President Robin C. Capehart announced today at a press conference, that students at West Liberty University now have two early acceptance programs open to them in the health sciences.

Dean Kreisberg, Dr. Kettler and President Capehart gather at the press conference.

Dean Kreisberg, Dr. Kettler and President Capehart gather at the press conference.

  • Students interested in the professional field of dentistry can apply for early admittance into West Virginia University’s School of Dentistry in Morgantown.
  • Those interested in medicine will find the Pre-Osteopathic Medicine Track program offers early admission for qualified applicants into the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg.

Both programs are rigorous and focused on career success.

The Dental Early Admission Program (DEAP) allows a student to apply as early as the end of freshman year if requirements are met.

“This program is only the second of its kind with WVU and we are proud to offer it to our students,” said Dr. Karen Kettler, WLU assistant professor of biology.

“WVU was anxious to work with us because they know the quality of our students and the excellence of our faculty,” said Dr. Robert Kreisberg, dean of the College of Sciences, who spent about 18 months developing and planning the programs.

The purpose of DEAP is to help facilitate pre-dental students’ transition into the WVU Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) program.

“This will be a win-win-win situation. For us, we will be able to bring highly qualified, well-mentored individuals into our school. West Liberty will offer customized guidance to allow their students to progress into dental school. And for the students themselves, they will be able to enter into our school fully prepared to begin the program,” Dr. Shelia S. Price, D.D.S., Ed.D., associate dean for admissions, recruitment and access for the WVU School of Dentistry said.

West Mifflin, Pa., resident C.J. Hester is one of several students already following the DEAP curriculum at WLU.

C.J. Hester, DEAP major.

C.J. Hester, DEAP major.

Hester is well known to basketball fans as a starter for West Liberty’s Mountain East Conference Champion men’s basketball team, the Hilltoppers. Hester, a two-time Academic All American, expects to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a major in DEAP in May 2015.

“I knew since I was a senior in high school that I wanted to go into the sciences. I shadowed Dr. Dan Joseph and Dr. Mike Medovic (Wheeling dentists) and that confirmed my choice of careers,” Hester explained. His father, Dr. Eugene Hester, is an oral maxillofacial surgeon.

“The program here at West Liberty University is great. It’s given me the opportunity to take classes that will get me into dental school. It totally put me on the right career path,” he said, giving WLU faculty credit for always being available to help students with their classes.

“The teachers are hands-on and try to teach you in multiple ways.”

“C.J. is the epitome of why students should select DEAP. He’s trying to do everything in his power to gain entrance into dental school and he will succeed,” said Kettler.

Describing the program as very specific, Kettler also believes that the program is broad enough to prepare students for acceptance into many dental schools.

“We are allowed a maximum of two students per year admitted through this program to WVU. But we in the biology department know this program will allow our students to find success in the admission process at many other schools of dentistry.”

Undergraduates must maintain a 3.6 GPA to qualify for DEAP.

“Larger universities might not be able to give the intense focus. DEAP gets you one foot in the door,” Kettler said.

Similarly, the Pre-Osteopathic Medicine Track is an early assurance program designed for undergraduates who desire to become an osteopathic physician and have identified WVSOM as their first choice school. In order to participate, students must maintain a minimum Science GPA of 3.2 or higher. Students apply during their sophomore year. A goal of five eligible students per year from the Pre-Osteopathic Medicine Track program will be accepted to WVSOM.

As juniors, students can submit their medical school application and schedule an admissions interview. WVSOM requires a Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) with a score of 23 or above.

Students complete a Bachelor of Science in Biology at WLU before moving on to Lewisburg.

“West Virginia has a growing need for family doctors, pediatricians and other primary care physicians to serve the health care needs of its citizens,” said Malcolm Modrzakowski, Ph.D., associate dean of affiliated and sponsored programs at WVSOM. “This program is a way to identify and mentor undergraduates who are interested in the field of medicine.”

“We are thrilled to work with WVSOM and proud to be a part of this program that offers our students a real professional boost,” said Kettler. For more information on either of the programs, please contact Kettler at the College of Sciences at [email protected] or at 304-336-8070.

West Liberty University is a forward-looking, four-year public university rich in heritage as West Virginia’s oldest institution of higher education. Five colleges make up the University: the College of Arts and Communication, the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science and the Gary E. West College of Business. With more than 60 majors and 30 programs that are nationally recognized or accredited, WLU students are rewarded with a successful future. Led by President Robin C. Capehart, West Liberty University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, please visit or call 1.866.WESTLIB.

The West Virginia University School of Dentistry is the only dental school in the state of West Virginia. It is theDepartment Logos mission of the School of Dentistry to promote a learning environment that addresses the present and future oral health needs of the citizens of West Virginia and beyond by providing an oral health center committed to excellence and innovation in education, patient care, community service, research, and technology. For more information, please visit

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) is the number one medical school in the nation educating primary care physicians who practice in rural America. WVSOM is No. 3 in the nation for percentage of medical school graduates entering primary care WVSOM_LOGO_D.O.FINALspecialties. Primary care specialties include pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology and internal medicine. A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine may also be your urologist, cardiologist, orthopedic surgeon or anesthesiologist.

Osteopathic physicians may choose any specialty, prescribe drugs, perform surgeries, and practice medicine anywhere in the United States, bringing a patient-centered, holistic, hands-on approach to diagnosing and treating illness and injury. For more information, visit

Media contacts: WLU Maureen Zambito, 304.280.6074; WVU Angela Jones-Knopf, 304.293.7087; WVSOM Denise Getson, 304.793.6845.