which were heavily dependent upon applicants’ college grade point average, Dental Aptitude Test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal interview. These policies were typical of other dental schools, but “[led] to considering a narrow range of students for admission and did not permit adequate consideration of a student’s full range of intellectual, social, and personal traits” (Formicola et al., 2003, p. 492). In response, the admissions committee broadened its criteria to include a greater emphasis on applicants’ personal attributes and background, extracurricular activities, difficulties overcome, and other qualitative factors. To facilitate this change of emphasis, admissions committee members were provided with training in interview skills and understanding qualitative attributes that might be beneficial to the school and to the profession. In addition, a new survey instrument was developed to help guide the interviews and ensure that applicants’ qualitative attributes were assessed. Finally, a subcommittee on minority enrollment was appointed to assist the admissions committee in interviewing and assessing applicants with diverse educational and professional backgrounds. As a result, more minority students were admitted; in the 59-year period between 1923 and 1982, SDOS graduated 16 African American and Latino students, while in the period from 1984 to 2001, the school admitted 57 African American and Latino students, graduating 51 of them (Formicola et al., 2003).
With the admission of greater numbers of diverse students, SDOS realized that variation in students’ educational background required that the institution provide academic support services. As a result, the school developed tutorial services for first-year students and a summer preenrollment academic enrichment program. These services were offered initially to all students whose records indicated that their preparation could be improved. Gradually, the first-year tutorial program expanded and improved its ability to serve all students, and the summer enrichment program was suspended (Formicola et al., 2003).
During this same period, SDOS also sought opportunities to expand its postdoctoral training, while at the same time improving its service to the local community and increasing the numbers of URM faculty. These goals were met with a unique collaboration between SDOS and the Harlem Hospital Medical Center. At the time, Harlem Hospital had expanded its dental service from mainly emergency and oral surgical care to comprehensive care, and expanded its dental clinic facility. This created an opportunity for SDOS and the dental department at Harlem Hospital to collaborate to develop a postdoctoral specialty training program for dentists completing their residency at Harlem Hospital. The residents, who were mainly African American and Hispanic, were required to commit to service in the community as members of the hospital staff, or as faculty in the dental school and/ or in practice in the Harlem community. In return, Harlem Hospital paid