Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students

  • Stewart, Sharon (PI)
  • Gonzalez, Lori (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry (UKCD) HRSA SDS Scholarship Program will provide scholarships to students pursuing a Doctoral of Dental Medicine Degree (DMD). Priority will be given to students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have financial needs. Students in the DMD program will be encouraged to explore post graduate employment in underserved communities to serve those in need. While attending UKCD students in this program will be engaged in significant retention services including academic assessment tools, individual academic enhancement seminars, tutoring, study skills, advising, mindful meditation courses and mentoring. The goal of these efforts will be to graduate dentists to serve in primary care in underserved communities. Our current comprehensive recruiting program targeting underserved/disadvantaged student populations to grow the pipeline with diverse practitioners will continue to be offered at UKCD. In order to grow the pipeline of students from underserved backgrounds who are interested, admitted and ultimately graduate from dental school, the HRSA SDS will be used in the following ways: Objective 1: UKCD will expand the range of outreach initiatives, increase the number of partner institutions, and increase the awareness of dentistry as a profession among children/young adults in underserved communities. Objective 2: UKCD will continue to support students with an array of academic enhancement services to ensure that disadvantaged students complete dental school. Objective 3: UKCD will strengthen and expand existing mentoring relationships with community dentists to expose students to primary care and service in MUCs, and encourage students to choose primary care careers and/or to practice in MUCs. This project will be accomplished through relying on continuing and enhancing our current recruitment pipeline programs as well as our robust retention initiatives. At the UKCD, we pride ourselves on providing more support for our students than other colleges on campus, and as being viewed as a model for our holistic admissions processes as well as retention initiatives. Funding for scholarships will assist in supporting students with significant need, coming from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter an education in dentistry. With less loan debt, graduates have more flexibility to serve in underserved communities. As the state-supported flagship university in Kentucky, we intend to identify nine incoming students from disadvantaged backgrounds, six from the state of Kentucky and three from out-of-state, to receive this scholarship. The students will be identified by our admissions scholarship subcommittee, taking into account the overall application, non-cognitive factors, interview results and the information provided by the student on the scholarship application. The scholarship application inquires if the student would like to be considered disadvantaged, and if so why (which requires the students to provide a written statement); family income level; additional information on their educational setting, and other factors, such as being first generation or non-traditional. We plan to add an additional question to the scholarship application inquiring whether the student plans to work in a MUC after graduation. The committee will use this application and results from the student's interviews to determine eligibility and awarding of the HRSA SDS scholarships. We plan to leverage the SDS funding with current College of Dentistry funding to provide more benefit to those students identified.
Effective start/end date7/1/116/30/12


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