Bulletin of Dental Education

ADEA/FADEA: Working Together to Improve the Selection Process

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The ADEA Future of Advanced Dental Education Admissions (ADEA/FADEA) Project focuses on offering guidance and tools to support program directors in the postdoctoral dental education admissions environment. An initial survey of 714 advanced education program directors gathered information on current admissions practices and perceptions of existing and possible new factors in the process. In findings presented at the 2011 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition, results showed that across disciplines noncognitive variables rose to the top. The top five most important qualities were team player, assumes responsibility, integrity, interpersonal/communication skills, and reliability.

 “Ultimately, it’s important to remember...we’re not selecting numbers, we’re selecting people who will take care of this country, take care of our children, future generations,” said Dr. Eugene Anderson, Associate Executive Director and Director, ADEA Center for Educational Policy and Research. “We believe that through this process we can support program directors by providing the tools they need to help them understand just how to navigate this complicated process.”

Survey results also showed that letters of evaluation play a key role in the initial review of an applicant and in determining those to interview. Questions regarding a new examination showed a difference between specialties of what that exam should measure. The lack of overall similarity and other issues will be explored further at a future ADEA summit.

Based on ADEA/FADEA recommendations, the ADEA Postdoctoral Application Support Service (ADEA PASS) will implement two changes to the 2012 cycle, which opens in May 2011. First, professional evolutions will now be limited to two. Second, ADEA will work with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to include the proven benefits of its Personal Potential Index (PPI) among the evaluation resources provided to the advanced dental education programs designated in application. This information will be exportable through WebAdMIT and is designed to give a better picture of the applicant through noncognitive factors and in complement to letters of evaluation.

Dr. Anderson and Anne Wells, Ed.D., ADEA Associate Executive Director for Educational Pathways, presented these findings at the 2011 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition. Stay tuned to the ADEA website for more information about future discussion and results from ADEA/FADEA.

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