Dietetic Technician Program – Policies
- Mission and Goals
- Admissions Requirements for Program
- Policies for Program
- Additional Professional Links
Access to the following Westchester Community College Departments is provide below:
- Academic Support Center
In addition to the Academic Support Center, the Science Tutorial is available for specific assistance in Foods, Nutrition and science-related coursework. It is located in the Science Building, Room 219.
- Academic Testing Center
All students admitted to Westchester Community College must undergo a placement test in English, Math and writing to determine course selection.
Policies Specific to the Westchester Community College Dietetic Technician Program
There are specific guidelines for the Dietetic Technician Program curriculum which the student must adhere to in order to remain in the program. The reasons for these guidelines are to satisfy our portion of the contract with the affiliated health care facilities and agencies and to conform to the requirements and competencies set forth by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and ACEND.
Professional Liability Insurance
Students enrolled in Clinical Practicum courses are required to pay malpractice insurance. Cost is $17.00 per academic year. Freshman students will be charged $17.00 for Clinical Practicum I. Senior students enrolled in Clinical Practicum II will be charged $17.00 for Clinical Practicum II and III. When you enroll in Clinical Practicum, a charge will be added to your bill for courses.
See tuition and fees
Liability for Safety in Travel to or From Assigned Areas
Transportation to and from the clinical practicum site is the responsibility of the student (Appendix G). Owners of vehicles are responsible for travel liability for themselves and riders in their car. Students using public transportation assume personal liability for their safety. Information regarding facility location as well as parking will be provided at the beginning of the each semester by the instructor.
Injury or illness while in a Facility for Supervised Practice
Students who are ill should not attend clinical practicum classes. There are two (2) sick/personal/school closure days allowed in Clinical Practicum each semester. Additional absences must be made up by special arrangement. When a student cannot attend Clinical Practicum, he/she should call the instructor and/or the dietary department of the facility to report that he/she will be absent. This call should be made prior to the assigned time to report for duty. If a student misses from one to four days of Clinical Practicum in one semester, and presents a legitimate reason for being absent, make-up for that time can be scheduled. If a student becomes ill while at a Clinical Practicum, they will be asked to leave and the time missed will be recorded.
Criminal Background and Drug Screening
Students in the Dietetic Technician Program and the Foods and Nutrition curriculum may be required to have background (criminal and drug) checks in order to participate at Clinical Practicum sites at their request (Appendix D). Students are responsible for the cost of the tests and ensuring that they are completed before the beginning of the Clinical Practicum course. Failure to pass these checks may interfere with completing the program. Additional information regarding background and drug testing will be provided by the Program Director.
Student Work Responsibilities at Affiliations
While participating in a Clinical Practicum, students will not replace regular employees at facilities.
Filing of a Student Complaint
Filing of a Complaint to ACEND
In the event that an enrolled student has an unresolved complaint against the Program, they are instructed to follow the guidelines outlined in the document, Procedure for Complaints against Accredited Programs.
Prior Learning Experience
A student who has completed the Dietary Manager’s Program of the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals at the college and has passed the national certification exam, and are Certified Dietary Managers (CDM) can be exempt from Introduction to Nutrition Care, a one credit class, and two credits of Clinical Practicum III (the management portion). They will still need to complete 2 credits of Clinical Practicum III (the clinical/community portion). They will be granted those two credits through the register’s office and do not have to take additional coursework.
Formal Assessment of Student Learning
Assessment and evaluation of learning occurs throughout the program in both the didactic and experiential courses.
Students are provided with a syllabus for each Dietetic Technician curriculum course which will detail the components of the assessment portion of the course.
Final course grades will be based on progress towards course objectives and ACEND Foundation Knowledge and Competencies. Some of the evaluation tools used by instructors are tests and final exams, field experience and instructor evaluations, completion of assigned projects and studies, grading rubrics for clinical experiences and evidence of professional behavior.
