Practicum Experiences

Students in the Dietetic Technician program are required to complete two practicum experiences: Practicum 1-Food Service/Clinical Experience and Practicum 2-Community Nutrition Experience. Students located within the Pittsburgh area will be placed at designated practicum sites, dependent upon availability of sites and location. Those students at a distance have the unique opportunity to complete their practicums without relocating; however, this will require that practicum sites be arranged with the guidance of the CCAC Practicum Coordinator/Faculty. This requires some pre-planning and it is recommended that distance students (those outside the Pittsburgh area) allow a planning window of 2-3 months prior to their anticipated start date for finalizing placement details.

Dietary Manager students are required to complete one practicum experience: Practicum 1-Food Service/Clinical Experience. The same details apply regarding distance planning for site placement.  


Practicum 1

240 hours For Dietetic Technician and Dietary Manager students, this generally occurs over the summer following the first year in the program. Practicum 1 occurs during the first six weeks of the semester [3 weeks-Acute / 3 weeks-Long-term Care]  

This practicum is completed in a hospital and long-term care facility and will include Food Service Management and Clinical experiences. These are full-time experiences, requiring a 40-hour week that results in 240 internship hours over the six-week time period. An acute Care setting and a Long-Term Care facility will provide the most comprehensive experiences. 

Practicum 2

240 hours For Dietetic Technician students, this occurs during the 2nd year of the program in conjunction with DIT-208, Community Nutrition, the sister course for this practicum.

This experience is designed primarily to focus on the delivery of nutrition services to community groups within the local Public Health Department, Cooperative Extension, Outpatient Nutrition services, Corporate Wellness programs, WIC, schools, day care centers, Area Agency on Aging and/or Meals on Wheels. Typically, a student is affiliated with one site; however, there are circumstances when more than one site is needed.

Practicum 2 provides the students with the opportunity to participate in the delivery of nutrition education and food service in a community setting.