Selection of Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) Sites: Facilities where Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) hours are completed are selected using specific criteria established by the MSND Program Director and Clinical Coordinator, and evaluated on a yearly basis. SSEL Sites/Facilities and Preceptors are evaluated upon the completion of each SEL rotation by the Student and Clinical Coordinator.

The site/preceptor must meet the following criteria:

  • A desire to be a preceptor to a student and be committed to overseeing the required Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL).
  • Maintenance of current credentials for the profession (i.e., RDN, MD, PharmD, DO, LCSW, etc)
  • Provision of experiences that meet the required competencies.
  • Adequate staffing to provide a positive learning experience for the student, including proper supervision and instruction by the preceptor(s).
  • Adequate time, supervision and instruction for projects to be completed.
  • Completion of a fully-executed affiliation agreement with the facility.

It is the student’s responsibility to locate SEL sites and preceptors in the geographic location in which they desire to complete the SEL, however, the MSND Program Clinical Coordinator is available for guidance throughout this process, and can aid students in identifying appropriate sites and preceptors. It will be important to be flexible, and research the geographic location the student wishes to complete the SEL. If it is in an area that is saturated with other nutrition and dietetics students, you may need to consider other nearby sites in areas that are less likely to receive SEL requests. Students may need to consider dividing SEL hours between a few different facilities, or offer to complete SEL hours on the weekends if the site can accommodate them.

Supervised Experiential Learning sites are mandatory to provide experiences for demonstration of attainment of competencies required to be a qualified entry level registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Placement of students in SEL is for educational purposes. Students will not to be used to replace facility employees and will require preceptor supervision throughout the experience.

The Clinical Coordinator will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RWPE SEL site and Preceptor prior to initiating an affiliation agreement and student placement for the rotation. Students and Clinical Coordinator will evaluate both the Preceptor and RWPE SEL Site / Facility upon conclusion of the RWPE SEL rotation, and these evaluations will be stored along with the completed, signed affiliation agreements, which will be maintained in a password-protected shared folder (King’s College MS Outlook, Sharepoint). The compiled list of all accepted affiliation agreements and Preceptor and Facility Evaluations will be maintained by the Clinical Coordinator in a password-protected shared folder for future reference.

Affiliation agreements will be required for all facilities where students are participating in SEL activities that allow students to demonstrate achievement of competencies. Facilities that can provide the appropriate breadth of experiences, opportunities for students to achieve required competencies, and qualified preceptors will be approved by the Clinical Coordinator for the MSND Future Graduate Program. The affiliation agreement must be in place before students start their SEL. If there are changes needed during a negotiation of the affiliation agreements between King’s College and the facility, this process can take 1 to 6 months to complete. Written affiliation agreements are required between the student’s supervised experiential learning facilities and KING’S COLLEGE prior to the beginning of the student participation in SEL at the facility. This means, prior to the start of ND 615 (Year 1, Summer term), ND 616 (Year 2, Fall term), and ND 617 (Year 2, Spring term). KING’S COLLEGE will provide prospective and current students seeking SEL hours with a pre- approved affiliation agreement to have signed by approved SEL sites for required SEL rotations. Occasionally some facilities prefer to use their own version of an agreement, in that case the legal counsel of KING’S COLLEGE and the facility will work together to find mutually acceptable language if possible. Affiliation agreements must be completed between KING’S COLLEGE legal counsel and the practice site/facility prior to the student participation in SEL activities.

Prior to applying to the MSND, students do not need to have SEL lined up, but it is advised that a plan of action be in place to obtain SEL upon acceptance into the Program. It is strongly recommended that at least six months before the SEL experience begins, students should reach out to potential supervised practice learning sites in their communities and start making connections. An updated resume and cover letter describing their interests, skill sets, a brief description of the requirements (final products, a defined preceptor, etc.), and the types of opportunities desired (clinical, community, food service, management) should be created. It is recommended that the students begin this search at least 6 months in advance as this process can be time consuming and it will likely take time to arrange the SEL sites.

Procedure for Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) Sites

Finding SEL sites, prospective and matriculated students:

While King’s College Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (MSND) students are admitted from all over the US, many of our applicants may be from the tri-state area (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; New Jersey; New York), and it may be anticipated that there will be significant overlap in students trying to find SEL sites in regard to geographical location. Thus, there is a possibility that students may experience challenges locating appropriate preceptors in pursuit of admission and/or continuation in the MSND program, however, the MSND Program Clinical Coordinator is available for guidance throughout this process, and can aid students in identifying appropriate sites and preceptors.

The MSND program has structures in place to assist both prospective and matriculated students in securing SEL sites, including a database (EXXAT) that students can use to help locate sites in their area; this database includes pertinent sites (i.e. hospitals, clinics, outpatient practice centers) with previous affiliation agreements from other King’s College SEL-required programs such as the Masters of Science in Athletic Training and Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies programs, as well as sites with previous regional affiliation agreements with the on campus Nursing Program. This database will be maintained to include additional sites that MSND students have utilized successfully as that information becomes available. The database will be kept up to date by the MSND Clinical Coordinator, under the guidance of the MSND Program Director. The MSND program is also currently working with, and will pursue ongoing contact in support of, SEL opportunities at national and regional sites such as the VA system, WIC and Highmark Health, and will provide regional contact information to prospective and matriculated students who experience challenges locating adequate sites at which to complete their SEL hours.

