MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University School of Dentistry has entered into a collaborative agreement with West Virginia State University for a Dental Early Admission Program (DEAP).
The purpose of DEAP is to help facilitate pre-dental students’ transition into the Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) program at the WVU School of Dentistry. Participating undergraduates will take part in pre-health professions seminars and community service activities while enrolled at West Virginia State.
West Virginia State 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, the School of Dentistry will reserve two spots in the entering dental class for West Virginia State 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,” Shelia S. Price, D.D.S., Ed.D., associate dean for admissions, recruitment, and access for the WVU School of Dentistry, said. “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, said, “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 School of Dentistry. Earlier this year, the School 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 percent 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,” Anthony “Tom” Borgia, D.D.S., M.H.A., interim dean of the WVU School of Dentistry, said. “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.”
Interested students at West Virginia State University can contact the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at 304-766-3142.
For more information on the WVU School of Dentistry, visit http://dentistry.hsc.wvu.edu/.
Photo caption: Officials representing the WVU School of Dentistry and West Virginia State University finalize the agreement establishing the new Dental Early Admission Program. Seated left to right: WVSU College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics interim dean Robert Barney, Ph.D., WVSU provost Kumara Jayasuryia, Ph.D., Louise Veselicky, D.D.S and Shelia Price, D.D.S. Standing, from left: Michael Fultz, Ph.D., WVU Dentistry dean Anthony Borgia, D.D.S. and Richard Stevens, director of the West Virginia Dental Association.