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Women, Infants & Children (WIC)

Fruits, vegetables, and a plate

Contact:

Stephanie Kwong, MS, RDN
stephanie.kwong@cdph.ca.gov
916-928-8550

California WIC Dietetic Internships

The California Department of Public Health/WIC Division (CDPH/WIC) supports employees' career advancement by improving access to accredited dietetic internships (DIs) to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN). 

CDPH/WIC maintains four WIC-based accredited dietetic internships with local agency sponsors and one collaborative program between the Northeast Valley Health Corporation WIC Program and California State University, Northridge Dietetic Internship (CSUN/NEV).

Each dietetic internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council of Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and graduates are qualified to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

WIC DIs focus on community nutrition management and provide comprehensive skills and practice in all areas of nutrition and dietetics for entry-level RDNs.

 WIC Dietetic Internship Mission Statement

To prepare and develop highly competent RDNs who will:

  • protect and improve the nutrition and health of our community and diverse populations.
  • fullfill the increasing need for culturally competent nutrition professionals. 

Benefits of the WIC Dietetic Internship

Tuition Assistance: WIC employees may qualify for free tuition or tuition assistance. For additional information for financial support, see the Funding Your Education section.

Part-time at WIC: Lower or minimal cost for employees to complete the DI and continue WIC employment on a part-time basis during the program.

RD Exam Study Program: WIC DI graduates are provided resources to help pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians (RD Exam) through an online study assistance program.

The RD Exam Study Program

WIC DI graduates and employees who graduated from other dietetic internships are qualified to participate. Candidates must have completed the requirements for dietetic registration within one year of graduation from a dietetic internship. The program is an intensive 6-8 week course and addresses learning needs of diverse students using the following methods:

Small group online classes: Live webinar classes are presented by experts in the subject area of management, food service systems, clinical nutrition, and study and testing skills.

WIC Dietetic Internship libraries: The most current study resources are available for use.

Web-based RD Exam testing program: The program simulates the RD exam format to enhance learning and build essential test-taking skills required to pass the exam.

Individualized Study Plan:  DI Directors/Coordinators work with students to develop an individualized study plan and provide resources or assistance to ensure success in passing the RD exam.

Becoming a WIC Intern

  • WIC employees are encouraged to apply for a WIC DI.
  • Every year up to 28 individuals are accepted throughout the state.
  • WIC will provide guidance to current WIC employees on qualifications to apply.

Internship Selection Criteria

Each WIC Dietetic Internship program has specific program requirements, selection criteria, and application procedures, which can be found on their websites.

Be sure to check each internship's website as certain programs may only select employees from their sponsoring agency.

WIC recognizes and values diversity, actively recruiting applicants who:

  • Have experience working with diverse ethnic cultures
  • Are fluent in a second language
  • Are currently WIC employees 

WIC Dietetic Internship Programs

Central Valley WIC DI
Fresno, CA

Clinica Sierra Vista WIC DI
Bakersfield, CA

Northeast Valley WIC of CSU Northridge DI
Northridge, CA

Public Health Foundation WIC DI
Los Angeles, CA

San Diego WIC DI & California Regional WIC DI
San Diego, CA & Northern CACalifornia state map with WIC locdations marker. State WIC office - Sacramento. CV - Fresno

Individuals interested in becoming a RDN can contact a WIC Dietetic Internship program and request a review of qualifications and assistance to complete the requirements to receive the RDN credential. 

Changes in Educational Requirements for RDNs

On January 1, 2024, a minimum of a master's degree will be required to sit for the RD exam to receive the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential. Students planning on becoming RDNs should be aware of the following changes and timeline for application:

  • In 2022, WIC DIs will be selecting interns for the last classes that will graduate prior to the master's degree requirement.
  • In 2023, applicants will be required to have a minimum of a master's degree or be in the process of completing their graduate program.
  • December 31, 2023, last day you can complete a dietetic internship and be eligible to sit for the RD exam before the master's degree requirement.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Requirements

RDN Eligibility Information

ACEND Accredited Programs Directory

Resources on Dietetics, Online Colleges, Degrees, and Classes

Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)

California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)

Graduate Program Directory

Funding Your Education

WIC employees may qualify for financial support through the California Nutrition Corps Scholarship administered by the California WIC Association. Scholarships are also available through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (CAND).

Financial support opportunities may be available through allied health and nutrition professional organizations, local organizations, and community businesses. Scholarships and individual grants can be found through religious organizations, private foundations, labor unions, businesses, and local community groups. Learn more at Federal Student AID.

Contact

Stephanie Kwong, MS, RDN
Career Development and Dietetic Internships Coordinator
WIC Division
CA Department of Public Health
stephanie.kwong@cdph.ca.gov
916-928-8550

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