This article provides an overview of the methods that are being used to evaluate the Pipeline, Profession, and Practice: Community-Based Dental Education Program. The Pipeline project addresses the critical shortage of dental services for the nation's underserved and disadvantaged populations. It has three primary objectives:
- To increase recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority and low-income students to dental school;
- To revise didactic and clinical curricula in dental schools to support community-based educational programs;
- To establish community-based clinical education programs that will provide dental students and residents with 60 days of experience in this patient care environment.
A team of researchers from UCLA will carry out the evaluation. They will utilize site visit interviews, implementation reports, annual financial reports, the American Dental Education Survey of Dental School Seniors, the American Dental Association Survey of Predoctoral Dental Education, Faculty Survey, course syllabi, clinical information systems, and contextual variables.