The Gulf Coast internship program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The ACEND standards require that GCDI graduates successfully meet 41 competencies plus two additional competencies specific to our program to meet our program concentration competency of Entrepreneurship. Interns are required to obtain a passing score on all competencies and pass the program overall in order to sit for the Registration examination for Dietitians. ACEND oversees our operation with periodic reports and site visits.

Online Preceptor Handbook

  1. Letter to Preceptors

  2. GCDI Preceptor Training Presentation (pdf)

  3. Program Mission and Goals

  4. Forms

  5. Online Dietetics Preceptor Training from CDR

  6. Tips for Being Effective Preceptors

  7. Five-Step Method for Teaching Clinical Skills

Letter to Preceptors

Dear Preceptors,

Welcome to the Gulf Coast Dietetic Internship! Thank you for considering a role as an internship preceptor!

GCDI is a post-baccalaureate, supervised practice program that qualifies graduates to take the examination to become Registered Dietitians. GCDI is a distance program that enables interns to design their internship experiences in their own geographical area. Our preceptors are the most important element of the program — through you we will offer excellent teaching and mentoring for our interns to become competent, ethical and effective entry-level RD’s.

We have created this page to assist you with working with our program and improving your precepting skills. On this page are links to our forms, tips for effective precepting, opportunity for CEU credits with CDR, and information on our program mission and goals.

Our faculty is here to help in any way that we can. Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Gina Wack MS RD
Director, Dietetic Internship

Karen Lewis MS RD
Coordinator, Dietetic Internship

Sharon Bode PhD RD LD
Coordinator, Dietetic Internship


GCDI Preceptor Training Presentation

Click on the file below for an presentation on GCDI Preceptor Training

GCDI Preceptor Training Presentation(pdf)


Program mission and goals

The mission of Gulf Coast Dietetic Internship is to prepare entry-level registered dietitian/nutritionists in an entrepreneurial setting for emerging roles in dietetics practice.

Learn more about our program mission and goals


GCDI Forms

Evaluation form

The evaluation form below will be available in an online portal, you will be able to grade the intern and submit the evaluation online.

Additional forms


Online Dietetics Preceptor Training from CDR

The Commission on Dietetic Registration is offering the Dietetics Preceptor Training Program, free of charge, to help preceptors of dietetics students prepare for and excel in their important role. It includes 7 modules covering:

  • Preparing for Your Role as Preceptor
  • Planning for Student Learning
  • Facilitating Student Learning
  • Assessing Student Learning
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Managing Your Time
  • Keeping Current

This program allows you to earn 8 continuing professional education units (CPEUs).

CDR Campus - Dietetics Preceptor Training Program


Tips for being effective preceptors

(From the Emory University School of Medicine, "Being an effective preceptor")

A review of selected literature has revealed that the following are characteristics of effective clinical teachers:


  • Possesses and demonstrates broad knowledge
  • Explains the basis for actions and decisions
  • Answers learner questions clearly and precisely
  • Open to conflicting ideas and opinions
  • Connects information to broader concepts
  • Communicates clear goals and expectation
  • Captures learners attention
  • Makes learning fun

Careful Analysis of the Learner

  • Accurately assesses learner’s knowledge attitudes and skills
  • Uses direct observation of the learner
  • Provides effective feedback
  • Performs fair and thoughtful evaluations

Skill in Practice and Teaching

  • Provides effective role modeling
  • Demonstrates skillful interactions with patients
  • Presents information with organization and clarity
  • Generates interest in the subject matter
  • Organizes and controls the learning experience
  • Balances clinical and teaching responsibilities
  • Gives appropriate responsibility to the learner

Motivates the Learner

  • Emphasizes problem solving
  • Translates specific cases into general principles
  • Promotes active involvement of the learner
  • Demonstrates enjoyment and enthusiasm for patient care and teaching
  • Develops a supportive relationship with the learner.

One-Minute Preceptor

Get a commitment

  • “What do you think is going on?”
  • Provide assessment of learner’s knowledge/skill
  • Teach interpretation of data

Probe for supporting evidence

  • “What led you to this conclusion?”
  • Reveals learner’s thought process and identifies knowledge gaps

Teach general rules

  • “When you see this, always consider…”
  • Offer “pearls” which can be easily remembered

Reinforce what was done well

  • Offer positive reinforcement
  • “You did a nice job with…”

Correct errors

  • “Next time, try or consider…”
  • Comment on omissions and misunderstandings to correct errors in judgment or action


Five-Step Method for Teaching Clinical Skills

From A Simple Five-Step Method for Teaching Clinical Skills (Family Medicine 2001, 33:577-8), John H. George, PhD and Frank X. Doto, MS, suggest taking the following steps:

  1. Provide an overview of the need for the skill and how it is used in patient care.
  2. Demonstrate exactly how the skill is performed without commentary.
  3. Repeat the procedure, but describe each step.
  4. Have student “talk through the skill” by detailing each step.
  5. Observe and provide feedback to the student as he performs the skill.