match we received 79 applications for our regular (local) track and 3 applications for the distance clinical track. We received 90 applications for our regular (local) track and 8 applications for the distance clinical track in 2015, and 74 local and 5 distance in 2014.
What are the class days like?
Classes are held every Monday in the fall and spring semesters. In most cases class is from 9am to 4pm; however there may be some classes that require an earlier start time or a later end time. The majority of classes are held on campus, but a few may be held off site. Classes consist of a variety of different learning activities including: lecture and discussion, group activities, guest speakers, intern presentations, etc. Our fall classes include the Clinical Nutrition Applications class as well as the Educating through the Lifecycle class, where interns will learn about educating different age groups and have the chance to prepare and present short programs. Our spring classes include the Food, Wellness and Social Environment class as well as the Research and Public Policy class.
Is it possible to work while completing the internship?
Full time interns are expected to work 40 hours/week on internship rotations and classes. Additional time is required during some rotations for homework which does not allow much time for an outside job. Interns who would like to work during the internship year usually complete the internship on a part-time basis to allow time for an outside job.
What does it mean to complete the internship full-time and part-time?
Full-time interns will complete 40 hours/week of internship work and classes and are expected to finish the internship in 11 to 12 months. Part-time interns will complete a minimum of 20 hours/week and are expected to finish the program in 12 to 18 months. Interns can choose to complete the program on a full-time, a part-time or a combination basis. Interns must indicate whether they prefer full- or part-time status during the application process. Please note: the clinical rotation requires interns to work 4 days/week.
How are interns scheduled for their rotations?
Intern schedules are individualized. Scheduled rotation assignments will be given to each intern during orientation and updated throughout the internship. The internship staff will set up some rotations/assignments and some will be initiated by the intern themselves. Rotations that are generally set up by internship staff (while taking into consideration each intern’s preferences) include: clinical, food service and the “key” community presentations for various age groups. Elective hours are usually scheduled based on the intern preference sheets collected before interns arrive for orientation.
Interns have the option to schedule their own specialty hours – affiliation agreements are required for placement sites. As the year progresses, some flexibility will be left in each schedule to allow the intern to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Interns are encouraged to be proactive about filling “gaps” in their schedules.
Occasionally a community partner will cancel or postpone a placement or a presentation. Interns will be informed immediately of the change and a comparable experience will be substituted. This may result in temporary gaps in the interns schedule, however internship staff work to assure these are limited.
Interns need to look ahead in their schedules and plan accordingly to make sure enough work is set up for coming weeks. Community rotations may take several weeks or more to prepare for – do not expect to fill in work at the last minute. Any scheduling concerns should be discussed with their internship adviser immediately, so that time will not be wasted. These include scheduling conflicts, too heavy or too light a scheduling load.
If there are any changes or adaptations to site schedules (due to illness or extension of rotation), interns are responsible for notifying their internship adviser. It is the responsibility of the intern to arrange their own coverage at a community site if they have a conflict or need the time off. That replacement must be an intern experienced at the site and/or an intern with equivalent prior experience.
What will my hours be during the day?
The hours you work during the day depends on the rotation. In your clinical rotation, you will work the hours that your preceptor works, and in most cases that is an 8 hour day. Your primary food service rotation will likely be 8 hour days as well. However, you may need to go in early to help with receiving a delivery or you may need to stay late and do an evening shift. In your other rotations (community, specialty and independent study) the hours will vary greatly depending what kinds of projects you’re working on. You can also expect some internship work and homework on the weekends.
How much time will I spend driving to and from rotations?
New Hampshire is a rural state, and many of our practice sites are a distance from Keene so you can expect a good bit of driving. Most interns can expect to drive between 60 and 90 minutes each way to their clinical rotation, which is 60 days long. Similarly, some interns can expect to drive up to an hour each way to their food service rotation, which is approximately 7 weeks long. When we schedule interns for their clinical and food service rotations we take into account driving time, and for those who have a longer drive to clinical we try to schedule a food service site that is closer to Keene. Note: Driving to and from rotations does not count as internship hours.
Do you offer a RD exam review course?
