rok917

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After I went to my interview for USC, I was pretty excited. But now I have been hearing some negative things about the school; such as, how they have a new dean and how the students do not graduate on time. Could someone who attends the school clear up some of this info? Why is there some negative publicity?

thanks
 

Platypus

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I interviewed there last week and did not hear much negative publicity. I did hear that there might be a new dean but I'm not sure how this generates negative publicity. The question of graduating on time came up on our tour and we were told that nearly every one graduates on time unless doing a residency program (in fact, we were told that it is possible to even finish all requirements EARLY, although the program is still a four-year program). Personally I would not worry about publicity; if you like what you saw then that's all that matters! I for one enjoyed the PBL a lot...good luck every one:)
 

54807

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The question of graduating on time came up on our tour and we were told that nearly every one graduates on time unless doing a residency program
Are you implying that folks who desire to specialize take more than 4 years for their DDS or simply more than 4 years until they are done with their training?

USC's problems bleed through during my interview, so if the problems weren't so obvious now, perhaps they are fixing alot of things. Which is good. I swear there was a publicity announcement on Pacific's website saying the interim dean is a Pacific alumni and sits on one of the trillions of boards at the school. Maybe that was some random other thing.

I had USC students say 'No...don't come here...unless you're a military scholarship. Then it's a great time!' Sounds like that's no longer the case!
 

admap

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After I went to my interview for USC, I was pretty excited. But now I have been hearing some negative things about the school; such as, how they have a new dean and how the students do not graduate on time. Could someone who attends the school clear up some of this info? Why is there some negative publicity?

thanks
I interviewed there and heard bad reviews about the school too. But later I learnt they have acting Dean and he is an alumnus from UoP. He sounds really promising. Read this: http://dental.pacific.edu/News_and_Events/News_Archive/News_Stories/Alumnus_Named_Acting_Dean_at_USC_School_of_Dentistry.html
It makes me feel better that USC has realized they need to do something about whatever situation they have and rectify it.:thumbup:
Maybe Hysteria can shed more light over it.
 

Kokugeka Shiro

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Maybe Hysteria can shed more light over it.
Agreed. Hysteria is the man!!; he led my tour during my interview on the 20th, and the guy is by far the most knowledgeable and helpful dental student I've ever talked to.

But I really felt like USC has a lot going for it, and the flexibility of daily schedule that PBL allows makes it easy to invest time into pre-specialization resume building experiences.
 

Platypus

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Are you implying that folks who desire to specialize take more than 4 years for their DDS or simply more than 4 years until they are done with their training?

I agree Hysteria can probably answer better and he probably knows what I am referring too...I believe I am thinking of the GPR program? Thanks
 

Hysteria24

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Agreed. Hysteria is the man!!; he led my tour during my interview on the 20th, and the guy is by far the most knowledgeable and helpful dental student I've ever talked to.
Haha! I like that statement. :D

To shine some light on some of your questions/concerns:

Yes, we do have a new interim Dean. That's old news around here.

http://www.dailytrojan.com/news/dentistry_school_appoints_temporary_dean
http://www.usc.edu/hsc/dental/update/November08/ADMIN_drabelson.html

I just his short time as dean he has taken a very proactive approach and has already made some very positive changes. He is a Pacific alum and that is evident by his frequent use of the word "humanism," the number one core value at Pacific (http://dental.pacific.edu/The_Dugoni_Experience/Core_Values.html). For the past year he worked as the clinical dean and immediately overhauled the way that ran all in a effort to increase that notorious graduation rate. The permanent dean should be in place by this summer, and for all we know, the committee could choose to keep Dr. Abelson in place.
 

ROSE1010

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Thanks Hysteria...maybe we'll see you next year!!!
I was at USC on September and I mostly asked questions about negative things said about USC in the past. It seems to me they are fixing it and making significant changes in terms of graduating on-time and adding lectures to PBL, which is a very good sign! I really felt comfortable at USC and found out more about the school. It's now in my top choices for dental schools if I'm admitted. Good luck guys on December 1:thumbup:
 

Hysteria24

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The question of graduating on time came up on our tour and we were told that nearly every one graduates on time unless doing a residency program
Are you implying that folks who desire to specialize take more than 4 years for their DDS or simply more than 4 years until they are done with their training?
I agree Hysteria can probably answer better and he probably knows what I am referring too...I believe I am thinking of the GPR program? Thanks
I don't really understand what was going on in the conversation above, but there is definitely some confusion there.

Going into residency/specialty has nothing to do with graduation time line for the 4 year DDS program at USC.

Platypus... can you elaborate at all, and maybe I can help you out?



Also if anyone else has any specific questions they'd like addressed, this seems like a good thread to ask away. :thumbup:


.
 

Platypus

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Ok sorry about the confusion!!! I wasn't referring to any sort of specialization. I also wasn't referring to completing the degree in less/more than four years (although I know it is possible to finish some requirements early depending how you work).

My question I guess is what is it called when you can stay at the school for a year AFTER completion of your degree? Also, now that we're on the topic do a lot of students you know do this? I think I am thinking of USC's GPR program but let me know it would be helpful if I am way out to lunch haha
 

A8

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I don't really understand what was going on in the conversation above, but there is definitely some confusion there.

Going into residency/specialty has nothing to do with graduation time line for the 4 year DDS program at USC.

Platypus... can you elaborate at all, and maybe I can help you out?



Also if anyone else has any specific questions they'd like addressed, this seems like a good thread to ask away. :thumbup:


.
Hysteria, How do you feel about PBL sessions so far? Are facilitators helpful to give you enough guidelines, or basically you are on your own? How about students in your PBL cell? Have you had a case that someone in your group does not do his/her own part? Can you give us some insight?
 

hoss19

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i am really not sold on pbl as a teaching approach. i think it is great on theory, TERRIBLE in practice. i think most of the schools problems can be attributed to this. i spoke with some alums (prior to the pbl era) and they said that the changed curriculumn has ruined their school. this is the reason they claim, for the high rate of attrition.

personally, i think pbl is great to supplement a traditional curriculumn (a la uconn). it teaches you to think like a practioner. but in terms of preparing students for the boards it is just not the right approach. if passing the NBDEs were not a part of the game, then i would be all for usc's approach. unfortunately they are out of touch with reality.

i was also turned off how the admin and students alike tried to duck the question of why pbl is a preferable teaching method when the proof is in the pudding that their passing rates are lagging behind. i think usc is lost right now in terms of what to do with their curriculumn. at the very least they have some things to straighten out. i would not be surprised to see a pbl curriclumn-based end within the next 3-5 years.
 

BioMaxDDS

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Also if anyone else has any specific questions they'd like addressed, this seems like a good thread to ask away. :thumbup:


.
my question is in your email inbox :D
 

BioMaxDDS

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i am really not sold on pbl as a teaching approach. i think it is great on theory, TERRIBLE in practice. i think most of the schools problems can be attributed to this. i spoke with some alums (prior to the pbl era) and they said that the changed curriculumn has ruined their school. this is the reason they claim, for the high rate of attrition.

personally, i think pbl is great to supplement a traditional curriculumn (a la uconn). it teaches you to think like a practioner. but in terms of preparing students for the boards it is just not the right approach. if passing the NBDEs were not a part of the game, then i would be all for usc's approach. unfortunately they are out of touch with reality.

i was also turned off how the admin and students alike tried to duck the question of why pbl is a preferable teaching method when the proof is in the pudding that their passing rates are lagging behind. i think usc is lost right now in terms of what to do with their curriculumn. at the very least they have some things to straighten out. i would not be surprised to see a pbl curriclumn-based end within the next 3-5 years.
I remember during the orientation, school told us the avg for the boards have actually gone up after USC switched to PBL. Hysteria should have more information on this
 

Hysteria24

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My question I guess is what is it called when you can stay at the school for a year AFTER completion of your degree? Also, now that we're on the topic do a lot of students you know do this? I think I am thinking of USC's GPR program but let me know it would be helpful if I am way out to lunch haha
Yes, you are probably referring to a GPR or AEGD (each 1 year), which USC has both. I am not sure how many graduating students go on to complete one of these, nor how many of them stay local here at USC. In my first month here I did ask the administration if they knew the actual numbers of students who went on to the different specialties and post-grad programs. Unfortunately, they said up until this past year they never tracked anything like this (which I thought was very strange), and they would have the compiled numbers for last years class soon.
 

Hysteria24

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I remember during the orientation, school told us the avg for the boards have actually gone up after USC switched to PBL. Hysteria should have more information on this
Yes, I do have more info on this. Unfortunately I cannot provide a solid link for the numbers I am about to give, but they were told to our class by the dean during his presentation in our first week here, as well as another professor later that month.

Before PBL, USC ranked in the bottom quintile of all dental schools (bottom 20%, thus ranked right around 45 or less). That went on for a while and was not very good at all! That was one reason they made the switch. Since the change over to PBL (early part of this decade) board scores have risen dramatically, and in the last year or two, USC has ranked in the top quintile (~top 11 schools).

Is it the knowledge from the PBL curriculum leading to these scores? Is it the greater flexibility in our schedules allowing us to seriously tackle Part 1 if we so desire? Is it the fact that the school requires us to score a qualifying score on a mock test in order to be allowed to take the boards, thus bringing up the lower end of the class and inflating our average? Probably a little bit of all three.




I'll write more later about the posts by ASAM10 and hoss19. I do agree with some of the negatives hoss brought up, but I seriously need to get to sleep right now. Thanks to BioMaxDDS and his early flight to the east coast tomorrow, he convinced our facilitator to start case at 7am! :eek: He better bring doughnuts and coffee like he said. :D
 

xhamburgersamx

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I heard ( could just be rumors) that the old dean wanted to change a lot of things at USC but no one listened to him for good reason. The board of trustees didnt want to risk losing USC's accreditation with drastic changes... such as removing PBL which ADA loves.

In my mind USC is a great school, has a great reputation in the general public. I'd love to go to school there despite all the negative crap floating around. Regardless if you work your butt off you'll get that DDS degree and that's all that matters.
 

prydA

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usc told me i needed another letter of rec from a science prof (apparently research ones dont count). is this a NECESSITY? usc is the only school asking this and i was wondering if there was a chance i could just skip by? lol does anyone know? i received their follow-up letter and i sent it back in and everything, but getting another LOR is such a hassle, considering i graduated last year :/. thanks!
 

DiNoZeRo2o9

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usc told me i needed another letter of rec from a science prof (apparently research ones dont count). is this a NECESSITY? usc is the only school asking this and i was wondering if there was a chance i could just skip by? lol does anyone know? i received their follow-up letter and i sent it back in and everything, but getting another LOR is such a hassle, considering i graduated last year :/. thanks!
I'm in the same situation as you. I talked to the adcom guy and he told me it doesn't matter what the letter says. So if Dec 1st we get accepted to USC and decide to go, we can find a class we took 3 years ago, tell the professor to write "Hey this dude took my class. He got X grade" and it would satisfy the requirement. No joke, this is what I was told. The other girl who was in the same situation as me talking to him was just as shocked as I was. It is more of a formality than anything. Its kind of pointless, but it ensures that everyone meets the same "minimum" requirements for admissions.