Goal One: Develop and Sustain Learner-Centered Education

Our Vision

Excellent education, guided by and grounded in sound scientific evidence, develops students for success as skilled professionals and effective leaders.

Class president speech

Our students, residents and faculty participate in interdisciplinary learning and research that benefits the college and its community of patients, and is guided by well-rounded curricula that produces professionals skillful in the art and science of integrated healthcare.

We employ innovative, evidence-based educational models to prepare our students and residents for success and continued effectiveness in a rapidly changing health care environment.



1-1. Systematically review and revise the curriculum across DMD and advanced education programs to promote excellence and serve as a model for innovative dental education.

Rationale: Incorporating dental education literature and best practices, implement a streamlined innovative curriculum in the DMD and advanced dental education programs in a learner-centered environment.

Implementation Strategies

  • Provide exceptional education and training as evidenced by various educational outcomes such as national and state board success rates, preparedness for practice, and student satisfaction.
  • Streamline the curriculum to reduce redundancy to provide expanded learning opportunities in additional areas such as research, public health and emerging technologies such as AI and digital dentistry.
  • Further expand blended learning approaches, case-based learning, evidence-based practice and active learning throughout the curriculum.
  • Expand integration of biomedical, clinical and behavioral sciences in the curriculum.
  • Continue to identify and assess further educational opportunities that support student-centered learning, community-based learning and interprofessional education.
  • Advocate for a stable and affordable tuition to minimize educational debt.

 1-2. Transition the UFCD curriculum toward an integrated healthcare model.

Rationale: Increasing curricular focus on comprehensive and coordinated patient care while supporting mastery of individual procedures offers significant opportunities for improved student learning and better patient care in the context of a humanistic environment. Curricular changes better integrate basic and clinical science, support critical thinking, provide earlier clinical experiences, and optimize the impact of biomedical advances through faster translation of research findings into clinical care.

Implementation Strategies

  • Optimize curriculum-management strategies to better integrate curricular content, increase efficiency and interdisciplinary patient centered care.
  • Increase awareness of a humanistic environment and expand opportunities for students, faculty and staff to meet the needs of diverse patient populations.
  • Adopt and support measures of effectiveness and improved patient outcomes.

1-3. Expand interprofessional educational experiences.


SHPEP Student and DMD student

Rationale: Providing patient care in a collaborative, integrated team environment is the hallmark of interprofessional education, and it ensures that UFCD students and residents acquire knowledge and skills to work within this modern landscape. The expected results are improved health outcomes coupled with the best available care supported by evidence. This shift is especially important given the changing demographics of the U.S. population and a growing need to be responsive to the needs of patients across the lifespan.

Implementation Strategies

  • Advance clinical excellence while providing care to a broad range of patients – from infants to the elderly, racial and ethnic minorities, the medically fragile, persons with special health needs and other underserved groups.
  • Increase collaborations and learning opportunities between UFCD and other UF health disciplines.
  • Maximize the use of digital technology and data science.
  • Promote earlier clinical experiences within the DMD curriculum.

1-4. Incorporate technology to provide students and residents with broader learning experiences.

Rationale: Advances in educational technology have the potential to expand curricular flexibility and to customize instruction for individual learning styles. Online courses, apps, simulation and other approaches can be used to enhance learning as well as ensure that students, residents, and trainees are comfortable with the use of new technologies in care and in research.

Implementation Strategies

  • Analyze current curricula to identify potential areas amenable to online instruction, including pre-clinical coursework, using virtual patients, and enabling more digital imaging across all care centers and graduate programs.
  • Expand UFCD online learning opportunities for students, community providers, dental professionals and auxiliaries.
  • Continuously upgrade dental equipment, and digital technology to address current trends and needs.
  • Make existing resources accessible for research use, including migrating axiUm, EPIC and other systems to searchable databases.

1-5. Enhance the integration of research into predoctoral and graduate education.

Residents perio

Rationale: New insights and knowledge from research inform what we teach and how we provide care. UFCD currently ranks fifth among U.S. dental schools for NIH funding and has ranked in the top 10 for the past 15 years. Amid the rich research environment provided throughout the UF Academic Health Center, UFCD students, residents, trainees and faculty have access to cutting-edge technologies and interdisciplinary collaborations that can revolutionize prevention and management of oral diseases. These strengths position us as a world leader in oral health research.

Implementation Strategies

  • Enhance student engagement in research activities as part of the DMD curriculum and residency training.
  • Expand UFCD faculty representation and active engagement in graduate education.
  • Continue to support and enhance effective and timely communication regarding ongoing research interests and activities of faculty and trainees, both within and beyond the UFCD research community.
  • Involve research faculty and trainees in creating options to allow greater flexibility for students to pursue dental and educational research.
  • Expand evidenced based approaches in clinical teaching.