The two-year program is designed to prepare the student as a skilled, educated health care provider with the knowledge and skills necessary to become part of the dental health team. At the successful completion of the two-year program, graduates will be eligible to sit for national and regional examinations in dental hygiene leading to licensure as a registered dental hygienist. (Individuals who have a felony or misdemeanor conviction may not be allowed to take the licensing examination. This decision is made by the Virginia Board of Dentistry. Any questions regarding this issue may directed to the board at (804) 662-9906.)
The program in Dental Hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education.
A licensed dental hygienist, working under the general supervision of a dentist, may work in general or specialized dental offices, clinics, public health agencies, or teaching institutions. For job statistics relating to the dental hygiene field, please click here.
Minimum Admission Requirements:
(Please see the information below concerning selective admission.)
Applicants must be high school graduates or the equivalent. In order to meet the admission requirements, the applicant must have completed:
- A WCC application (including all high school and college transcripts or copy of GED by February 15.
- Competency in English and Math Essentials MTE 1-4 as demonstrated through the placement and diagnostic tests, or by satisfactorily completing the required MTE units or equivalent.
- High school biology or equivalent (one unit) with at least “C”.
- High school chemistry or equivalent (one unit) with at least “C”.
- A 2.0 average for high school courses or a 2.0 cumulative average for all college coursework.**
- Shadowing hours; 16 observation hours to be completed by February 15.
- Take the Health Occupations Basic Entrance Test (HOBET) by February 15.
**If the student has completed a minimum of 12 college credits that are included in calculating the college GPA (non-developmental courses), the 2.0 high school GPA requirement will be waived.
In the event there are more applicants who apply in a given year than there are slots available the college will employ selective admission. Please consult the Health Professions Admission Packet for a detailed description of the selective criteria. The packet is available in the Admissions Office.
Upon admission, the student must have a complete medical examination which must include a 2-step tuberculin skin test, a profile of medical condition, designated immunizations, and documentation of HBB and Varicella status. A chest x-ray is required only if the tuberculin test is positive. Costs for the medical examination and all necessary testing will be the responsibility of the student. Students must show evidence of current CPR certification (Health Care Provider level) prior to the beginning of the fall term of each year. During the course of the program, the dental hygiene faculty will carefully observe and evaluate the student’s suitability for Dental Hygiene.
Background checks for criminal history and sex offender crimes and urine drug screens are required for admission to treat patients. Students with convictions and/or positive tests may be prohibited from clinical practice and may not complete the program. Any student with unfavorable findings on the background check will be referred to the WCC Threat Assessment Team to determine if the conviction prohibits the student from being admitted to the program. Costs for criminal background checks and urine drug screens will be the responsibility of the student.
Students enrolled in the program are responsible for transportation to and from agencies utilized for clinical experiences; securing of professional liability insurance, which is available through the college at a very reasonable cost; purchase of student uniforms and accessories; and purchase of required student instrument kits. Information about projected instrument and program cost is available through the program director.
A minimum of “C” must be maintained in each Dental Hygiene program course. A minimum of “C” must be maintained in BIO 141-142, Human Anatomy & Physiology and BIO 150, Microbiology. The student must demonstrate a desire and capability of providing quality dental health care to patients.
A student receiving a final grade lower than “C” in any of the dental hygiene (DNH series) BIO 141, 142 and BIO 150 courses will be ineligible to continue in the program. Students readmitted to the program are eligible to repeat a course, however, a dental hygiene course must be repeated during the semester in which it is offered. The student may not continue with other required dental hygiene courses until the course is repeated. In order to resume the dental hygiene course sequence a student must successfully meet the following criteria:
1. Apply in writing to the Dental Hygiene program director at least one semester before the requested readmission date for permission to repeat in which a grade below “C” was awarded.
2. Have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the time of application for readmission.
3. Interview with dental hygiene faculty to discuss the following subjects:
(a) personal and professional factors which may have an influence on the students successful completion of the program;
(b) academic or professional activities in which student may have engaged since interruption of program studies.
(c) A student receiving a final grade lower than “C” in any course in the dental hygiene sequence will be ineligible to continue in the program.
Readmission to the Dental Hygiene program is contingent upon the availability of a clinical slot in the desired class. Students readmitted to the program are responsible for any and all program requirements revisions made during their absence. Notification of readmissions to the program will be made three to four weeks prior to the readmissions date.
Students desiring to transfer from another Dental Hygiene program must submit official transcripts to the Admissions office for credit evaluation. Students may be required to repeat courses or to complete evaluative testing for credits earned more than 10 years ago.
Students from service regions of other colleges may elect to take support courses from those colleges. All dental hygiene (DNH) courses must be taken at Wytheville Community College.
The following list is a suggested sequence in which students may plan their class schedules to ensure graduation in two years.