High Point University makes it into the news quite a bit – the school even once got very high praise in the British paper The Daily Mail – and now the school is making the news once again, this time for its new dental offering.

The university’s Workman School of Dental Medicine, which is North Carolina’s only private dental school, just reached a milestone. The school has received its initial accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

 High Point University has grown its educational offerings in a huge way over the last decade, and university leaders are very pleased about this big step forward for the dental school.

High Point University President Dr. Nido Qubein, who always seems to be upbeat, was particularly upbeat about this news.

“Being awarded initial accreditation from the nation’s sole agency to accredit dental education programs supports HPU’s distinctive approach to prepare health care professionals for the world as it is going to be,” he said in a prepared statement. “Our faculty, innovative labs and classroom facilities already are preparing nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, athletic trainers and pharmacists as part of our legacy of health care education. The dental school and our future optometry school will continue that legacy.”

 Nearly 1,000 people have already applied to be in the first class of High Point University’s Doctor of Dental Medicine program.

The dental school boasts some impressive equipment to help those students learn the trade.  For instance, the school has the world’s largest installation of “SIMtoCARE haptic simulators” – high-tech mouth simulators that help students achieve competency before performing treatment on a real human being.

The accreditation process for dental schools is an intense one, with an on-site review conducted by a Commission on Dental Accreditation team.  Team members conduct interviews with administrators, instructors and staff to ensure that the program meets accreditation standards. Those accreditors then write a detailed site visit report based on their findings and share it with the school and CODA officials. If the dental school meets the high standards set for by the commission, then initial accreditation is provided.