Case Report of a Program to Enhance Dental Students’ Interest in Academic Dentistry

William D. Hendricson, Stefanie Seitz, Dana Kiefer English

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This case report describes a Teaching Honors Program (THP) at the UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry and presents findings from an outcomes assessment covering the initial 11 years of the program. The program goals are to enhance dental students’ awareness of academic career options, promote student and faculty collaboration on educational development projects, and provide students with training in teacher toolkit skills to increase their readiness for peer teaching during dental school and faculty roles early in their careers. The THP curriculum consists of six core courses and nine electives extending across the four years of dental school. THP graduates receive the academic designation “Distinction in Dental Education” at commencement. Outcomes data are organized by Kirkpatrick's Hierarchy of Educational Outcomes: reaction (participants’ satisfaction with THP), indicators (students’ attitudes and intentions pertinent to teaching and academic careers), learning (changes in knowledge and skills relevant to teachers’ tasks), behavior (students’ ability to apply teaching skills in classrooms, labs, and clinics), and results (changes in the infrastructure and capacity of the school as a consequence of the THP). Positive outcomes were found in multiple layers of the assessment hierarchy. In 2016, 51% of students participated in the THP, and 31 graduated with Distinction in Dental Education; in 2017, 50% participated, and 44 graduated with that honor. THP students provide approximately 1,400 hours of supervised peer teaching annually in the predoctoral curriculum and pre-matriculation programs, and 21% of the initial 106 THP graduates entered academic dentistry soon after graduation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1056
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • academic careers
  • career choice
  • dental education
  • dental students
  • outcomes
  • teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)


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