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UofL School of Dentistry Partnership with Central High School Returns After a Successful First Year

By UofL School of Dentistry NOV 3 2023 

After a successful first year, the Central High School (CHS) Dental Magnet Program is returning and growing in the 2023-2024 school year.

The program began in the spring of 2023 as a partnership between the University of Louisville School of Dentistry (ULSD) and Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS). The goal of the program is to create interest in dentistry careers among the next generation, while also creating pathways into higher education for CHS students.

Rodshay Brooks, and 2013 University of Louisville dental hygiene graduate, leads the Dental Magnet Program. Brooks says the program met and exceeded its goals in the first year. “Students responded to the program with enthusiasm and the hunger to have a dental career intensified,” she says. “As an alumnus of CHS and ULSD, I am excited to continue the CHS/ULSD Pipeline.”

During the first year of the program, Central High School juniors and seniors visited the ULSD radiology clinic. During these visits, they had an opportunity to practice and test their skills taking X-rays.

In addition, selected students pursuing the dental assistant career pathway visited the school once a month. During these visits, they observed patient treatment in some of the dental school’s patient care clinics and participated in hands-on activities with ULSD faculty.

All participants had the chance to learn about the wide range of career options in dentistry, as well as the dental education programs at UofL.

Brooks says this combination of activities gave participants confidence to pursue a dental career. As an added bonus, she says they built a connection with the University of Louisville. “Upon graduating from the ULSD program, students felt a belonging on the campus,” she says.

For the 2023-2024 school year, the program will expand in two ways. The scope of the program will be broadened to include more activities and it will accept more students. The first cohort will begin their activities at ULSD in late September.

Hear from students who participated in the first year of the program at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nrq4QdbsrAQ

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