Advanced Clinical Training and Service (ACTS) Program

In your fourth year of dental school (DDS program), you will immerse yourself into our Advanced Clinical Training and Service (ACTS) program. The program allows you to have extended rotations—where you’ll treat five to six patients each day in one of our community-based health clinics.

  • There are nearly 40 clinical sites across Colorado and a team of more than 70 community dental preceptors (experienced clinicians) who help you with your patients. 
  • The number of days spent outside the dental school’s walls is among the highest in the nation among U.S. dental schools. 
  • CU dental students spend almost half of their fourth year at ACTS clinics. 

This model is a true win-win as you will experience life-changing education, patients receive life-enhancing dental care, and there is a significant community impact to address access to care issues.

Life-Changing Education

Current students and alumni say that the ACTS program is one of their favorite experiences of the DDS curriculum. The reason behind that statement is because students will:

  • See more patients each day during the ACTS program than in the school-based clinical environment.
  • Work with dental assistants at most of their ACTS clinical training sites. 
  • Boost their confidence and increase their efficiency while providing high-quality care. 
  • Develop critical thinking skills, which help them when treating medically complex patients. 
  • Gain a better understanding of healthcare disparities and some of the significant barriers that patients in underserved populations experience seeking health care.

After the ACTS experience, students say while they were previously committed to participating in private practice after graduation, the ACTS program changed their thinking, and they want to give back in different ways. More than 40 percent of the community-based preceptors in these underserved urban and rural community health centers are CU alumni and graduates of the ACTS program.

Community Impact

Data from the DDS Class of 2022


38,633 procedures completed

10% working as a staff dentist or resident at a Community Health Center

1,703 students have participated in the ACTS program (graduates from Classes of 1986-2022) 


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