The Western Carolina Dietetic Internship Program participates in the Prior Assessed
Learning (PAL) program recognized by the Accreditation Council for Education and Dietetics
Education (ACEND). This program is designed to grant internship credit in specific
supervised practice rotations of the internship based on the dietetic intern's previous
work, volunteer, achievement, or graduate education. Typically, the individual qualifying
for this credit is a, "non-traditional student" applicant.
Please read this information in its entirety. While you may have plenty of work or
life experiences, keep in mind that you must be able to demonstrate or prove that
what you claim to have learned or achieved meets the 2012 ACEND Knowledge Competencies for the Registered Dietitian. PAL credit is not given simply for experience or college coursework.
The DI Program Director will review all submitted forms and determine if any PAL credit
will be given. The DI Director reserves the right to contact you for additional documentation
and clarification as deemed appropriate. If you receive credit, you may be excused
from the supervised practice requirements for up to 4 weeks of Food Service, up to
4 weeks of Community Nutrition, and/or up to3 weeks of Clinical Nutrition. Maximum
rotation time credited to PAL may not exceed 6 weeks. Specific projects and assignments
will be determined by the DI Program Director based on your demonstrated knowledge
WCU DI PAL Policy
Guidelines for Assessing Dietetic Intern's Prior Learning
The Dietetic Intern Will:
- Identify dietetic internship supervised practice rotations for which assessment of
prior learning is requested.
- Provide documentation in the form of a PAL Application Packet which supports:
- Analysis of actual learning.
- Actual learning with the competencies identified by the American Dietetic Association
(ADA) necessary to be exhibited by entry-level dietitians.
- Complete all requirements in the PAL Application Packet. The ADA educational competencies
for specific rotations in this program will be provided on each supervised practice
rotation form and the intern must adequately show/demonstrate advanced knowledge and
skill, not just work history.
- Provide samples of projects, reports, presentations, and professional practice that
demonstrate advanced knowledge and skill in the area of dietetics for which assessment
of prior learning is requested.
- Understand the credit is granted only for learning, not for experience.
- Understand that tuition and fees for the internship remain the same regardless of
the amount of PAL credit awarded.
- Retain copies of all materials for personal files.
- Submit completed PAL Application Packet to the dietetic internship director by deadline.
Dietetic Internship Program Director or designee will:
- Evaluate submitted information in a timely manner.
- Request additional documentation or clarification as deemed appropriate.
- Formulate decision related to assessment of individual intern's prior learning based
on evaluation of the portfolio provided and any verification of information provided
as deemed appropriate.
Instructions for Completing Prior Assessed Learning (PAL) Application Packet
All materials must be word processed. Please submit the completed forms electronically
to the DI Program Director. Resume and completed PAL forms are evaluated to determine
eligibility for PAL credit. Credit is granted only for learning, not for experience.
The resume is a brief description of educational, employment, volunteer and military
background and serves as an introduction to the assessor. Maximum resume length is
PAL Form 1: Prior Assessed Learning Application
Identify your work experiences, volunteer positions and graduate coursework which
provide you with advanced knowledge and skills. Add additional information tables
PAL Forms, 2, 3, and 4
- Select the rotation forms for which you wish to apply PAL (PAL Form 2: Food Service
Rotation, PAL Form 3: Community Nutrition, PAL Form 4: Clinical Nutrition.) Complete
only the form of the rotation(s) for which you wish to apply for PAL.
- Column B "Describe Experiences": This is your opportunity to describe the experiences
from which your learning is derived.
- Column C "Describe Skills/Knowledge Learned": Use this column to document the learning
that occurred. Identify learning and knowledge gained clearly and succinctly. Reference
supporting information/documentation for evaluation that is related to the competency
in the appendix.
Preparation Tips (as applicable):
- Include scenarios and reflection of staff responsibilities.
- Describe how your responsibilities have increased as you continued in your career
- Describe how your responsibilities have built on one another
- Share examples of client education you have created/conducted
- Share examples of staff training you have created and conducted
- Describe projects or labs or assignments you complete as part of your graduate coursework
The appendix includes documentation or evidence of prior assessed learning experiences.
Provide samples of projects, reports, presentations, and professional practice that
demonstrate advanced knowledge and skill in the area of dietetics for which PAL assessment
Examples of Evidence:
- Projects, reports, and so on that you may have completed or worked on.
- Letters from employer, clients, business partners, coworkers, and so on, documenting
your skills and knowledge necessary to complete tasks/assignments.
- Official forms or records such as records of promotions or performance evaluations.
- Job descriptions, task analyses, job classifications.
- Copies of licenses, certificates, diplomas, record of completed workshops or non-credit