By: Zoe Rolle, DipDH, BSc (Biology), Dalhousie Dental Student
Hi! My name is Zoe Rolle, an incoming first year dentistry student at Dalhousie University. I’ve known at a young age that I wanted to pursue a career in Dentistry; which arose from having an amazing family dentist. However, sometimes I found it difficult self-navigating through tough academic courses and non-academic requirements that I needed for the Doctor of Dental Surgery program.
I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology at Acadia University in 2017 and then went on to complete a Diploma in Dental Hygiene at Dalhousie University in 2019.
During my time at Dalhousie, a close friend encouraged me to become involved with PLANS (Promoting Leadership in Health for African Nova Scotians). After researching more about this program, I knew immediately that not only would it help guide me in the right direction, but also allow me to share my resources and connect with other students who may benefit from my experiences in university. PLANS also helped me network with a lot of African Nova Scotian students who are currently enrolled in health programs and/or working health professionals.
The D.D.S program at Dalhousie is a four-year degree focused on the study of oral disease, prevention and treatment; they accept up to 40 applicants a year! When I found out how small the class sizes were, I was initially intimidated, worried that I would not meet the requirements to be considered a top 40 applicant. However, I didn’t let it deter me from pursuing my dream. I completed my academic requirements and then went on to sit an entrance exam required for all dental schools in Canada called the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT).
Writing these exams can be very expensive, luckily through PLANS I found out about a bursary program that awarded minority students the opportunity to write the MCAT, DAT and CASPer entrance exams which are required for most health/dental programs.
The Johnson Scholarship foundation covered the cost of my dental admissions exam, which was an amazing financial relief. It also provided me the opportunity to complete the requirements needed to apply to dental school.
After submitting my application, I received great news that I had been selected for an interview! Which is the second step of the application process. A few weeks after my interview I found out that I was granted acceptance into the 2020 entering class for Dalhousie’s School of Dentistry. It was definitely a full circle moment; I felt a moment of relief. All the hard work and effort put into completing the requirements were fruitful. I thought to myself, “it was all worth it!”
I now look forward to starting dental school in August 2020 and continuing my volunteer work with PLANS.
Bursary for Entrance Requirements Support for Indigenous and African Nova Scotians
As a part of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation (2016‐2021) funding, Dalhousie designed a bursary to support Indigenous students (First Nation, Inuit, and Métis) and African Nova Scotians applying to health programs requiring entrance exams (i.e., medicine and dentistry). The goal of the program is to reduce or eliminate the financial burden associated with application requirements. Bursaries will be awarded as a reimbursement of cost. Applicants may apply more than once for this program, funding will be subject to availability and application review. The total amount for the program will be determined by the annual budget.
To learn more about these opportunities please visit our website.