Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Linda Spatig

Second Advisor

Teresa R. Eagle

Third Advisor

Lynne B. Welch


Preceptors are critical in the education of dietetic students and over the years, interest in preceptor training has grown. As a result, the American Dietetic Association recently established a task force to develop and implement a Preceptor Training Certificate Program. There is, however, limited information with regard to formal preceptor training currently being offered by dietetic internships and the affect it may have on programs. Because of the lack of knowledge concerning this topic, a qualitative collective case study was conducted at three university-based dietetic internships with the intent of adding to the body of knowledge regarding formal preceptor training in supervised practice experiences. The data collected included observations of preceptor training, reviews of pertinent documents, and interviews with program directors, preceptors, and interns. Findings indicated the content of formal training varied significantly. While the goal of one training program was to distinguish the unique role of the preceptor and offer suggestions for appropriate learning experiences, another focused on personality types and motivational techniques, and the goal of the third training workshop was to simply convey the expectations of the internship. The degree of priority given to training was largely influenced by the program directors, and although the motives for formal preceptor training varied, across cases, training was viewed as a benefit by both directors and preceptors. Through content analysis, three themes emerged from the data. Preceptor training helped express the personality or philosophy of internships, helped diminish role confusion amongst internship stakeholders, and lead to a greater degree of commitment in two of the respective programs. Additionally, the leadership approach of program directors was reflected in training programs and also influenced the personalities of the supervised practice programs. Participants from each internship found value in formal preceptor training and supported continued training for their respective programs.


Dietetics - Study and teaching (Internship)