Preparing for 2018 CODA Accreditation

2018 CODA Accreditation: April 3-5, 2018

The goals have been twofold: to better align Kornberg's curriculum and clinical care delivery with the school's new mission and with the new CODA standards. And the process has been lengthy, beginning just after the last CODA site visit in March 2011.

So even before the formal self-study began, the school started implementing major changes. For instance, renovations in 2012 were the first phase of new integrated clinics. Then, once they were completed in 2013-2014, a comprehensive care model started to take shape. Next, a review of the new CODA standards propelled the school to develop three new requirements:

  • Temple Objective and Structured Clinical Examination
  • Practice-Management in Practice Program - asking students to visit private offices to study and write reports on the administration, scheduling, communication and financial processing in dental practice
  • Science-in-Dental Practice Program - with Ted-Talk-like, short online lectures on all aspects of science relevant to dental practice (biological, clinical, health services, educational, and evidence-based); includes presentation of at least one scholarly poster at a designated annual day for all the school

Other changes sought to increase revenues, balance the budget and create new revenue streams to support hiring additional faculty and staff and to build a new research program. Also, staff increased in the Student Affairs Office, and we focused on creating a humanistic culture through engagement of faculty, staff and students.

2016 Self-Study

After all of that work, last January the formal self-study moved forward. As a first step, Dean Ismail appointed Self-Study Committee chairs: Dr. Maria Fornatora, associate dean for academic affairs, and faculty responsible for each of the nine relevant areas of CODA standards. The chairs then set a timeline for the self-study and assigned full-time faculty to nine subcommittees. The chairs also formed a Steering Committee from the subcommittees and their chairs. 

Meeting bi-monthly from March till December, the Steering Committee reviewed findings and drafts from the subcommittees. Using the Strategic Plan and self-study process as a guide, the Steering Committee identified strengths and weaknesses in meeting the standards. The committee also decided what was needed for action plans and their timelines. 

Meanwhile, the Dean, Fornatora and John Moore, director of outcomes assessment, prepared for a mock site visit. The three of them reviewed drafts, suggested revisions to the subcommittee subchairs and developed appropriate documents. In early August the group invited three outside reviewers to Kornberg. Prepared to be highly critical as requested, they followed the same format that the official visit will use.

As expected, the reviewers identified additional strengths and weaknesses. In response, the school implemented five changes that reflected a purposeful engagement of students and incorporation of their feedback.

  • A new method of competency assessment, based on the Progression towards Competency scale. It measures each student's readiness to challenge a summative clinical examination. Determining a course grade by separating competency readiness from gaining more experience was new for faculty. Traditionally, they set minimal experiences before allowing students to challenge an examination.
  • School-wide calibration for all competency examinations, based on passing tests after reviewing clinically oriented online presentations.
  • Additional competency assessments for restoration of a dental implant and placement of a stainless steel crown.
  • For evidence-based dentistry, introduction of a new online course for faculty calibration and new modules for lay and scientific evaluations.
  • New critical analysis evaluation form, based on Bloom’s taxonomy. It's required for all fee waiver requests for any procedure, regardless of the reason.

Looking back on the process and the progress that has been made, Dean Ismail says: ”Importantly, the clinics now are steadily seeing more patients and providing more services. In fact, overall, continuous educational and academic improvement has been strong and consistent."

Meg Cave