While we do not offer an official RD exam review course, we do other things to help interns prepare for the RD exam. We have a class day set aside to talk about the exam, and we also grant interns access to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics eatright:PREP for the RDN Exam. The prep materials contain more than 900 in-depth questions organized by domain of the CDR’s Registration Examination for Dietitians.
The test is different each time you take it and includes a recap of your test score and the correct and incorrect answers. All questions include a rationale for correct answers. Links to references, Academy Career Development Guide, and more are also included on the eatright:PREP site. Once granted access to the eatright:PREP site, interns will have 90 days to utilize the materials. We do encourage interns to take advantage of review courses and other study materials as well.
What is the dress code?
Interns must dress professionally at all times unless otherwise specified. More detailed information on dress code will be provided in the intern handbook during orientation. When interns are at a rotation site outside of Keene State College, they must follow the dress code of that facility.
Is there anything I can do to prepare for the internship?
Once accepted into the program, interns must complete a series of six clinical homework assignments during the summer prior to the start of the program. These assignments are very comprehensive worksheets covering a number of disease states, and take approximately 30+ hours per packet to complete.
Is there financial aid available?
Financial Aid is available to interns in the form of an alternative student loan. There are two loans available to dietetic interns. The FASFA form is not required. Once interns are accepted they are given the contact information for our KSC financial aid department.
Will I need to do an interview as part of the application process?
Once all applications are received and screened, some applicants will be called to schedule a telephone interview. Interviews are conducted by current interns and are recorded so the selection committee can listen to them when they are reviewing the entire application.
Why do you require a portfolio?
We believe the portfolio is a great marketing tool for an applicant to show us their experiences, strengths, and interests. It helps the selection committee determine whether an applicant is a good fit for the program and allows the intern to show us their creativity. Further details on what we require of intern portfolios is available on the “Application Process” page on this website.
Is their housing available on campus?
There is no housing available on campus, but there are many housing opportunities available in Keene and the surrounding towns. Once accepted into the program, we will provide interns with a list of housing resources and connect you with fellow interns matched with Keene State. We can help steer you in the right direction when looking for housing.
Do I get any graduate credits?
Yes. There are 18 graduate credits awarded for the internship year. Interns receive nine graduate credits each in the fall and spring semester. Three credits each semester are for supervised practice, the others are for internship classes.
What kind of jobs have past KSC dietetic interns gotten?
Our graduates have a wide variety of job options and we believe the self direction and management skills gained during our internship are particularly helpful in finding RD employment. We have former interns who work at clinical sites and long term care, school and college food service management, worksite wellness, Cooperative Extension, Head Start, research, marketing, private practice, fitness organizations, higher education, and more. Graduates have worked with organizations such as Easter Seals, Cabot Creamery, Movable Feast (nutrition services for people with HIV/AIDS), the DASH website, and Early Sprouts (gardening and nutrition education for preschoolers.)
Can I visit the internship?
Yes. Every year we hold at least one in-person open house in the months before applications are due. If you can’t make it to an open house, you may schedule a visit with the internship director.
How can I make my application stand out?
We are most interested in interns who want to do the kind of work we specialize in – community nutrition education, wellness and public health. The ideal applicant’s work, volunteer experience, and personal statement should provide examples of their interest in this area. Thoughtfully chosen and annotated portfolio items can demonstrate this commitment. Like other internships, we consider all aspects of the application, so strong recommendations are important! While we don’t have a GPA cut-off, applicants with lower grades will need to impress us in other ways.
Can I take a vacation during the internship year?
Yes, with prior approval from the internship director. Interns are entitled to two weeks of vacation during the program. Additional vacation time may be requested and granted, but it will postpone the intern’s program completion date. Please note: The days between Christmas and New Years automatically count toward an intern’s two weeks of vacation because regular supervised practice hours are rarely scheduled during this time.
What is the Distance Clinical Option?
Each year we accept 6 interns into the Distance Clinical Track. The intern will locate their own clinical rotation site in their home community or geographic area of their choice. These interns will come to Keene and complete all other internship requirements from Mid-August through May. After Memorial Day, they will return to their home communities to complete the clinical rotation at their previously arranged site. These sites and the clinical preceptors must be submitted with the internship application. The Distance Clinical Track allows us to accept more interns into our program. Our distance clinical interns report positively about the diverse experience the distance clinical track offers. We encourage you to apply!