Learning During a Pandemic = Experiential Learning NEED
- Our current need is to fund 11 licenses for student access to ThinkSpace. ThinkSpace is an active learning and problem-solving technology platform with a set of teaching tools designed to help students decipher complex problems they eventually will confront in the workplace. ($40 each = $440)
- Our current need is to fund 11 licenses for Nutrition Care Professionals case studies. This virtual approach, offers students, the opportunity to analyze the circumstances of the case as described by the patient and then draw on the evidence base to treat the condition in a simulation environment. ($120 each = $1320)
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP:
Our program needs additional funding to support the individual project needs and simulation experiential learning platforms. The nutrition focused experiential learning option platforms are not as readily available as other disciplines and are often expensive; one platform will not provide the entire 400 hours needed, so we must piece it together to add up. Please consider the donation scale to fund an intern for the various platforms.
For more information, please read the full justification below:
ABOUT OUR DIETETIC INTERNSHIP PROGRAM:
The Fresno State, Dietetic Internship (DI) program graduated it first class of dietetic interns, over twenty years ago; serving a need for post-baccalaureate supervised practice education for students who desire to be Registered Dietitian (RD) / Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). As of September 21, 2020, there are only 11,161 Dietitians serving California for a population estimate, of almost 40 million people (2020). This is a Severe Health Professional Shortage! The pandemic adds new layers, with Dietitians designated as Essential Workers, yet the clinical placement guidelines are not allowing for the student/interns required supervised practice hours needed to become a dietitians in many settings. While we have transformed and adapted our program, our university did receive CARES Act funding to help with the transitions to online and simulation laboratory experience for our students, but our program was only allowed a very small amount. We need your support to help fund the necessary experiential and simulation learning experiences. If we can not raise money, we will be forced to pass this cost on-to our students. I plead for your help in spreading the word and consider a donation to support a dietetic interns experiential learning prospects.
OVERALL PROGRAM GOALS:
Dietitians are experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease. The DI program's mission is to provide future RD/RDN's experiential hands-on supervised practice with a concentration on culturally competent health promotion and disease prevention in a variety of dietetic settings within the Central Valley. Please get involved today by donating and/or sharing about our unique program.
The Dietetic Internship (DI) program has two main goals:
- To provide guidance and leadership for dietetic intern graduates through an ACEND accredited program with a concentration in culturally competent health promotion and disease prevention.
- At completion, graduates will be adept for practice as entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) and prepared to activity address the evolving health needs of Fresno County, Fresno metropolitan areas and the Central San Joaquin Valley.
Our graduates work with preceptor affiliate agencies and spend their time completing 1,000 practice hours in acute care hospitals, clinics, sports nutrition, schools, governmental agencies (WIC, CalFresh, Veterans etc.), and a prison. With the "new normal" these students now expected to spend up to 400 hours completing simulation experiential learning, due to the shortage of preceptor affiliate agencies and their guidelines. These simulations help provide nutrition education, meal planning, food budgeting, clinical interventions such as weight loss, quantity food production, food safety and improved overall health outcomes for many disease states.
OUTCOMES AND IMPACT OF OUR PROGRAM:
In May 2020, our program graduated its 221st dietetic intern under pandemic conditions. Eleven interns graduated and are preparing to enter the workforce as essential workers. In August 2020, we welcomed 11 new dietetic interns ready to face the challenge of learning in unprecedented times. In addition to the importance of nutrition during a pandemic, our community is home too many chronic diseases and health disparities such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disorders, where dietitians are vital to the success of fighting those disparities. Our program over the last four years can report that 74% of our graduates maintain employment in the Fresno metropolitan area and/or Central San Joaquin Valley. When interns come to our program, they stay and find work with our local community.