Didactics Program in Dietetics Mission, Goals, Objectives and Outcomes
The Cornell DPD program produces graduates with critical thinking skills and prepares graduates for evidence-based supervised practice, leading to eligibility for the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) credentialing exam to become registered dietitians/registered dietitian nutritionists and for leadership in their career in nutrition and dietetics. To accomplish this, the DPD at Cornell has established two overarching program goals.
1. Graduates will be capable of integrating knowledge and theory in nutritional sciences and exhibit skills necessary for competent supervised practice and for careers in nutrition.
Objectives to support goal 1:
Over a five-year period, graduates will rate the preparation received in the program, on average, as "satisfactory" or better;
Over a five-year period, alumni will rate the preparation received in the program, on average, as "satisfactory" or better; and
Over a five-year period, program directors and employers will rate the preparation of our students, on average, as "satisfactory" or better.
2. Graduates will have critical-thinking skills necessary for supervised evidence-based practice, for leadership development and for graduate study.
Objectives to support goal 2:
The program's one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 90%.
At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within three years (150% of the program length).
75% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
80% of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
Over a five-year period, 50% of students not applying to or accepted into supervised practice programs who do not plan to take the DTR exam or seek employment the year they complete the DPD will gain acceptance into graduate school and/or apply/re-apply to supervised practice programs within 12 months of graduation.
Over a five-year period, 50% of students not applying to or accepted into supervised practice programs who do not plan to attend graduate school or apply/re-apply to supervised practice programs the year they complete the DPD will secure employment in nutrition and/or take the DTR examination.
Over a five-year period, at least 15% of graduates will identify professional leadership roles they are engaged in.
Cornell DPD Outcomes
Admission to supervised practice programs is competitive. Students with a strong GPA, relevant work/volunteer experiences and letters of support often do well in placing to their top choice of supervised practice programs. The Cornell DPD currently graduates approximately 20-30 students per year. Of students who apply to supervised practice programs the year they complete the program, approximately 90% are accepted (vs. national rate of 50%). Graduates of the Cornell DPD may also pursue graduate studies either with or prior to supervised practice.
Our graduates are highly successful and well-prepared for evidence-based practice, leadership and graduate study. Placement rates of our graduates in dietetic internships and graduate schools are 95% and better. Feedback from our graduates, program directors and employers indicates satisfaction with knowledge and skills developed through the program. The passing rate of our graduates taking the Registration Examination for Dietitians for the first time is 99% (five-year average).
The success of the DPD at Cornell is measured using outcomes related to program goals. A full report of outcomes is available upon request.