A decade of grassroots pathway programming: Saturday Academy at New York University College of Dentistry

Cheryline Pezzullo, Eugenia E. Mejia, Lorel E. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Successful pathway programs require early and sustained support of student participants. Purpose: We present the history and outcomes of a successful decade of continuous, grassroots, pathway programming at an individual dental institution. Methods: Programmatic data were used to evaluate information on program participant demographics, academic pursuits, and career interests. Descriptive analyses were used to report on program enrollment as well as alumni academic and career outcomes. Results: Between the years of 2013 and 2022, 346 high-school students participated in Saturday Academy at NYU Dentistry. Of the 240 college-aged and older program alumni, 72% (n = 172) have shared their academic and career plans after high-school. At the time of publication, 78% (134/172) of alumni that have maintained contact with Saturday Academy and have expressed interest in pursuing a career in the health professions. Of the 172 alumni, 14% (n = 24) have enrolled in or graduated from a health professional program (dental hygiene, nursing, accelerated dental or medical program, dental or medical school, or other health professional program). Of these alumni (24/172), half (n = 12) have pursued education in the dental professions, specifically. Conclusion: Saturday Academy at NYU Dentistry is an example of a sustainable and impactful pathway program in dental education and its outcomes support the merit of calls for increased institutional commitment and support of similar initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1278
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • diversity and inclusion
  • mentoring
  • minority recruitment
  • pathway program
  • pipeline program
  • predental education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Dentistry


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