Developing a tool for systematic inclusion of non-academic factors in dental school admissions: Towards building diversity in the dental workforce

Naty Lopez, Karl D Self, Jeff Karnitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This retrospective study aimed to determine the ability of a self-designed evaluation instrument to identify applicants who should be invited for an interview and to assess applications including non-academic factors in a consistent and systematic manner. The instrument was constructed using information culled from the American Dental Education Association Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (ADEA AADSAS) applications including academic (DAT, GPA) and non-academic qualifications (work experience, volunteer and extracurricular activities, rural and ethnic background, essays). Weights were assigned to each item assessed. Using applications received during the 2006 and 2007 admissions cycles, the instrument identified who should have been invited for interview. Descriptive statistics and specificity and sensitivity tests were conducted. The instrument allowed for a systematic quantitative assessment of non-academic factors that was part of the overall evaluation of applicants. Results show differences in non-academic scores of minority compared to non-minority applicants, males compared to females, and those who were offered interviews compared to those not interviewed. It is possible that some applicants who were not offered interviews could have gained a chance to be looked at more closely on a second round of review if non-academic factors were considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1347-1352
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Volume73
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

Keywords

  • Applicants
  • Dental School admissions
  • Diversity
  • Non-academic factors
  • Selection criteria

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