Parental involvement in recruitment of underrepresented minority students

Rose O. Wadenya, Naty Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recruitment of underrepresented minority (URM) students to dental schools has had limited success, so dental schools need to reach out to high school students with programs to extend the pipeline. The Short Term Enrichment Program (STEP) of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine adds a new dimension to these efforts by involving parents, who directly or indirectly impact their children's career decisions. The program consists of an introductory two-day course that includes presentations of the dental profession, laboratory, and virtual classrooms. Biannual follow-up workshops are conducted for both children and parents. Outcomes are measured through pre- and post-program surveys, focus groups, and interviews. STEP attendance has increased over five years, with a total of 163 students participating and 56 percent of their parents attending the program. Eighty participants have graduated from high school, twenty-three of whom are enrolled in a predental program or dental school; twelve are in other prehealth programs. Students in predental programs or dental school have the highest percentage of parents who participated in STEP (96 percent) and engaged them in discussions over career goals (100 percent).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-687
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008


  • Dentistry
  • High school students
  • Parental involvement
  • Recruitment
  • Underrepresented minority students

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