UAB partners with Oakwood University to prepare students from underrepresented areas to enter the dentistry field

The program will prepare Oakwood’s promising students with a solid foundation for dental school.

Dentistry buildingThe program will prepare Oakwood’s promising students with a solid foundation for dental school.The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry and Oakwood University are partnering together for an Early-Assurance Program to recruit Oakwood University students interested in a career in dentistry into UAB’s dental program. Oakwood University is the first university in Alabama to join this program.

“We are proud to partner with Oakwood University for this Early-Assurance Program,” said Carly Timmons McKenzie, Ph.D., assistant dean of Admissions and associate professor in the UAB School of Dentistry. “This program enhances our efforts to increase the number of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic graduates in dental education and prepare them for a career in this industry.”

The program offers selected sophomore students conditional early acceptance into the UAB School of Dentistry and helps ensure participants enter dental school with a solid foundation.  Oakwood University students conditionally accepted through the EAP are required to achieve satisfactory academic metrics, as measured by the Dental Admission Test and grade point average earned during successful degree program completion at Oakwood University.

“Oakwood University is looking forward to this partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry,” said Oakwood University President Leslie Pollard, Ph.D., D.Min. “As an HBCU [historically Black college or university], Oakwood University is fully committed to producing health care professionals who are uniquely qualified to close the gap in disparities in dental health within underserved populations. Oakwood has a rich history in partnering with institutions that share this commitment, and UAB is one of our most committed partners. By working together, we will be able to assist more students of color to take the next step in their journey to becoming a health care professional — particularly in the field of dentistry. As a leading HBCU in Alabama, we are uniquely qualified to offer this opportunity to students pursuing a career in health care.”

Nominated students will interview for the EAP while participating in the 2022 Summer Health Professions Education Program at the UAB School of Dentistry. SHPEP is a free, six-week summer enrichment residential program for first- and second-year college students. The goal of SHPEP is to increase diversity in health professions by recruiting and preparing underrepresented students for successful educational experiences and careers in health care.

Selected candidates may be offered conditional acceptance to the UAB School of Dentistry following participation in SHPEP and completion of the interview process. Those who are accepted through this program may be eligible for scholarships provided by UAB.