What is a preceptor and how many do you need?

A preceptor is a highly accomplished professional who provides practical experiences and training to a dietetic student or intern. 


  • Meets regularly with you and guides you through the daily operation of the facility
  • Demonstrates skills and professional behaviors and is a role model
  • Observes the intern practicing those skills and behaviors and provides feedback
  • Evaluates assignments from the KADDI curriculum and projects he or she gives you
  • Approves your weekly time log
  • Gives feedback to the program director.


ONE or more for each site where you plan to do rotations lasting longer than one week. 

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy rotation (8 weeks) - Preceptor(s) must be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). KADDI prefers that you complete 8 weeks of your MNT rotation at one site. This could be a hospital, long-term acute care facility or skilled nursing/rehabilitation center. (Please note that you do not have to spend time at each kind of place). Another option is to arrange to go with a dietitian who consults at different facilities and stay with that dietitian for the entire eight weeks. If you want to use a facility for less than 8 weeks, contact the program director before you apply and get approval.
  • Foodservice rotation (8 weeks) - may be an RDN, but may also be a food service or Certified Dietary Manager or head chef.
  • Community rotation (8 weeks) - RDN is preferred, but may also be a public health professional such as a Registered Nurse or Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Fitness trainers may not serve as primary preceptors.
  • Business/Entrepreneurship rotation (4 weeks) - you may choose anyone who is qualified to mentor you in developing a business plan. Most interns choose RDNs with a private practice, but non RDNs can also serve. You may choose this site and preceptor after you are admitted to the program.

NOTE:  If you plan to do clinical and foodservice rotations in the same facility you need only one preceptor and one facility form. Contact the KADDI program director if you have a question about whether a site or preceptor is appropriate. The email is KADDI@consultingdietitians.com


  • Medical Nutrition Therapy- KADDI recommends you do all 8 weeks at the same place so you will be ready to do a one-week staff relief at the end. If you cannot arrange one site for 8 weeks, KADDI will allow you to use up to two sites. If you need to do that, please contact the program director before you apply to discuss it. 
  • Foodservice - a healthcare facility or school district works well for the 8 weeks of this rotation. You may choose to go to two sites if you want to get a varied experience. 
  • Community - at least two sites are required. KADDI requires that you go to at least two (and you may go to as many as four) places. Here are some suggestions: State Department of Health or Women Infant and Children's (WIC) contract agency, public or private school (1-2 weeks), dialysis centers or nephrology offices, pediatric or adult obesity clinic or bariatric surgery center, Veteran's Administration or other outpatient clinics (MOVE!, diabetes, etc.), Head Start, assisted living centers, meals on wheels, grocery store dietitian, senior nutrition sites, wellness clinics, YMCAs or other athletic clubs, state Cooperative Extension Agencies, SNAP education, or dietitians in private practice who take physician referrals, do sports counseling, etc.


  • a facility (site) form for each place you will go
  • a preceptor form for the professional who will supervise you at each site
  • a resume, CDR card or professional development portfolio log for Registered Dietitians
  • a resume that shows the preceptor has engaged in continuing education for all other preceptors (for a food service preceptor who is not an RD, you may submit their ServSafe certificate)
  • find these forms under the APPLY AND FORMS tab
  • Put the completed and signed forms into the supplemental application folder on DICAS

How do I find a preceptor

Preceptors are out there. You must be willing to do the work to find them. Send an email first. If you do not get an answer, follow up with a phone call in a week or two. If needed, interview.

KADDI Summary Sheet

Download and take this sheet with you when you approach preceptors.