Talladega College has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to allow Talladega students to pursue careers in dentistry there. Students who take part in this program will be able to receive dual degrees in science and dentistry.
Five students will be selected to go to Nova every year, starting with this year’s class.
“Talladega College has a history of sending students to medical schools, so it just made sense to get in on such a great agreement,” said Talladega College President Billy Hawkins. “Another great thing is that students can enroll here as freshmen with dental school as a goal. They can start thinking in that direction early.”
He continued that it was exciting that students here will be guaranteed slots to study dentistry at an established school.
Hawkins and Dean of Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine Robert Uchin signed the agreement on Aug. 21 at Nova’s campus. Hawkins was accompanied by Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs Christopher Jeffries, Dean of Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Charlie Stinson and Associate Professor of Biology Gladys Swain.
College administrators visited the Florida institution prior to the agreement. Hawkins said the dental school didn’t have many minorities enrolled, which made the idea of further diversifying the dental school even more appealing to both parties.
Reversely, Hal Lippman, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions for Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, visited Talladega College over the summer to asses the administrators’ interests in such an agreement and educate them on what it would take for the students to study at Nova.
“We had been to many black colleges before but were amazed at the charm and sophistication displayed at the campus. We were equally impressed with their desire towards their students’ advancement in health professions,” Lippman said.
He continued that the MOA was designed to expose students to a direct link to an established dental school. Nova has had propositions for such agreements in the past that never came to fruition, so the administrators from both schools were grateful when this one was signed last month.
“We are pleased to partner with Nova to provide our students with the educational foundation that will result in an advanced degree. This partnership is vital to Talladega’s continued commitment to academic excellence and our promise to continuously provide the best classroom training for our students,” Hawkins said.
He added that Talladega College is the first historically black school to enter into such an agreement with Nova’s dental school.
Hawkins said the two schools will review the agreement after they get a chance to see how the selected students perform in dental school. He believes this will be a permanent arrangement.
Lippman said that Nova has quite a diverse student body and the newcomers from Talladega will be a welcome addition to its enrollment.
“We don’t expect any more or less than what we expect of everyone who comes here,” he said.