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Those who are closely involved with our school know that innovation is one of our core values. This value is embodied in many ways around our school, particularly in how we approach our curriculum.

As we say in our mission statement, we prepare oral healthcare providers for scientifically based practice and define new standards for education. To that end, we have started to implement the Pacific Dental Helix Curriculum. A new white paper, which I encourage you to read, provides an overview of this new integrated D.D.S. curriculum and describes how it is shaping our school today and into the future. The curriculum is the result of four years of research and planning done as part of the implementation of our school’s strategic plan, Advancing Greatness.

The new curriculum focuses on active versus passive learning. It offers new ways for our students and faculty to interact. It involves small-group, case-based learning, and reorganization of our clinical model into eight small group practices instead of four large ones. These are just some of the changes you’ll read about which exemplify how we are staying at the forefront when it comes to our curriculum.

Read the white paper >>

What distinguishes a graduate of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry from the other dental professionals? That was the question we set ourselves to answer last year when the faculty and advisors met last year to create a strategic plan for the next five years.

It is tough to improve on the outstanding. It is an understatement to say that it was a challenge even to contemplate creating a roadmap to advance the Dugoni School to the next level. How to build on the rich tradition of excellence of the Dugoni School, maintaining the core attributes while advancing the organization to a new level of greatness?

Among the most distinguishing features of the school are these:

  • Leadership and innovation
  • The humanistic model of education
  • Clinical excellence
  • A three-year curriculum
  • Alumni allegiance
  • Family-like culture
  • Life-long passion for Pacific

These features are central to both the past and future success of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. They are what make us unique within our profession.

There are many significant issues facing dental education and our School. In choosing the issues – some of which I will discuss in future blog posts – that form the structure of our strategic plan, we asked ourselves these questions:

  1. In addressing this issue, do we advance the vision, mission, and values of our School and our University?
  2. Does this issue provide us with opportunities to take the School in new and exceptional directions?
  3. If not addressed, does this issue threaten the future of the School?
  4. Do our stakeholders consider this issue important?
  5. Does this issue build on our distinctive core competencies?
  6. Is there evidence that the School should make this issue a priority?

We used these questions as criteria to ascertain the most critical issues facing the School, and organized our strategy around six strategic directions and 22 goals. I will discuss these in my next blog entry. Meanwhile, I would welcome your input about what you believe are the biggest issues we should be addressing!