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West Virginia University, School of Dentistry

West Virginia University
School of Dentistry
1150 Health Sciences Center
P.O. Box 9400
Morgantown, WV 26506-9400
(304) 293-2521
Dean: Dr. James J. Koelbl


2006 Facts
Publicly supported
39 full-time, 15 part-time clinical faculty members
191 students
43 graduates
30 days spent by senior dental students in community clinical settings

Community Partners:
• Shepherd University (DENTSTEP early admission program)
• West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnerships (WVRHEP)

Project Contact Information
Dr. Shelia S. Price
Project Director
Pipeline, Profession & Practice: Community-Based Dental Education
West Virginia University
School of Dentistry
P.O. Box 9407
Morgantown, WV 26506-9407
Tel (304) 293-1680
Fax (304) 293-8561

The School of Dentistry operates a strong community-based clinical training program. For nearly 15 years, the dental school, in partnership with its alumni, has provided services to underserved populations throughout rural West Virginia and currently maintains 38 training sites for dental and dental hygiene students.

The community-based training program is an active participant in the West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnerships (WVRHEP), which is comprised of 12 regional community consortia from 53 underserved counties.  While on community-based rotation, students reside in the community, provide direct patient care under the supervision of their preceptors, carry out community service projects, and participate in interdisciplinary sessions.

Project Accomplishments

  • A series of faculty development programs supplied strategies for creating and sustaining inclusive educational and patient care environments. 
  • The School has capitalized on opportunities to inform oral health care providers, policy makers, health educators and the laity about oral health access issues (e.g., workshop on cultural barriers and interventions at a state rural health conference).
  • The dental curriculum has been revised to incorporate cultural competency training.   
  • A structured URM/LI student recruitment program has strengthened alliances with pre-health professions college advisors.  Targeted campus visits and Northeast Regional Recruitment Collaborative (NERRC) pre-health advisor workshops are creating stronger linkages with advisors and prospective dental applicants at feeder institutions. 
  • A comprehensive two-week summer enrichment program has been instituted for URM/LI college students.  Career exploration programs for middle through high school students have captured the dental career interests of over 100 URM/LI students. 
  • Partnership with a four-year college has resulted in establishment of an early admission program,  Retention through Early Acceptance Program for Dental Students in the Eastern Panhandle (REAP/DENTSTEP). 
  • A welcome program and dinner has been instituted to bring together URM/LI dental students with the School’s faculty, leaders and alumni for celebration and reflection. 





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