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Updates for Students


Updates for College of Dentistry Students from the Office of Student Affairs

Updated: May 8, 2020, 3:20 P.M. CDT

General Information

If you would like to have your transcript sent with expedited shipping, you have two options: The first is USPS Priority Express Mail. This can be purchased through https://www.usps.com/ We ship them out with the USPS Priority Express flat rate envelope. The value is $10 a transcript. We suggest putting the students mailing address as the return address, so that if anything happens to it during shipping, it still returns to the student. 

The second option is FedEx Express. This can be purchased through https://www.fedex.com/en-us/home.html we ship them out with the FedEx Express envelope. The value is $10 a transcript. We suggest putting the students mailing address as the return address, so that if anything happens to it during shipping, it still returns to the student. 

Once you place your official transcript order in Howdy, you can forward the PDF of the shipping label with your name and UIN to transcript@tamu.edu

Dental students graduating in 2021 should refer to a detailed memo sent April 10, 2020, by Dr. Ernie Lacy on behalf of the Office of the Dean. Transcripts will need to be requested through the HOWDY portal and followed up immediately with an email to transcript@tamu.edu with the PASS Transcript Matching Form.  For assistance with the transcript request process, contact Ms. Taryn Walker at taryndk@tamu.edu 

Yes!  Students are not to be on campus (in buildings or parking garages/lots), unless it is for an activity coordinated by the college/faculty member.  If a student needs to come on campus for an urgent reason, she/he is to email Dr. Ernie Lacy, associate dean for student affairs, that reason, along with the date and time he/she is requesting approval to be on campus. Dr. Lacy will notify Campus Security, who will restore access for that specific time frame. Please know that enforcement of this policy is for your safety and well-being as well as that of college personnel who must be at the college.

No. The Exit Interview will not affect future aid eligibility. However, to receive aid, you must be enrolled at least half time (generally 6 credit hours).

The CARES act, along with an order by the President, suspends interest accrual on all federal student loans until Sept. 30, 2020. This applies to unsubsidized loans and Grad Plus loans. Please contact Ms. Kay Egbert by phone at 214.828.8181 or via e-mail at kegbert@tamu.edu if you have questions.

Yes, but you are required to complete three registration requirements before you can be registered for classes.  An email has been sent to each class with directions on how to complete the tasks.  Contact Ms. Taryn Walker with any questions taryndk@tamu.edu

Texas A&M has not awarded financial aid for the 2020/2021 year yet, but that should take place in the next couple of weeks. You will then need to accept the funds you want to accept. Funds for the Dental Hygiene and DDS are scheduled to disburse on May 22, 2020 (Grads will be in the late June), but this is the day the funds should come to the school. It takes another few day for overpayment refunds to reach your personal account. 

Choosing S/U grades could benefit or hurt your GPA and class rank depending on your grades. The effect though would be quite small. Please keep in mind that S/U grades are there in case you feel that our current circumstances have led to a decline in your ability to perform this semester. That would be the reason to use them. This option is meant to help those whose studies have been negatively disrupted, not as a way to strategically alter your grade point and class rank, although there could be minor affects in that regard.
Courses will remain online for the summer. We are setting up some limited lab work and other work you may do at home. The clinical situation is not clear at all yet; we have a task force figuring out what we can do. They just had their first meeting. If you mean by 100%, will we be doing things in the college as before 100%? Then the answer is no. However, we are attempting to keep the programs going so that you can still finish within four years as before. How exactly this will work, we are still developing. It is hard to say how long our current circumstances will persist but we do not see an end in sight yet.

Yes, if you are no longer in need of your parking permit, please go to https://health.tamu.edu/parking/ and follow the process to receive a prorated refund.

There are several links to other resources provided on the College of Dentistry's main Coronavirus Update page.
Baylor Health Sciences Library has temporarily transitioned to a virtual library format.  Digital resources and services can be accessed from the library’s homepage: bhslibrary.tamhsc.edu/
 
  • If you are in need of a service or you have a reference question, please use our Ask-A-Librarian web chat feature, which will be monitored according to our normal business hours: bhslibrary.tamhsc.edu/ask/
  • If you currently have library materials checked out, we will be more than happy to extend the due dates for you.
  • If you need to speak with a specific staff member, please see the Contacts section from the library’s homepage where you can find their direct email address.
It is the library staff's goal to provide the best service possible while adhering to the directives in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Health and Wellness

Yes! Dr. Barbara Miller will facilitate passage meditation sessions on: 

  • Thursday, May 14, from noon to 12:50 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 20, from noon to 12:50 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, May 26, from noon to 12:50 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 4, from noon to 12:50 p.m. 

If you are new to passage meditation, please try to arrive in the Zoom room by noon. If you are interested in participating in any of these meditation sessions, please email  Dr. Miller for the Zoom link at bhmiller@tamu.edu. 

If you are interested and these days don't work well for you, please let her know. Also, if you would prefer to learn about passage meditation on your own, please go to www.bmcm.org for more information and free resources. 

Please contact Ms. Kimberley Morgan-Thompson at morganthompson@tamu.edu or by phone at 214.828.8210 to receive a referral to a licensed mental health provider. All students are eligible for up to three (3) PRIVATE teleconference or videoconference visits at NO COSTS to you. Can I be referred if I have taken advantage of the three visits in the past? In light of the current situation, we understand that additional visits may be necessary and will offer this service and opportunity to all students.
If you are having thoughts of harming yourself, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas (24-hour hotline) at 214.828.1000 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255.
Reach out to others for at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, phone calls, texting, etc., to connect with other people to seek and provide support. Don’t forget to do this for your children as well. Set up virtual playdates with friends daily via FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Kids, Zoom, etc., – your kids miss their friends, too!
 

