Penn Dental, AAL Spark Innovation in Dental Education with New Online Certification Program


Penn Dental Medicine Penn Dental, AAL Spark Innovation in Dental Education with New Online Certification Program

Dr. Uri Hangorsky of Penn Dental Medicine and Dr. Marnie Oakley of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine are the lead instructors.

Philadelphia — Penn Dental Medicine and the Academy for Advancing Leadership (AAL), a higher-education consultancy, have partnered to develop an online, asynchronous certificate program for part-time and transitioning faculty members in dental and allied dental education.

This cobranded initiative, Fundamentals of Clinical Education, is designed to calibrate and orient new clinical faculty as predoctoral, postgraduate, and allied dental educators. Slated for a Spring 2019 release, the program is comprised of five modules covering crucial topics in clinical education, including: the critical presence and value of clinical faculty, the landscape of dental education, diversity and inclusion, communication, feedback and teachable moments, and student assessments and evaluations.

According to the American Dental Education Association, more than half of all dental school faculty in 2015-2016 were part-time, and 56 percent of new faculty came from private practice. Dr. Karl Haden, AAL President, describes the program as “a bridge between the private practice of dentistry and those who are moving into academic positions.” He adds, “Fundamentals of Clinical Education fills an unmet need to help those transitioning to or interested in academic careers understand the roles and responsibilities of the oral health educator.”

The program aims to equip clinical faculty members with the fundamental knowledge and skills they need to be effective educators and valuable team members at their institutions. To be offered through Penn Dental Medicine’s online learning platform, the program also provides participants the flexibility of an at-your-pace online learning experience. The lead instructors are Dr. Uri Hangorsky, Clinical Professor and Interim Chair of Periodontics and Associate Dean for Student Life, Admissions & PASSProgram at Penn Dental Medicine, and Dr. Marnie Oakley, Associate Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical & Faculty Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Additional members of the Penn Dental Medicine faculty will also be participating as instructors.

Of the online program, Dr. Mark S. Wolff, Morton Amsterdam Dean of Penn Dental Medicine, says, “There are so many different aspects to building a strong clinical faculty, and we are pleased to help develop this as another resource in that process. While each dental school faculty is unique, there are universal qualities to effective teaching and interaction with students and those lessons can be an invaluable tool for those entering the field.”

For more information about the forthcoming program, please contact AAL Vice President Dr. Tobias Rodriguez at

About AAL
AAL is a health and higher education consulting firm headquartered in Atlanta. AALworks with organizational leaders to achieve their goals through strategy and professional development. The firm has helped over 150 institutions and 5,000 corporate and academic healthcare executives, educators, and practitioners to advance in their fields. Learn more at