Center for Urban Research and Learning

Loyola University Chicago

Here you will find all of CURL's research projects and publications. 

Evaluation of the Illinois Children's Health Foundation Pipeline Dentistry Project

(10/1/2008 - 10/1/2017)


The Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation funded two initiatives at Southern Illinois University and at the University of Illinois at Chicago to assist those schools in making curricular and other changes to their dentistry programs.  The two schools implemented the changes in ways that reflect the different communities they serve.  The goal is to increase the number of dental students and graduates who are capable of caring for pediatric and special needs patients, and who are interested in working in community-based settings or in under served communities throughout Illinois.

Started in 2008, this seven year evaluation looks at the both the process and the outcomes of these curricular and programmatic changes.  All relevant stakeholders are considered, including students, faculty, administrators, and community based preceptors/administrators.  Several different assessment methods are used, including interviews, focus groups, surveys, and observations both within the dental schools and at community based sites.  Outcomes are examined primarily by comparing student attitudes and career choices upon entry into dental school, upon graduation, and as alumni.  However, other measures of success and challenges are considered.

The report findings demonstrate the positive impacts of this multi-year endeavor by ILCHF, the two schools and the community partners to improve the delivery of oral health to children and underserved communities in Illinois. Both schools increased their services to children. With the new curriculum, cohorts of new dentists gained additional understandings and skills to work with underserved communities and, in a variety of manners, incorporate underserved communities in their practice. The projects not only furthered the mission and goals of the schools and the community health agencies, but also created and/or expanded enduring partnerships between the schools and the community health agencies, which focused on serving and expanding oral health care to children and training future generation of dentists.



Research Team:

  • C. George, CURL

  • M. Rojek, Graduate Fellow

  • J. Davis, CURL

  • J. Hilvers, CURL

  • A. Figert, Sociology

  • M. Krogh, Sociology

  • E. Barry, CURL Undergraduate Fellow

  • M. Janusek, CURL Undergraduate Fellow

  • I. Mushtaq, CURL Undergraduate Fellow

  • W. Bolton, CURL

  • K. Patel, CURL

  • S. Gabourel, CURL Graduate Fellow

  • J. Cruz, CURL Undergraduate Fellow

  • M. Rocks, CURL Undergraduate Fellow

  • M. Luetkemeier, CURL Graduate Fellow

  • Mary Driscoll, Consultant

Community Partners: