Some decisions in life might appear simple but they define your personal future and the future of your career. Remember the path you pick is what will determine your destination hence the need to be careful about your life choices. If you are sure you want to become a dentist, you must pick the right college for your studies. Schools are not all equal and the kind of dentist you become will highly depend on your choice of university. Here are tips on how to choose a dental school.
The first tip is checking the cost of learning in the facility. The fees in most of these schools are hefty so you must be willing to dig deep in your pockets. In case you are not financially stable and still want to pursue this career, check if your chosen institution has other options for paying school fees. Check if they have scholarship and bursary programs to help with offsetting the fees balance. Do not select for colleges with the lowest prices in the market.
As a potential learner, you should also check the geographical location of the institution. Some students want to study close to home so that they can continue living with their family. Doing so is a good idea because you usually get to cut back on expenses. If you want to study abroad or outside your home town in order to learn new cultures and explore other towns, picking a school outside town is the best option although expenses can rise because due to rent and meals.
The other important thing is to first review the entry requirements. To get into a dental college one must make an application for enrollment to the facility. It is possible to be interested in a university but because you do not have the minimum entry points or grades, you can miss out. Research on the requirements for admission in various institutions and shortlist those whose requirements you can meet.
In dentistry, there are different types of teaching. Some schools use lectures or tutorials to teach while others use problem or learning that is based on inquiry. The latter is the best because it nurtures independent thinking. Students are left on their own to research and find answers to various problems. Those who use tutorial style are not badly off either. However, it is best you pick a university that combines both approaches.
It is also vital to check the size of the classes. This is an important issue that often affects the quality of learning. Some students are quick learners while others are slow learners. If you are a slow learner, go for universities with a low number of students in each class. In such an establishment, he lecturer gets time to focus on each student hence giving them more personal attention. If you are a fast learner, the size of the class might not be an issue.
The type of classes being offered is significant too. Dentistry has multiple fields of specialization. One of these specialties is anatomic dentistry. Schools might offer the same classes but there might be some difference in quality. There are those institutions known for offering quality restorative dentistry programs and others anatomy. Research about your specific specialty of choice and find the best university offering the course.
The clinical practice being offered to learners is another point to consider. Certified dental schools teach clinical practices to equip learners with hands on experience. Some learning facilities own clinics where students can practice even after the first lesson. Others assign learners to clinics that are affiliated with the university but wait longer for learners to learn more about dentistry before assigning them practice exercises. Choose the school that you feel has the best approach on clinical practice.
It is also wise to consider your life outside the classroom. Learning can be fun if you are in a comfortable environment. Remember learning about dentistry can take up to four years. This is a long duration to live in a place where you are not happy. Check out the website of the facility you want to enroll in and find out the kind of housing on offer, sports and student clubs. Student organization and clubs usually present a good opportunity to make friends and establish a network.
Rather than studying for four years and then going back to school for another four years to study another degree, find out if an institution offers prospective learners the chance to combine courses. That way, you can pursue two degrees in the same study period. By the time you are completing school, there will be no need to go back to a learning institution. This can allow you to focus on your dental practice. Keep in mind that combining programs can be overwhelming so decide wisely.
Your performance in the university is going to be graded. Every institution has its own grading system. There are those who use letters to grade while others use pass or fail grading system. Each student has the system he or she prefers. Visit the college website and look up their grading system. If it makes you feel comfortable, then you are choosing the right place.
Students are often good at choosing their teachers. Take time and research about the qualifications and experience of the lecturers and tutors who will be teaching in your faculty. The best lecturers are those who have been certified, take part in career development programs and in dentistry research. It is usually highly advantageous to learn from a lecturer who is a dental practitioner.
If you want quality education, look up the reputation of an establishment prior to enrolling. The alumnae of the school can help you learn more about the institution. Check out the university website and read reviews and feedback of previous students. If the reviews and opinions are positive, it is a sign you are joining the right school.