TAMIU, The UT Dental Branch Ink Early Acceptance Dentistry Program

TAMIU, The UT Dental Branch Ink Early Acceptance Dentistry Program

Texas A&M International University students considering a career in dentistry will soon benefit from the launching of an early acceptance program between the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston and TAMIU. (photo)

The joint agreement was signed by representatives of The UT Dental Branch program and TAMIU in special ceremonies held in the lobby of the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 11 a.m.

Dr. Dan Jones, TAMIU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said the agreement will provide TAMIU students with a remarkable opportunity to participate in The UT Dental Branch's Dental Early Acceptance Program (DEAP).

"Our students have expressed a keen interest in the availability of such a program and we are honored to be able to work with The UT Dental Branch to make this a reality for them," Dr. Jones said.

He explained that the program will offer highly qualified students with an interest in dentistry who demonstrate the ability to overcome adverse or disadvantaged circumstances to be considered for and receive conditional early acceptance at The UT Dental Branch. The UT Dental Branch already has similar agreements with Prairie View A&M, UT-El Paso, Texas A&M Kingsville, UT-Brownsville, and UT-Pan American.

"In turn, the program offers guidance and support mechanisms and will work to make available mentoring relationships, academic enrichment programs, and professional development programs to facilitate the success of program participants," he noted.

Dr. Catherine Flaitz, interim dean, said the agreement represents a strong effort by The UT Dental Branch to continue to deliver on its commitment and mission to provide dental education and access to dental service to the state of Texas.

"I am very pleased that The U.T. Dental Branch will be working closely with Texas A&M International University to ensure that highly motivated, deserving students who want to pursue careers in dentistry will be given the chance to gain early acceptance to our school. Our mission is to educate and train the most competent and compassionate dentists and dental hygienists for Texans, and this program will help us accomplish that goal," Dr. Flaitz said.

Dr. Phil Pierpont, associate dean for Student Affairs, said the agreement also signals an interest in enlarging the pool of dental students.

"This initiative is a further example of our commitment to make an excellent dental education program available to a larger pool of students and to increase access to quality dental care for the citizens of our State," Dr. Pierpont said.

This is the second early admission dental program launched this week by TAMIU. The first involves the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Criteria for acceptance into the program include that the student be an accepted and enrolled TAMIU student, declare their interest in the DEAP, completion of an application and biographical statement, SAT or ACT scores and high school and University transcripts, an interview with The UT Dental Branch officials and participation in a Summer Enrichment Program.

In addition, for final acceptance students must maintain a minimum overall GPA in coursework at TAMIU of 3.2 and a minimum science GPA of 3.0., earn an acceptable score on the Dental Admissions Test, and receive positive recommendations for the program.

Outstanding Program participants may be considered for early enrollment at The UT Dental Branch and, if undergraduate curricular requirements have been followed by the candidate at TAMIU, they will be eligible to receive their degree from TAMIU upon successful completion of their first year studies (with a minimum grade of "B" in each course) at The UT Dental Branch.

Complete information on criteria for acceptance is available at either TAMIU or The UT Dental Branch.

The UT Dental Branch is the oldest institution of higher learning in Houston. Founded in 1905 as the Texas Dental College, a privately owned school. Late in 1943, the school, then known as the Texas Dental College, reopened as The University of Texas School of Dentistry, later renamed The University of Texas Dental Branch. In 1945, the UT Board of Regents authorized creation of the School of Dental Hygiene as part of the Dental Branch, so 2005 marks the centennial of the Dental Branch as well as the 50th anniversary of the Dental Hygiene program.

The Dental Branch sponsors 12 accredited academic programs, and is the only school in the country that offers a full array of the eight recognized dental specialty programs, both of the recognized graduate primary care programs, and a dental hygiene program. Dental Branch outreach programs are conducted at more than 80 sites throughout Texas and provide care to almost a hundred thousand Texans a year.

This past January, ten The UT Dental Branch faculty members were selected by their peers to be included in the 2004-2005 edition of The Best Dentists in America, based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. Last October, the The UT Dental Branch student chapter of the Hispanic Dental Association won the Orgullo National Service Award created by the Proctor & Gamble Company to honor projects that serve the community's dental needs and help recruit new students into the dental professions.

For additional information on the TAMIU-The UT Dental Branch Dental Early Acceptance Program, please contact Dr. Dan Mott, associate dean of the TAMIU College of Arts and Sciences, at 956.326.2583.

Additional information on The UT Dental Branch is available by visiting www.db.uth.tmc.edu/

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu