Gannon, LECOM Announce New Dental School Agreement

Dental agreement, Gannon-LECOMPosted: August 20, 2012

Gannon University and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) have augmented their Early Acceptance Program (EAP) to allow Gannon students to continue their studies at the LECOM School of Dental Medicine.

Officials from both schools formally extended the EAP agreement during a ceremony at LECOM’s Erie campus on Aug. 20.

Previously, the collaborative partnership between Gannon and LECOM led to the formation of the pre-med and pre-pharmacy programs that encourage freshmen who are enrolling at Gannon to pursue those health professions. Citing the mutual benefits to students and to the institutions, Gannon and LECOM have elected to include pre-dental students in the agreement.

Students who meet the requirements for the programs in high school are conditionally accepted into both Gannon and LECOM’s program simultaneously. Additionally, these students may earn their doctoral degrees years faster than their peers at other institutions. The Early Acceptance Program allows Gannon students to complete LECOM entrance requirements either in three or four years for medicine, four years for dental and as little as two years for pharmacy.

“Gannon University was one of the first schools to offer the LECOM Early Acceptance Medical and Pharmacy Programs for our pre-professional students, so we thought it fitting to support our local partner’s new venture in establishing a similar Early Acceptance Program for pre-dental students,” said Keith Taylor, Ph.D., President of Gannon University, shown at left in the above photo. “We are thrilled to continue and strengthen our relationship with LECOM, providing additional opportunities for Gannon students to continue their studies to serve as dentists, physicians and pharmacists across the country,” he added. “Our health professional programs, students and graduates are clearly leading the way in the region in quality health promotion.”

In its 20-year history, LECOM has accepted more than 200 Gannon graduates who have gone on to earn the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. Another 87 Gannon graduates are currently enrolled in those programs. Of those, 19 were early-acceptance students. Gannon has accepted nearly 29 EAP students who are expected to start at LECOM in the next few years.

Gannon alumnus John M. Ferretti, D.O., President of LECOM, noted that Gannon provides an exceptional pre-health career education. “Gannon graduates are well prepared for the rigors of medical education,” said Dr. Ferretti, at right in photo. “We anticipate that the students who enroll in the School of Dental Medicine Early Acceptance Program will bring the excellence and professionalism of the Gannon education to their studies at LECOM.”

Robert Hirsch, DDS, Dean, School of Dental Medicine, says LECOM will provide these students with a unique, inter-professional education experience. LECOM dental students begin their education alongside medical students at the college’s campus in Bradenton, Fla. They’ll learn in small-groups using patient cases to study basic sciences in the first semester.

As they progress, they become more involved in clinical care beginning by assisting local dentists in their offices. When they reach their fourth year, they will have as much clinical training as many colleges offer in four years.

Students’ final year will involve community-based care in dental clinics located in Bradenton and Erie, where they can provide treatments for patients who find it difficult to receive care elsewhere.

Students can apply to the program as high school seniors. Phase I of the program is four years of study at Gannon, during which time students will be encouraged to pursue bachelor’s degrees in biology. Students must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.4 or higher, and at least 3.2 in all science- and mathematics-related courses.

Phase II of the program is four years of study at LECOM’s School of Dental Medicine.

“One benefit to students is peace of mind, knowing that if they meet all the requirements of the program the seat in dental school will be there for them,” said Sarah J. Ewing, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology at Gannon and Director of the University’s Pre-Professional programs. “In addition, the program will help alleviate for students much of the cost of applying to a number of dental schools, which is common practice, while also providing them a strong foundation to pursue the doctor of dental medicine degree.”

More about the Gannon-LECOM Early Acceptance Program

Under the 4+4 agreement for LECOM’s School of Dental Medicine, students attend Gannon University for four years and graduate with a bachelor of science degree in biology or chemistry. After earning their bachelor’s degree and provided they meet all requirements, which include scoring well on the Dental Admission Test. Students then attend LECOM Bradenton for four years. Students entering the dental program will graduate from LECOM with the doctor of dental medicine (D.M.D.) degree.

Gannon University is a Catholic, Diocesan university offering nearly 100 academic programs, including doctoral programs in physical therapy and organizational learning and leadership. Gannon enrolls more than 4,000 academically talented and diverse students. Learn more at

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) offers innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and dental medicine. LECOM’s main campus is in Erie, with an additional location, LECOM at Seton Hill, in Greensburg, and LECOM Bradenton, a branch campus in Bradenton, Fla. Learn more at