University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine

Is ranking calculated? No
Is honors status awarded? No

How is competency in a course determined?

Competency is determined through a variety of assessments, depending upon the course content, and may include patient-based assessments, simulations, OSCE’s, case presentations, oral examinations, written examinations, standardized patient exercises, case presentations, reflection statements and daily global assessments.

Criteria for achieving competency are described in individual course syllabi, including courses within the clinical practicum. Competency assessments are administered by specific disciplines (for example, in a single course) or may be administered by several disciplines, providing for multiple, independently conducted evaluations. In clinical domains, a global assessment that considers the domains of professionalism, patient management, practice management and skill is utilized in addition to competency assessments associated with the School’s defined twenty-one areas of competency. The global assessment includes multiple criteria that contribute to the assessment of the development of skills, behaviors and attitudes needed for entry into general dental practice, including, but not limited to, receiving and acting upon constructive feedback, courtesy and treatment of others, demonstration of ethical standards, patient assessment and presentation, preparedness, ability to self-assess, critical thinking, independence and technical skill. The global assessment provides for an ongoing, longitudinal, developmentally-focused evaluation across multiple disciplines.

How is the language in the Dean’s letter crafted?

The Associate Dean for Students is responsible for the development of the institutional or Dean’s letter, with the assistance and guidance of the Institutional Evaluation Committee. The committee is composed of the Associate Dean for Students, the Senior Associate Dean for Education and Patient Care, faculty from multiple disciplines spanning all four years of the D.M.D. curriculum, as well as administrative staff. Detailed information concerning academic performance and promotion, clinical performance and achievement, achievement of competency, personal growth, leadership, community service, character, independence, and potential for success in postgraduate/residency training is evaluated by the committee and is reflected in the institutional letter.

What else should program directors know?

The School of Dental Medicine provides a curriculum that emphasizes the roles of the basic, biomedical and behavioral sciences in training clinicians to integrate and apply their knowledge to comprehensive patient care. Students acquire a strong basic science background through participation in a basic medical sciences curriculum which is shared with the School of Medicine. All courses within both the basic medical science and the dental science curricula are graded on a pass/fail basis; no honors designations are granted. Grades on transcripts are reflected as S (satisfactory or pass) or U (unsatisfactory or fail). Academic Performance Committees (APCs) are charged with the responsibility to monitor, comprehensively review and holistically assess student performance, including the achievement of competencies, throughout the curriculum. Each year’s respective APC meets on a regular basis (bimonthly in years 3 and 4) to assess the student’s progress.

Prior to graduation, students must achieve satisfactory grades in all courses, including components of the clinical practicum and rotational experiences; successful completion of all competency assessments; attainment of a minimum number of time-weighted credits (or RVU’s) reflecting patient contact time; completion of all defined patient-centered care experiences; demonstration of professionalism in all aspects of the curriculum; demonstration of community service; and successful completion of Part I and Part II of the National Board Dental Examination.

Historically, greater than 95% of all students pursue advanced dental education, postdoctoral or residency training following graduation. 

For questions, please contact:

Steven M. Lepowsky, D.D.S.
Senior Associate Dean for Education and Patient Care