The Advanced Clinical Training & Service (ACTS) program is a service learning program in which fourth-year dental students provide dental services in an underserved community. Under the supervision of practicing dentists, students provide
dental care to children and adults whose access to services is constrained by financial, geographical, physical or medical factors. There are more than 40 clinical sites, including community health centers across Colorado.
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 increased 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 center dental clinics are CU alumni and graduates of the ACTS Program.