Despite a significant increase in applications from underrepresented minority (URM) students, total URM enrollment in dental schools has yet to significantly rise. An online publication available free to members of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), ADEA’s Transforming Admissions: A Practical Guide to Fostering Student Diversity in Dental Students, provides information and tools to improve the admissions process and create a more diverse student body. It is now available at www.adea.org/transformingadmissions.
“We’ve seen from researchers, educators, policymakers, and even courts that diversity provides a better educational experience for all students and leads to improved access to care,” says ADEA President Leo E. Rouse, D.D.S. “This new tool for ADEA members will aid in admissions and accreditation, processes that are absolutely critical to academic dental institutions.”
Over the last decade, the number of dental school applicants has more than doubled. They have higher grade point averages and Dental Admission Test (DAT) scores than ever before. These factors make it increasingly difficult for all students to distinguish themselves from the pack, and place additional pressure on URM students.
ADEA’s Transforming Admissions contains resources for many within dental education beyond admissions officers, including academic deans and faculty members from many disciplines. The guide includes checklists of topics for discussion, useful concepts to put into practice, informative charts, and numerous tips and suggestions for diversifying a student body to promote excellence and produce a workforce prepared to serve an increasingly diverse society.
Schools take a variety of approaches to staffing their admission committees, selecting candidates for interviews, and conducting interviews. They also emphasize a diverse range of factors in selecting candidates for admissions. ADEA’s Transforming Admissions will help those in the accreditation process to prepare and to obtain the data needed to meet standards.
ADEA’s Transforming Admissions was developed from the content of ADEA Admissions Committee Workshops supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and ADEA.