Yes! Meditation is now widely recommended to help people cope during these times of uncertainty.

Meditation has been found to:

  • reduce stress
  • improve mental and physical health (calms the mind, reduces heart rate, slows breathing, lowers blood pressure, boosts immune system)
  • improve concentration and clarity (helps you to focus on what you want to focus on in the present moment, rather than ruminating thoughts about the past and/or anxieties about the future)

To learn more about Passage Meditation, please go to the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation's website:   www.bmcm.org 

  1. Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth.
  2. Find some time to move each day, at least thirty minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, there are many YouTube videos that offer free movement classes, and if all else fails, turn on the music and have a dance party!
  3. Get out at least once a day. If you are concerned of contact, try first thing in the morning or later in the evening, and try less traveled streets. If you are high risk or living with those who are high risk, open the windows and blast the fan. It is amazing how much fresh air can do for your spirits.
  4. Stay hydrated and eat well.
    This one may seem obvious, but stress and eating often don’t mix well, and we find ourselves over-indulging, forgetting to eat or avoiding food. Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods, and challenge yourself to learn how to cook something new!
  5. Notice the good in the world, the helpers. There is a lot of scary, negative and overwhelming information to take in regarding this pandemic. There are also many stories of people who are sacrificing, donating and supporting one another in miraculous ways. It is important to counter-balance the heavy information with hopeful news. 

Yes. Consider “liking” and/or “following” the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) on Facebook and/or Twitter. They have created a resource page and are sharing the resources via Facebook and Twitter. They are updating the pages regularly and providing a list of resources all in one place: www.facebook.com/AnxietyAndDepressionAssociationOfAmerica/

Another good online resource is the CDC's coronavirus "Daily Life and Coping" page: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping

Try Centr at https://centr.com/join-us. This one is really popular right now and it includes work outs with trainers, healthy meal plans and mindfulness tips. It is not usually free, but they currently are offering free trials.

WREBS and National Boards

It is currently scheduled at Texas A&M College of Dentistry for Thursday through Sunday, July 16-19, 2020, which is the earliest date available to us. Once everything is confirmed, you will be provided specific information. 

The ADA's Department of Testing Services (DTS) understands the concerns that have emergedregarding COVID-19 and its implications.  The ADA has created a document to provide updates on COVID-19 and how it affects the examination programs implemented by DTSThis document will be updated regularly, so please check back daily for updates.

Please note that immediate questions regarding a candidate’s specific testing appointment should be brought to Prometric, the testing vendor for the National Board Examinations.

Patient Care

No, not yet. Ideally the College will open clinics for non-emergency procedures on a limited basis by the beginning of June, if not sooner. This will only occur after the College has formulated and instituted protocols for ensuring the safety and well-being of its patients, students, faculty and staff.
  1. True emergencies are being managed by designated faculty at the school between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  
  2. Patients of record, who are having a true emergency (severe pain, swelling, etc.) should call 214-828-8261 and speak/leave a message with Debbie Stewart.
  3. Graduate clinic patients should call the emergency number for their respective clinics. All programs have someone on call for their clinics.
  4. Patients not-of-record needing an emergency extraction should call the extraction clinic number at 214-828-8489.
  1. Upon return, fixed cases requiring die trim can be sent out for die trim and final fabrication at the same time to eliminate a step in the process.
  2. Re-impression may be required if the integrity of provisionalization/stabilization of the case is in question.

Graduation Information

No. CODA does not play a role in decisions about licensure. The decision is totally up to State Dental Boards.
  • Dental students must satisfactorily complete all prescribed coursework, attain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0, pass both parts of the National Board exam, and be certified for graduation by the faculty.
  • Dental Hygiene students must satisfactorily complete all prescribed coursework, attain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0, and be certified for graduation by the faculty.
  • Graduate students must satisfactorily complete all prescribed coursework, attain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and be certified for graduation by the department and Graduate Education Committee.

For more information, refer to the Academic Due Process Document for DDS and DH students or contact your program director

Students should have received an email from Mrs. Kimberley Morgan-Thompson regarding regalia orders. If you have questions, email her morganthompson@tamu.edu.

Texas A&M awards degrees, including those for the College of Dentistry, after all degree requirements have been fulfilled.  Degrees are awarded in May, August and December.

You can submit the transcript request through your HOWDY portal. Make sure to select Hold for Degree Posting before you submit your request. If you do not select hold for degree posting, you will be required to resubmit and pay for another request. If you have questions or issues submitting your request, please contact the Transcript Processing Office at Texas A&M via email at transcript@tamu.edu.

Your diploma will be mailed to the address you provided on your application for graduation (normal mailing costs are being waived). You can verify that address in Howdy and notify the Office of the Registrar of any changes or corrections by contacting graduation@tamu.edu.  

The D4 and DH2 Senior Awards reception and ceremony scheduled for May 21, 2020, have been canceled.  However, the nominations for all awards are still being submitted and will be issued to all recipients accordingly.

Texas A&M College of Dentistry Commencement rehearsal is tentatively scheduled for Friday, July 24, 2020,  from 8 a.m. to noon at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.  The Commencement Ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 25, 2020, at 10 a.m. at the Meyerson as well. More details to come. 

You will be required to complete an exit counseling session online.  Additional information will be sent soon via email.