Policies and Procedures in the DPD

Credit for Prior Learning:

Transfer of coursework credit from other universities to fulfill degree requirements follows the policy of Cornell University. See the Courses of Study catalog for more information. To individualize didactic experiences for current students who come with prior coursework and/or experiential learning, it is the policy of the Cornell University Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) to acknowledge appropriate substitutions where indicated. Substitutions are assessed by the DPD director who will consider each case on an individual basis. Requests must be submitted with ample lead time to fully assess the adequacy of the proposed substitution. Substitutions are reserved for students in unique and/or unusual situations (e.g. returning students, students completing studies off-campus, students seeking a Verification Statement post-graduation) and are not intended as a typical replacement of the DPD minimum academic requirements. In most instances substitutions will not be granted academic credit and substitutions will not show up on transcripts; students must fulfill requirements for their major.

Students seeking a course substitution will contact the DPD director a minimum of two months in advance of the start of the required course. Students will be required to submit proof of prior coursework and/or proof of experiential learning as deemed appropriate by the DPD director.

The DPD director will review submitted information and assess it for evidence of fulfilled knowledge requirements and learning outcomes. If partial fulfillment is determined, additional activities to completely fulfill requirements and learning outcomes may be proposed by the DPD director and used in combination to completely fulfill requirements.

If the substitution is approved, the DPD director will complete and sign a "Courses Substituted to Meet Didactic Program in Dietetics" form. This form will be kept in the student's DPD file as proof of completion and referred to as needed during the transcript evaluation process for issuing a Verification Statement. The student will also be notified of the decision.

For students applying to supervised practice programs, the course being substituted for should be listed on the DPD Course List page of the supervised practice application. Under the grade column, list a "P" for "passed" and leave this course out of the GPA calculation for the DPD. If the course is substituted with a course from another institution, then that institution name, course name and number, number of credits and grade should be listed on the DPD Course List page. Details and approval of the substitution will be recorded on the "Courses Substituted to Meet Didactic Program in Dietetics" form and kept in the student's DPD file.

Issuance of Verification Statements:

Upon successful completion of the program, each student will be issued eight Verification Statements signed by the DPD director. The Verification Statement is proof of completion of the Didactic Program in Dietetics. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that transcripts for all DPD and degree course work is submitted to the Dietetics Office. Verification Statements are kept on file indefinitely.

Cornell students seeking a Verification Statement must request an official transcript with date degree conferred from the University registrar. The transcript shall be sent to the Dietetics office.

The DPD director and dietetics staff will review the transcript to ensure successful completion of required DPD coursework. ACEND's Verification Statement form will then be completed, embossed with the DNS seal and signed in blue ink by the Didactic Program in Dietetics director.

An original, signed Verification Statement will be mailed to the Dietetic Internship accepting each student, as appropriate. An original, signed Verification Statement will also be kept on file for all students completing the dietetics program. Additionally, each student will be mailed six original statements for personal use (e.g. for licensure application, future internship applications, Academy membership, employers, etc.).

For a Verification Statement to be issued from Cornell University, a minimum of a baccalaureate degree and all DPD minimum academic requirements must be met. In addition, a minimum of 21 credits under the Professional Sciences requirement must be completed at Cornell. Alternatively, a Cornell University graduate student may be issued a Verification Statement by Cornell if dietetics requirements are completed while that student is a graduate student at Cornell University. In either case, transcripts and course syllabi for dietetics coursework taken outside of Cornell must be provided by the student in order to complete the transcript evaluation process (see policy on "Credit for Prior Learning").

In extraordinary situations, Cornell DNS graduate students may be granted course credit toward a Verification Statement for a course where they served as a teaching assistant. In this situation, the instructor for the course must complete a summary of the course description, content covered, credit equivalent and whether the course was successfully completed. The summary will then be sent to the DPD director to determine if the necessary foundation knowledge and skills were successfully addressed by the student.

Program Complaints:

Complaints or concerns about the program should be discussed with the DPD director. Grievances should be directed to the Division of Nutritional Sciences director. If a complaint is not resolved, a grievance shall be directed to the associate dean for academic affairs of the student's college (Human Ecology, Agriculture and Life Sciences or Arts and Sciences). If that complaint fails to be resolved, a formal program complaint may be issued to ACEND (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995; ph. 312-899-0040 ext. 5400). The student will not suffer retaliation for issuing a complaint or grievance.

Contact us at dpd@cornell.edu