Dental Board of California Grants Provisional Approval to California North State University College of Dental Medicine

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By Dimitri Davis

At its February 11, 2022, meeting [Agenda Item 24], the Dental Board of California (DBC) voted to grant provisional approval to California North State University College of Dental Medicine (CNSUCDM) to operate as a Board-approved dental school in California.

Pursuant to section 1614 of the Business and Professions Code, the Board is authorized to establish standards for the approval of dental colleges in California. Accordingly, the Board adopted section 1024, Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations to set forth these standards, including its intent to only approve dental schools that continuously maintain high-quality standards of instruction. Under this regulation, a new school for the study of dentistry in California must apply for provisional approval during its first academic year, and apply for final approval when the school is in full operation with classes studying in the curriculum in each of the following academic years. In lieu of its own investigation, the Board may accept the findings of any commission on accreditation agency approved by the Board, and accept those findings as its own.

At the meeting, the Board’s Interim Executive Officer, Sarah Wallace, reported that during its May 14, 2021, meeting [Agenda Item 15], the Dean of CNSUCDM provided an update concerning the accreditation process. In addition, Ms. Wallace reported that on August 31, 2021, the school received notification from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), informing them of their approved initial accreditation. Further, on September 30, 2021, the school received a letter from the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education approving the addition of the Doctor of Dental Medicine Program.

CNSUCDM is located in Elk Grove, within the Sacramento metropolitan area. According to Dr. Kevin Keating, DDS, MS, Dean and a Professor at CNSUCDM, this area is the twentieth largest metropolitan area in the United States, and yet it lacks a dental school within 80-100 miles. Dr. Keating testified at the Board’s February meeting, that the need for dental education in the area is what inspired CNSU to seek to establish an accredited dental institution.

CNSUCDM must apply for final approval once the school is in full operation in the following academic year. Upon achieving final accreditation, CNSUCDM will be California’s seventh Dental School.

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