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ADEA Access, Diversity and Inclusion — March 2014

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ADEA’s Access, Diversity and Inclusion (ADI) portfolio, in collaboration with the ADEA Division of Education Pathways, has begun conducting a new series of admissions workshops. The first workshop was recently held at the University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine (UPR SDM) on February 24, 2014. The workshops are one effort from ADEA to create robust, diverse learning environments and educational access and health care advocacy for diverse and underserved communities. The one-day workshops are intended to aid dental institutions in addressing and reviewing admission policies and procedures/practices.

Prior to a workshop, a phone consultation with key administrators was offered in order to tailor the workshop content to the specific needs of the admissions committee and institution.

The workshop focus is on holistic review in dental admissions, which is a flexible, individualized process for evaluating candidates’ experiences, attributes and academic metrics. Balanced consideration is given to the multiple ways in which applicants may prepare for and demonstrate suitable consideration as students and residents. At the workshop, ADEA staff discussed employing holistic review as a sound practice that can foster student diversity as a means to meeting a school’s educational mission.

Other workshop topics include:

  • The admissions process as a tool to support institutional excellence.
  • Supreme Court rulings, and the educational benefits of diversity as a “compelling interest.”
  • Diversity policies and practices in the context of the Commission on Dental Accreditation pre-doctoral accreditation standards.
  • Race-neutral alternatives in admissions.
  • The role of unconscious bias, which is unconscious patterns, beliefs or perceptions that impact how we view others and make decisions, in admissions practices.
  • Theory and research behind holistic admissions.
  • Results of the 2010–11 and 2012–13 ADEA Admissions Officers Survey.
  • Admissions case studies.

The workshop was extremely engaging and received very positive feedback. ADEA will offer a more admissions workshops this summer using trainers from the ADEA Sections on Dental School Admissions Officers and Student Affairs and Financial Aid community.

Schools that are interested in hosting an admissions workshop and/or learning more about this round of workshops, please email your request to Kendall Young at

Duggan Dental