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Cooperation springs eternal

2011 CODA Reception

Faculty and staff share a laugh
at Restorative Sciences
Assistant Professor Dr. Burt Bryan's
2011 CODA site visit
tribute during a Nov. 3
appreciation reception.

Photo by Steven Doll

After a much-anticipated 2011 site visit, the college is commended on a shared vision of excellence

Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry hosted some special guests this fall. Staff, faculty and administrators saw to it that these individuals’ needs were met by providing them food, transportation – and ample reading material. These guests were site visitors on a mission for the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Monumental preparations for these VIPs included a 1,939-page, five-volume self-study and supporting documentation more than two years in the making.

Programs Coordinator Barbara Karbowski, who helped construct the Predoctoral Self Study Report and plan the 2011 CODA site visit, says lightheartedly that hosting the visitors was like “having special company” and that she and Administrative Coordinator Patricia DancingElk had tired feet for days. On a more serious note, it’s a testament to the effort they and so many others put forth during those three days in late October.

“It is extraordinary to receive no recommendations, and so many diverse and comprehensive strength statements.”
—Dr. Charles Berry

Before the CODA site visitors’ Oct. 27 departure, they shared with Karbowski how taken they were with the college’s ‘superb’ hospitality.

“Several evaluators said they wished they were a part of our faculty and would enjoy working in our beautiful school,” says Karbowski. “Comments like that made it all worthwhile and very satisfying to have been a part of it for the second time,” she adds.

Noteworthy results

The completion of TAMHSC-BCD’s comprehensive review resulted in reaccreditation of its predoctoral, postdoctoral and dental hygiene programs. In its predoctoral dental program, the college received no recommendations or suggestions and received nine recognized predoctoral program strength statements, a significant feat in its own right.

The strengths include:

  • the college’s outstanding commitment to diversity;
  • the teamwork, positivity and shared vision of excellence among faculty, staff and students;
  • the overall strength of the clinical programs;
  • the outstanding efforts made to track students’ clinical progress through the quality assessment grading format;
  • the support of the research mission by multiple sources of funding;
  • the up-to-date and highly supported research and clinical infrastructure of the school;
  • the efforts to integrate the biomedical courses to ensure continuality and maximum synergy of the student’s biomedical education;
  • innovative programs such as the evidence-based courses and integrated sciences course that stimulate higher levels of learning; and
  • the asset of a biomedical sciences faculty dedicated to the education of dental and dental hygiene professionals.

Dr. Charles Berry, professor and associate dean for academic affairs, says this level of recognition by an accrediting agency is not commo

“It is extraordinary to receive no recommendations, and so many diverse and comprehensive strength statements,” says Berry, who edited and assembled the predoctoral self-study and coordinated scheduling and mock site visit sessions.

Culture of cohesion

Karbowski was quick to point out the role that staff and faculty from multiple departments played to make the three-day visit run smoothly.

“So many staff helped in their individual departments for the predoctoral, dental hygiene and graduate programs — it was definitely a BCD team effort,” Karbowski says.

It’s an effort that Berry says didn’t go unnoticed.

“The site visitors were impressed that a high level of cooperation existed among and between the faculty, students, staff and administration,” he says. “The key to the successful outcome was that all involved in the educational process had a shared vision of excellence.”