ADEA Take-Away: Assessing Student Readiness Important

Apr 13, 2017 | Customer Solutions, Trends and Analysis

Assessing student readiness gains traction at ADEA. Educators see a need for better identifying what their students know and don’t know at the beginning of the program.
We just finished exhibiting at ADEA 2017 in Long Beach, CA. Good conference where we had an opportunity to connect with dental school and dental hygiene program educators and leadership. While we were there, we had many discussions and gained valuable feedback on our readiness program for dentistry and dental hygiene. There were also a great many faculty and students who presented posters on a wide variety of topics, always a great learning experience for us.

One privilege we have is that we serve a wide variety of health sciences programs in the areas of assessment, remediation, board preparation, and specialized resources. After dozens of conversations with folks from a variety of programs, we concluded that there was a real need for a readiness program across many disciplines. The reason is that many health sciences programs struggle with the fact that their students, in spite of often rigorous admissions requirements, may not being adequately prepared for the challenging curriculum they face. Alternatively, even for the more selective programs their students come from such a wide variety of undergraduate experiences that there is a high variability in what they know in their prerequisite subjects. These issues present risks for the students and the program because they act as a drag on students’ ability to efficiently and successfully move through the curriculum.

So, for dentistry and dental hygiene, we researched those subjects or courses that typical programs require their students to have successfully completed prior to enrollment in the program. These include subjects such as biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, statistics, psychology or behavioral health. (There is quite a bit of overlap in terms of what the various health science disciplines require of their applicants.) We then provide programs with detailed assessments in the prerequisite subject matter of most important to them. These are deliverable on our online testing platform which provides ease of access and detailed score reporting.

So, it was good to get valuable input from ADEA participants as to what was most important to their program, and how we might help. Educating the health sciences professionals of tomorrow is as challenging as ever. But, for programs that can better assess their incoming students, and provide the necessary and targeted support, that mission is made just a little easier.

Discover how we can help your dental school gain better insight into the academic preparedness of your incoming students, download Filling Knowledge Gaps: Measuring and Improving New-Student Readiness in Dental Schools.

Related Topics: ADEA // Dental Hygiene // Dentistry // Readiness