First, review the program’s website at www.cgc.maricopa.edu/nutrition or www.paradisevalley.edu/nutrition and complete the Student Interest Form. Review the New Student Orientation Checklist, Advisement Checklist and Student Manual. You will be contacted by Susan Gaumont, MS, RDN, (480.732.7142, email@example.com), CGCC Program Director, or a Nutrition Program Advisor at PVCC to answer questions about the Diet Tech Program, help you plan out your semester schedule, and to provide guidance on your new career path to become a dietetics professional. This will help assure you a place in the scheduling of future practicum classes.
The Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) is prepared to play a key role in providing quality, cost-effective client care and food service management in a variety of employment settings. Job responsibilities may include patient counseling and education in basic and therapeutic nutrition, medical record documentation, health promotion and disease prevention, menu development, and supervisory and administrative skills related to nutrition services and institutional food production.
DTRs are an integral part of health care and food service management teams, working independently or in partnership with Registered Dietitians (RD's). DTRs may also choose to work in public health and community educations programs, such as those sponsored by the Arizona Department of Health Services, or as business entrepreneurs. DTRs have many career options including:
- Clinical: Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, retirement centers, home health care programs, and research facilities.
- Food Service: Schools, daycare centers, correctional facilities, restaurants, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.
- Community and Public Health: WIC programs, public health agencies, and community health programs.
- Wellness: Health clubs, weight management clinics, and community wellness centers.
- Business: Food companies, food vendors, and food distributors.
- Education: Community college, worksite wellness education.
Yes, the program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), www.eatright.org.
There are no prerequisites or an application process for entry into the program. It is recommended that students set up a meeting with a general PVCC advisor, as well as a Nutrition Program Advisor (see contact information above). This should be done prior to enrolling in the program’s courses.
Core and required courses from other four-year colleges/universities may transfer directly into the program. To determine which courses will transfer and/or count as “credit by evaluation,” a Transcript Evaluation Form must be submitted and reviewed by the PVCC or CGCC Office of Admissions (A&R). Then, an appointment should be made with an A&R Technician and with a Nutrition Program Advisor (i.e. the designated Nutrition Faculty or Program Director from the campus attended).
Students who have completed B.S. degree in Dietetics from an accredited program by ACEND are eligible to become a DTR. For more information, contact the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) to apply for the DTR exam. Graduates will need to provide a Verification Statement to CDR to verify they have earned their four year degree from an accredited program. Verification Statements are administered to students by the program director from their 4 year degree program upon successfully completing an accredited dietetics program (see your program director from the 4 year degree program you attended if you did not receive copies of a Verification Statement).
No, you can complete the program as a part-time student. Classes may be offered in a variety of formats (in-person and online) and a variety of days/times during day and/or evening classes to try to accommodate student needs. It is important to note, however, that some classes in the DT Consortium Program are only offered one semester per year. A Nutrition Program Advisor can help you plan out a semester by semester schedule.
Many of the DT courses transfer into Arizona State University’s (ASU) Dietetics program, as well as into some online Dietetics programs. This is of benefit to those students wishing to pursue a four-year dietetics degree and a RD internship. Students are advised to contact a Program Advisor at the four-year college/university they would like to attend.
Students can complete the degree in two years, or less, if transferring credits from other colleges/universities. However, some students prefer to take longer than two years due to work and/or family commitments, and may enroll in fewer classes each semester. (Note: The Dietetic Technology Consortium Program is a two-year Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree).
Once the student has successfully completed the degree, they must pass a written national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) to be granted the nationally recognized credential of Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR).
It is recommended that students do not take a semester off, but sometimes a break cannot be avoided. It is recommended that a student take at least a .5 credit course to remain within the same catalog year (i.e. keep within the same curriculum regardless of whether or not changes are made to the program). If students do not take at least a .5 credit course during fall and/or spring semesters, they must meet the requirements of the catalog (i.e. program’s curriculum) in effect at the time of their return.
In order to be eligible to become a DTR, certain academic and supervised practice competencies must be met. Competencies to be met in the practicum lab courses are outlined by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). You will work on meeting the competency requirements during each practicum. There are three practicum lab courses: Food-service Management during the fall semester, Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) in the spring semester and Community Nutrition during the summer semester. Students must complete a minimum of 466 total hours of practicum experience, 166.5 hours for Food-service Management, 166.5 hours for MNT and 133 hours for Community Nutrition. These hours are accomplished at sites in the Phoenix metropolitan area during normal business hours under the supervision of nutrition practitioners. Each practicum lab course also has a concurrent lecture course that you must enroll which meets one time per week.
For both the MNT and Food-service Management practicum courses, students are typically placed with health care organizations such as local hospitals, long term care or assisted living centers and/or schools. The Community Nutrition practicum takes place in public health agencies or community health programs. The sites are primarily located in the Phoenix metropolitan area and Southeast Valley.
We work together in placing you at a site that is appropriate for you. You will be responsible for contacting the preceptor and scheduling your own hours.
DTRs can work in a variety of settings. Many choose to work in health care as clinical DTRs screening and assessing patients while working closely with RD's. Others have been successful in food-service settings working as supervisors or managers at health care organizations, schools, contract food-service companies and elsewhere. DTRs can also choose to work in a community education programs. Many DTRs are entrepreneurial and work in private practice or private business.
You can go to the website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics www.eatright.org click on Become an RD/DTR, Career Center or to the CGCC Career Services website at http://my.maricopa.edu/preparing/match-careers-your-major, click on Healthcare, Nutrition.
Look under “Employment Opportunities” at www.paradisevalley.edu/nutrition for current and local job opportunities.
Salary ranges for DTRs depend upon the dietetic practice area, place of employment, and level of responsibility of one’s job. Compensation and salary data may be accessed at www.eatright.org, and in the Careers Services website at http://my.maricopa.edu/preparing/match-careers-your-major, click on Healthcare, Nutrition.
The job market for DTRs is assumed to be similar to that for registered dietitians. The job outlook is expected to improve because of increased emphasis on disease prevention, a growing and aging population and increased public interest in nutrition. Employment in hospitals is expected to show little change because of anticipated slow growth and reduced lengths of hospital stay; however, faster growth is anticipated in nursing homes, residential care facilities and physician clinics.