Peer Mentoring Program – providing the stepping stones to tomorrows dietetic professionals.
the Hispanic population makes up more than 15 percent of the US population, followed by Blacks and Asians. 32 states have a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 25 % - it makes sense that health care workers should be representative of the population Only 3% of RDs are male
In the San Fernando Valley alone, >40% of the population is Hispanic.
to attract culturally diverse candidates, primarily of Hispanic/Latino or Asian descent, to the CSUN/NEVHC Dietetic Internship, the program actively recruited through a formal Mentoring Program, open houses, seminars conducted with current Dietetic Interns, and one-on-one counseling. A supportive mentor can mean the difference between struggle and success. Mentorship is key to success in the Health Care field. Sylvia Escott -Stump, MA, RD, LDN, dietetics internship (DI) director for East Carolina University and consultant for Nutritional Balance, explained, “Often the best way to become successful is by teaching and supporting others." The Academy began offering mentoring programs. local and state dietetics associations have mentoring opportunities for registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) to mentor aspiring RDNs.
In June 2010, the CSUN/WIC Dietetic Internship Program was awarded the Academy Diversity Promotion Grant. These funds were used to carry out a peer mentoring program to increase cultural diversity in dietetics. Most mentoring programs are by preceptors or RDNs already working in the field, and they rarely focus on a peer Currently, limited studies exist that outline a peer mentoring program in the DI program designed to increase diversity in dietetics. Finally, studies are needed that demonstrate whether these peer mentoring programs are successful in promoting diversity in the field of dietetics.
Creativity: The program proactively identifies students who may need additional assistance in the DPD program. These students are provided with customized assistance in building their resume, being provided research and various career opportunities.
Peer Mentorship provides support to students in a creative, supportive environment through workshops and One-on-one mentoring.
Recognized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Along with the increase in cultural diversity within the CSUN Dietetic Internship, there has also been a significant increase in the male population within the field since the implementation of the Peer Mentoring Program.
Train the trainer module
Originality/creativity: The program proactively identifies students who may need additional assistance in the DPD program. These students are provided with customized assistance in building their resume, being provided research and various career opportunities. Peer Mentorship provides support to students in a creative, supportive environment through workshops and One-on-one mentoring. Recognized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Impact: Significant increase in the diversity within the DI cohorts after implementation of the Peer Mentoring program. 82% of the mentees were accepted into a DI program. Increase number of culturally diverse students applying to the DI and eventually working as RDs
Leadership: 92% of the participants believed that the peer mentoring program attributed to their success. Often RDs work as mentors within the field however this program provides hand on experience from the interns to the undergraduate students hoping to obtain DI’s. The program promotes leadership within the mentors while training the mentees to become future mentors.
Replicability/Sustainability: Train the trainer module and curriculum to be used with other programs and their staff to continue to provide peer mentoring as part of the DI curriculum.
CSUN - Peer Mentorship Program to Promote Diversity within the Field of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Peer Mentorship Program to Promote Diversity
within the Field of Nutrition and Dietetics
• Shortage of culturally diverse Registered Dietitians and
professionals in the community.
• Need to educate the community towards prevention of
• The challenge that we face, is helping our students by
educating them to be more culturally aware and sensitive
to the needs.
• Students with culture diverse backgrounds may not have
all the resources available to obtain a DI Program
Diversity of US Registered Dietitians
THE PEER MENTORING
DEVELOPED IN 2010 BY
MPH, RD AND APRIL
GOLDENBERG, MS, RD.
THE PROGRAM ALLOWS
INTERNS TO SERVE AS
STUDENTS APPLYING TO
STUDENTS ARE PAIRED
UP WITH A MENTOR
WHO PROVIDES ONE-
THROUGH THE DIETETIC
To increase diversity in dietetics by guiding
culturally diverse dietetic students.
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY NORTHRIDGE (CSUN)
WAS AWARDED THE DIVERSITY PROMOTION GRANT IN
MENTORSHIP PROGRAM: CSUN DI/NEVHC WIC
PROGRAM STAFF AND DIETETIC INTERNS ARE TRAINED
IN CULTURAL DIVERSITY.
Current Dietetic Interns are able to
mentor prospective students via
hands on guidance and support.
Early identification of students
who may need assistance.
Interns provide their own personal
perspective and knowledge of the
CSUN After the Peer
Other/White Hispanic Asian African-American
Other/White Hispanic Asian
CSUN Before Peer
• Train-the-Trainer module
• Future mentees that become dietetic
interns will in turn become mentors
• Our Peer Mentoring Program model can be
used throughout the country in various
dietetic internship programs to further
promote cultural diversity within our field.
The Peer Mentoring Program paved
Additional Support, Funding and Recognition
• The USDA Grant “Pathways for Success” (a collaboration between Dr. Besnilian and Dr. Efrat)
Pathways to Success
• Chancellor’s Office
• Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Support and recognition from the
• Peer mentoring has become a part of the CSUN Dietetic internship program rotation hours (ongoing)
• Student Learning Outcome and Competency in all nationally accredited dietetic internship programs
Institutional, Replicable & Sustainable
For additional questions please contact
Dr. Annette Besnilian, EdD, MPH, RDN,CLE, FAND
Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics
California State University, Northridge
Special Thank you to:
Sherry M. Sidick, MS,
Associate Director of External Relations