Bulletin of Dental Education

WVU SOD, West Virginia State University Establish Early Admission Program

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The West Virginia University School of Dentistry (WVU SOD) has entered into a collaborative agreement with West Virginia State University (WVSU) for a Dental Early Admission Program (DEAP).

The purpose of DEAP is to help facilitate predental students’ transition into the D.D.S. program at WVU SOD. Participating undergraduates will take part in prehealth professions seminars and community service activities while enrolled at WVSU. In addition, WVSU is responsible for DEAP student recruitment. Specific academic benchmarks must be achieved and students must complete community service hours and spend time shadowing in multiple general dentistry practices.

Annually, WVU SOD will reserve two spots in the entering dental class for WVSU students meeting DEAP requirements. Priority will go to West Virginia residents, but qualified non-residents could be selected as well.

“Student engagement is the core of the DEAP—beginning with the early identification of individuals who aspire to careers in dentistry,” says Shelia S. Price, D.D.S., Ed.D., Associate Dean for Admissions, Recruitment and Access for WVU SOD. “The program is a win-win-win opportunity. For us, we will be able to bring highly qualified, well-mentored students into the dental program. West Virginia State will offer customized guidance to DEAP students. And, for the students themselves, they will be able to enter our school fully prepared for the challenging dental curriculum.”

Robert J. Barney, Ph.D., Interim Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at West Virginia State, says, “We are excited at the opportunity this collaborative agreement creates for our students. This seamless transition into the School of Dentistry creates additional education and career opportunities for our graduates.”

The West Virginia State DEAP partnership marks the third such collaboration for the WVU SOD. Earlier this year, WVU SOD announced the establishment of DEAP agreements with West Liberty University and Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. The school also has a similar early admissions program with Shepherd University called DentSTEP (Dental Student in the Eastern Panhandle).

“The WVU School of Dentistry has educated more than 85% of the dentists who practice in West Virginia, and as our state’s only dental school, we are committed to meeting the oral health needs of West Virginians for the next generation and beyond,” says Anthony “Tom” Borgia, D.D.S., M.H.A., Interim Dean of the WVU SOD. “By partnering with West Virginia State, we strongly believe that we are building a connection from the Kanawha Valley to the dental profession here in West Virginia. Our entire faculty is confident that this program will attract the very best students to careers in dentistry and that those students will matriculate into a professional career of service to their fellow citizens.”

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