Matriculated students are required to join the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics upon enrollment in their first course, which will allow them to access the list of ACEND preceptors via the ‘Find A Preceptor’ tool on the Academy website. The students will be monitored closely and continuously throughout the program to ensure that the academic experience is only slightly impacted if attaining sites proves challenging.

The MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director will be actively involved with prospective students that have met the pre-requisite requirements for admission and are at the stage of the application process where they are required to acquire sites and preceptors, as well as affiliation agreements, for program admission.

While the student is responsible for finding and securing their own SEL sites, the program will provide suggestions to support all students as they work to locate acceptable sites to achieve their SEL requirements. The program does not require students to move temporarily to accept a site. The program does not require travel at any point to Wilkes-Barre, PA for SEL sites. The program has created databases of potential regional contacts for each state to support students as they work to locate and secure SEL sites.

While the student is responsible for finding and securing their own SEL sites, the MSND Program Clinical Coordinator is available for guidance throughout this process, and can aid students in identifying appropriate sites and preceptors. In all cases the student will be supported to the extent possible by the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director to identify potential SEL sites and negotiate successful affiliation agreements with these sites, however it remains the student’s responsibility to locate appropriate sites. In the event that the student is not able to find suitable sites, the following procedures will be adhered to.

If a student has challenges as addressed above, possible alternatives to support the student in completing the required SEL include:

  • approval of alternate learning experiences that allow for assessment of attainment of the specified competencies (this option would adhere to current ACEND guidance regarding alternate SEL experiences, and would not exceed the amount allowed by ACEND)
  • approval of off-schedule SEL hours to offset a disruption, for instance completing 20 hours in one week or completing hours during the evening or on weekends
  • completing hours at telehealth sites, or other actual SEL sites that offer remote options to attain required competencies

Students may need to consider dividing clinical hours between a few different facilities or offer to complete SEL hours on the weekends or evenings to complete SEL requirements. The Clinical Coordinator of the MSND will help as much as possible, but the student is responsible for finding all SEL sites and preceptors in a geographic location suitable to the student if SEL hours are disrupted.

Matriculated students that experience an unexpected disruption to their SEL schedule:

Should a student encounter a situation where a preceptor or site is unable to continue to accommodate the student, the student must immediately contact the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director and, if applicable, the Faculty of their current course. The MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director and student will discuss and determine the appropriate course of action for the student which could include but is not limited to:

  • the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director will help the student review other potential sites in their geographical area that they might be able to contact for possible SEL hours
  • the student and the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director can discuss with available preceptor(s) approval of off-schedule SEL hours to offset a disruption, for instance completing 20 hours in one week or completing hours during the evening or on weekends
  • if additional sites and/or off-schedule SEL hours are not available, the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director will develop a plan to help the student meet the remaining SEL requirements and competencies assessed at the site
  • the student will sign an agreement to complete the alternate and actual SEL plans and the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director will note the plan in the student record
  • the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director will notify Student Support and Faculty of the revised plan of study for attainment of SEL the Faculty (always an RD/with preceptor experience, in the event of such instances) will utilize the appropriate competency assessment forms to determine if the student has successfully demonstrated the required competencies.

Matriculated students that experience the inability to secure additional sites: In all cases the student will be supported to the extent possible by the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director to identify potential SEL sites and negotiate successful affiliation agreements with these sites, however it remains the student’s responsibility to locate appropriate sites. In the event that the student is not able to find suitable sites, the following procedures will be adhered to.

Should a student have a challenge arranging the remaining sites as required, the student must immediately contact the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director and, if applicable, the Faculty of their current course. The student and MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director will determine if previous/current sites can meet the needs and remaining Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL) hours and competencies. If this is not possible, the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director and student will discuss and determine the appropriate course of action for the student which could include but is not limited to:

  • the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director will help the student review other potential sites in their geographical area that they might be able to contact for possible SEL hours
  • the student and the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director can discuss with potential preceptor(s) in the area if off-schedule SEL hours would be an option, for instance completing 20 hours in one week or completing hours during the evening or on weekends
  • if additional sites are not available, the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director will develop a plan to help the student meet the remaining SEL requirements and competencies assessed at the site
  • the student will sign an agreement to complete the alternate and actual SEL plans and the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director will note the plan in the student record
  • the MSND Clinical Coordinator and Program Director will notify Student Support and Faculty of the revised plan of study for attainment of SEL
  • the Faculty (always an RD with preceptor experience, in the event of such instances) will utilize the appropriate competency assessment forms to determine if the student has successfully demonstrated the required competencies
  • if the Supervised Experiential Learning competencies are not met and the student cannot achieve a low-pass grade in the associated course, the student will be able to retake the SEL portion of the course

Students may need to consider dividing clinical hours between a few different facilities or offer to complete SEL hours on the weekends or evenings to complete SEL requirements. The Clinical Coordinator and Program Director will help as much as possible, but the student is responsible for finding all SEL sites and preceptors in a geographic location suitable to the student if SEL hours are disrupted.