Effective Admissions Practices to Achieve Greater Student Diversity in Dental Schools
Holistic admissions practices at dental schools that include broad application reviews and candidate interviews are driven by a mission statement targeting diversity and are linked to educational objectives, are legally permissible and can increase diversity, according to this article in a supplement to the Journal of Dental Education.
Two years into the Pipeline, Profession, and Practice: Community-Based Dental Education program, the U.S. Supreme Court coincidentally issued two relevant rulings. While the court had invalidated so-called race-based admissions in the 1978 landmark Bakke case, the 2003 court found that race can be a “compelling interest” in admissions in “view of the educational benefits gained by diversity.” The Court opined that it is legally sound to consider race as part of a “holistic and individualized” admission process. This chapter reviews productive and legally permissible admission strategies used by the 15 Pipeline schools.
- As implemented by several schools, holistic application review involves assessing typical metrics (e.g., standardized tests, school grades, etc.), while also closely scrutinizing all elements of a student’s application file for personal variables and life experiences that indicate merit, professional promise, motivation and determination. Admissions also looks for factors that will advance the school’s mission. Promising candidates are then interviewed.
- The school’s mission statement should identify diversity as a goal and link the creation of a diverse student body and professional workforce to the school’s educational objectives.
- Beyond the school-level mission statement, institutions created an admission-level mission statement regarding diversity; made sure the admissions committee itself was diverse; and tried to maintain continuity in committee membership.
These practices are considered to be enormous changes in the long-standing customs of dental school admissions.
- 1. Foreword to Special Supplement of Journal of Dental Education
- 2. Organization and Management of Community-Based Dental Education Programs
- 3. Infrastructure for a Community-Based Dental Education Program
- 4. Management of Experiences in Community-Based Dental Education
- 5. Financial Impact of Community-Based Dental Education
- 6. The Impact of Community-Based Dental Education on Students
- 7. The Experiences of Community Dental Clinic Directors with Dental Students and Dental School Collaborations
- 8. Reflections on the Dental Pipeline Program's Efforts Regarding Community-Based Dental Education
- 9. Underrepresented Minority Dental Student Recruitment and Enrollment Programs
- 10. Components of Effective Outreach and Recruitment Programs for Underrepresented Minority and Low-Income Dental Students
- 11. Effective Admissions Practices to Achieve Greater Student Diversity in Dental Schools
- 12. The Role of the Dental School Environment in Promoting Greater Student Diversity
- 13. Reflections on the Dental Pipeline Program's Efforts Regarding Underrepresented Minority Dental Students