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Program Preceptors

Preceptors make a difference in the lives of students who are learning to become Nutrition and Dietetics Technicians, Registered (NDTR) by acting as mentors, and training the dietetic professionals of the future. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers additional information about the importance of being a preceptor.

If you would like to become a preceptor for OCC's Nutrition and Dietetics Technician program, please contact the program coordinator at (714) 432-0202 x26430 or

Preceptor Information

Thank you for supporting our program! You are an important link to training the dietetics and food service professionals of the future. The following sections provides information regarding our supervised practice courses. We are here for you, and ask that you contact us at anytime with your questions or concerns.

CDR Preceptor Training

We encourage all of our preceptors to complete the free Preceptor Training offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). The training is free and offers continuing education units (CEUs). CDR Preceptor training is available online.

Program Information

OCC offers an Associate of Science Dietetic Technician Program that is accredited by ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics). Students who meet the graduation requirements are eligible to sit for the Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered (NDTR) registration exam. The program is approximately 2 years in length and requires both didactic courses and a minimum of 450 hours of supervised practice. More program information can be found on the Program Information page. 

Student Requirement for Hours

For the Nutrition and Dietetics Technician program, students are required to complete 450 total hours of supervised practice. These hours are split into three (3) separate internships.

  • Long-term care
  • Community nutrition
  • Food service management/clinical care

Depending on the course, students are required to complete between 120 and 160 hours during the course of the 16-week semester. We ask that preceptors set up a schedule with the student during their initial meeting. The days and hours are not dictated by the program; rather, the preceptor and student can determine what works best for their schedules.

Student Requirements for Starting Supervised Practice

Students must complete the following before starting their internship. Your facility may also have additional training for the students.

  • physical exam, including TB test and immunizations
  • background check, including drug screen
  • CPR, HIPAA, blood borne pathogen training
  • purchase student liability insurance

Students are covered for Workers Compensation through the college.

Student Conduct

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times during their supervised practice. This includes the following student responsibilities:

  1. Adhere to the prescribed dress code and standards of professionalism.
  2. Arrive and leave the internship site at the assigned times.
  3. Make up all missed internship hours, regardless of the reason. This must be arranged with the clinical instructor at a time convenient to the facility and in a timely manner.
  4. Notify the preceptor when he/she will be absent or late. This should be done shortly before or at the start of the day. Failure to notify a preceptor of the absence may result in withdrawal from the clinical class.
  5. Complete all assignments accurately and thoroughly. If problems arise that prevent the student from completing the assignment, notify the program coordinator as soon as possible so that assistance can be given.

Preceptor Expectations

The overall goal of supervised practice is to assist the student in application of information learned in the classroom. As we preceptor, we ask that you:

  1. Orient the student to your facility, i.e. policies and procedures, dress code, parking, meals. Include a tour of the facility and introduction to other staff and employees.
  2. At the initial meeting, discuss the students schedule (days/times) and plan for activities to accomplish competencies.
  3. Monitor the student or assign the most qualified/appropriate staff member to monitor.
  4. Provide ongoing feedback and guidance regarding the student's progress
  5. Using the Competency sheets, review and rate the competency level of the student after each activity is completed
  6. Verify and sign work logs
  7. Complete the Student Performance Evaluation form at the end of the rotation.

Any concerns about the student's performance should be communicated as soon as possible to the Program Director. Together we can formulate a plan of action to correct the student's issues.

Competencies and Work Reports

Each supervised practice rotation includes a set of competencies, specific to that internship. Competency statements specify what every Nutrition and Dietetics Technician should be able to do at the beginning of his or her practice career. The core competency statements build on appropriate knowledge and skills necessary for the entry-level practitioner to perform reliably at the performance level indicated.

Students are responsible for maintaining the competency records and ensure the activities are completed. Preceptors rate and sign the competency sheets.

At the end of supervised practice, the student submits a 'clinical notebook' that includes the competency record, write-up of activities, and supportive documentation. Supportive data will include items, such as menus, policies and procedures, time/temp logs, screening forms. Students may also include photographs of items such as food trays or adaptive feeding equipment. We appreciate your willingness to share these items with the student.

Work Reports should be verified and signed on a weekly basis. 

Supervised Practice Competencies: Long Term Care

Supervised Practice Competencies: Community

Supervised Practice: Food Service

Supervised Practice: Clinical