Service Learning is a progressive curriculum taking students to a variety of community based experiences throughout their four years of dental school. The goal is to integrate didactic components of education with hands-on experiences outside of the College. We believe the acquired learning, as well as services provided, are equally and mutually beneficial to both our dental students and community members.
The College has developed partnerships with K-12 schools, community organizations, and community-based dental clinics. These experiences take place in the Chicagoland area, throughout Illinois, nationally and internationally to better prepare dental students for careers in diverse settings, as well as to encourage their interest in working with the underserved populations. The current service learning curriculum is comprised of Community-Based Education and Extramural Education.
Community-Based Education (CBE)
Over a student's first three semesters in dental school, they are introduced to issues contributing to health disparities in this country, thereby impacting a person's oral health status. Topics explored include:
- health education,
- access to health care,
- social determinants of health,
- risk factors, and
- literacy, language, & culture.
Dental students visit local communities and community organizations in order to learn about such issues first-hand, and spend time in local elementary schools to provide oral health education to young children.
For more information on Community-Based Education, please contact Ms. Khatija Noorullah at (312) 355-4549.
Extramural Education Program (EEP)
The College of Dentistry (COD) aims to prepare an oral health care workforce, competent and committed to addressing oral health needs of vulnerable and underserved populations and to play its part in eliminating health disparities.
The COD engages all fourth year students in service-learning experiences in community-based clinics in Chicago and other areas of Illinois including Aurora, Rockford and Lake County.
These experiences are part of the DADM 325 course, through which students provide care to the underserved urban, rural, and special needs populations including children, developmentally disabled, HIV positive and geriatrics patients. As a product of the College's curriculum restructuring, each senior student will engage in community-based education and service- learning experiences for at least 50 days. For information on these clinic partner sites, please visit our Partnerships page.
For more information on Extramural Education, please contact Dr. Al Bolden at (312) 996-0406.