Students are given “mid-semester” evaluations if they are in jeopardy of receiving a grade lower than a “C” and final grades are posted with the Registrar upon completion of the semester.
To continue taking courses in the program, a student must earn a “C” or better in core nutrition courses. Courses in which a student has earned lower than a ”C” must be repeated and while the student is repeating the course they CANNOT enroll in any additional core nutrition courses. Upon successful completion of the repeated course, by earning a grade of “C” or better, the student can once again enroll in core nutrition courses.
The grading scale used in the Dietetic Technician program is consistent with that used throughout the college.
Student Retention and Remediation Procedures
Students enrolled in the Dietetic Technician program and who are at risk for failing, receive mid-semester “warning notices” (college policy) to apprise them of the situation. They are referred to the Program Director who will advise if the student should continue in the program or pursue a less challenging career path. If students have a GPA of 2.0 or below, they are referred to an Academic Advisor by the Program Director for further support and guidance. When “at risk” students continue to do poorly in the curriculum and do not earn the minimum GPA of 2.0, they are referred to academic counselors who attempt to counsel and advise the student to withdraw from the curriculum, or possibly take a “lighter course load”. If necessary, the student may be placed in remedial courses, so to “prep” them before continuing in the curriculum. Courses such as College Success, Math 194, and Exploring Culinary, may provide an easier transition into the Dietetics curricula and offer the student a successful college experience before “tackling” a more demanding curriculum such as Dietetic Technician.
Program Completion Rate
The Dietetic Technician Program is a 2 year program. If possible, it is strongly encouraged that students complete the program within 3 years.
Uniforms: Students are expected to purchase and wear the designated uniform in clinical practicum courses. Uniforms are to be clean and neatly ironed. An identifying Westchester Community College patch will be issued to each student. The patch should be sewn on the left sleeve. Included as part of the uniform are white, or black shoes, and a name tag. Shoes can be either the traditional white nurses’ shoes or all white/black leather sneakers. Shoes must have a rubber sole and be clean. If necessary, the student can wear a white or blue cardigan sweater (solid color). No other type of sweater will be permitted. Sweaters should be clean and free of all fuzz and hair. See Dietetic Technician Student Handbook for additional information.
Wear the designated jacket with patch over a shirt and trousers. Jeans and t-shirts are not acceptable. A tie is required.
Should not touch the collar. Students who have long hair must pin it up neatly off the collar or wear a hair net. Hair preparations must be attended to before the time that field experience is scheduled to begin. A hair net must be worn in the food preparation areas.
Students in uniform will be permitted to wear only the following jewelry:wrist watch, simple hand ring and simple small earrings one in each ear lobe (no hoops, no dangling earrings, no necklaces, and no bracelets). No visible body piercings or tattoos are allowed.
May not be worn in the food preparation areas. When working in the clinical area, clear or pale pink nail polish may be worn. Bright colors, acrylics, and/or extensions and decorative nails may NOT be worn.
Ethics of the Health Care Team
The safety and well-being of the patient always come first. The responsibility of the health team involves not only cooperation within the team, but also loyalty to the whole medical profession, loyalty to the hospital, and loyalty to the patients. It is in extremely poor taste and ethically wrong, for example, for a student to criticize a dietitian, nurse, instructor, or other health care professional. Discussion of hospital, professional, or personal problems should not be done in front of patients or the public. This policy, however, does not infer that the hospital or health care team is without error. If a student has a legitimate complaint, he/she should discuss it with the instructor. Student grievance procedure is outlined in the Handbook, and on the WCC website under Discrimination Complaints Procedures.
Address patients and hospital personnel as Miss, Ms., Mrs., or Mr., with last name, or other appropriate titles. Identify yourself with first and last name. Deviation of this policy will be permitted to conform to the policy of the individual facility.
Respect and care for the patient must be evidenced in all contacts with patients. To comply with HIPAA standards, information regarding any patient must not be divulged in any manner to anyone other than their instructor or a designated member of the health care team. The student may read only the chart(s) of patients assigned to him/her or a classmate and only on the day assigned; exceptions to this rule by permission of the instructor only.
