Bulletin of Dental Education

ADEA Chapters Continue to Grow–New Data From Chapter Survey

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ADEA Chapters for Students, Residents and Fellows continue to grow and promote knowledge of and interest in academic dental careers. By surveying dental student leaders, ADEA gathers valuable information about chapters that can be used to improve and expand engagement. The 2017 ADEA Chapter Survey responses were compiled in early October and shared with ADEA Council of Students, Residents and Fellows (ADEA COSRF) members attending the ADEA Fall Meetings in Columbus, OH, October 26–27. Last year marked the first time that ADEA administered a survey to get a more in depth understanding of the ADEA Chapters for Students, Residents and Fellows, particularly regarding membership and barriers to recruitment, as well as insights into chapter activities and events. In 2016, 40 student representatives from 66 U.S. dental schools responded to the survey. The annual survey is distributed to ADEA COSRF members and ADEA Chapter officers in July. In 2017, 44 student representatives responded, including one from an allied member institution. 

Responses from the 2016 survey, coupled with the heightened focus of the ADEA Board of Directors on cultivating academic careers through ADEA Chapters, were the impetus for creating the ADEA Chapter Toolkit for Students, Residents and Fellows. The ADEA Chapter Toolkit includes information about how to facilitate chapter development and get students engaged; how to establish an ADEA Chapter; tips and tools for taking an established chapter to the next level; and effective events and resources to increase awareness about academic careers and leadership opportunities—both locally through ADEA Chapters and nationally through the ADEA COSRF. 

At the 2017 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition, the ADEA House of Delegates passed a resolution to allow the ADEA COSRF to shift from 12 Regional Representatives to 11 District Commissioners. Each District Commissioner is charged with facilitating chapter development in their district. At the 2017 ADEA Fall Meetings, District Commissioners received chapter survey data for their individual districts to assist them in their roles. 

A snapshot of 2017 Chapter Survey responses revealed:

  • Thirty-three of the 44 respondents indicate they have an ADEA chapter. Eight indicate plans to create one, and three do not have a chapter.
  • Out of the 33 chapters, 32 are formal student organizations with approval from the dental schools. Roughly 40% of all chapters have been established in the past five years. Seven have been in existence for six to 10 years or more, one for more than 10 years.
  • Size of active membership: 70% indicate they have 25 or fewer members, and seven report more than 75.
  • Twenty-six report chapter membership is representative of all classes (D1–D4). Three report advanced dental education students as members, and three of the 32 include allied dental students (count includes an allied member institution). 

Survey responses will be useful to ADEA and ADEA COSRF as they consider ways to increase recruitment and student engagement in ADEA Chapters. Additional information about ADEA Chapters for Students, Residents and Fellows can be found at adea.org/students.

Published on November 8, 2017

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