In writing Patient Care Worksheets to be submitted to the instructor, use only the initials of the patient, not the full name.
General Student Policies
- Transportation to and from the Clinical Practicum affiliates is the responsibility of the student. Owners of vehicles are responsible for travel liability for themselves and riders in their car. Students using public transportation assume personal liability for their safety. Information regarding location of affiliates and details regarding parking are provided at the beginning of each clinical semester by the instructor.
- Uniforms should be worn only to, from and at the Clinical Practicum site. Exceptions to this only by permission of the instructor.
- Students are expected to follow appropriate lines of authority. Report problems/ progress to instructor. Under special circumstances, students may report directly to facility dietitian or other member of the health care team, as directed by the instructor.
- Use of facility phone is not allowed. Personal cell phones are often banned in health care facilities as they interfere with equipment. (Exceptions with permission of the instructor.)
- Students are not to give any oral instructions or written material (either published or written by the student) to the patient unless it is approved by the instructor or designated dietitian.
- Students are allowed 30 minutes for lunch and are to go to lunch at a designated time. Coffee breaks are not generally allowed; but, if given, should not exceed 15 minutes. If a student must leave his/her assigned area, the student should tell the instructor or another student where he/she is going.
- Regardless of smoking or eating habits of hospital personnel, students are to smoke and eat
- Students are to leave their coats, sweaters, handbags, and other non-valuable items in a designated area. Valuables, such as money, jewelry, etc., should be carried in pockets. Handbags, coats, and book bags cannot be taken to the nurses’ stations in the facilities.
- No student will be allowed to function independently until he or she has demonstrated competence to the satisfaction of the instructor.
- Students must maintain the AND Code of Ethics the SOP, and the SOPP.
- Universal Precautions Observed
- Students must leave the room when blood is being drawn from patients/clients.
- Using proper technique, wash hands at beginning, end, and frequently during clinical practicum.
- Do not enter rooms marked, “Isolation” unless you have permission from instructor. Follow facility rules concerning isolation procedures. This may include wearing a full mask and gown.
Students must adhere to all policies, procedures, rules and regulations of the facility to which they are assigned, as well as to any additional instructions given by the instructor. Failure to comply with this, could lead to the dismissal of the student from the facility, which might lead to the student’s dismissal from the program.
For further information regarding disciplinary actions click here.
Program Completion – Information on the Verification Statement
The signed verification statement documents that an individual has completed the requirements of a dietetics education program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). It is essential to the ACEND dietetics education, CDR registration eligibility and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics membership processes as follows:
- To establish eligibility to write the registration examination for dietetic technician, a verification statement is required by the Commission on Dietetic Registration upon completion of the Dietetic Technician Program to indicate completion of academic or supervised practice requirements for eligibility to write the registration examination.
- To establish eligibility for Academy membership
- A Verification Statement is required when applying for Academy Active membership.
- Dietetic Technician students who successfully complete the Dietetic Technician Program by achieving the program goals, abiding by the program policies, and reaching the expected level of competence for dietetics practice will receive a Registration Eligibility Application Name/Address Verification Form and instructions by the Program Director. Once completed, the Program Director will forward the Computerized Registration Eligibility Application Software to CDR completed. At graduation, students will be provided at least six (6) Supervised Practice Verification Statement Forms. Original Verification Statements may be required for ADA Membership Associate Active member transfer status, licensure and employment. Students should retain a copy.
4-Semester Plan – Guide for Course Selection
Students enrolled in the Dietetic Technician program are advised to adhere to the 4 Semester Plan which outlines course schedules for the two year program. The courses should be taken in sequence as Core Nutrition courses and Clinical Practicum courses are only offered in the fall and spring semesters.
Core course requirements and required Nutrition courses to complete the 65 credit Dietetic Technician degree and course descriptions are listed in the course catalog.