Dental Hygiene

Career and Technical Studies
Degree
Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene
Length
Five-semester (two-year program)
Purpose

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.

Program goals

The following program goals reflect the mission of the WCC Dental Hygiene Program competencies:

  1. Develop competencies required for entry into dental hygiene practice by providing the necessary educational settings and experiences.
  2. Develop health promotion and disease prevention activities for diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  3. Demonstrate commitment to the legal and ethical practice of dental hygiene.
  4. Provide a clinical education based on a model of prevention designed to promote optimal oral and systemic health
  5. Provide students with an interdisciplinary, evidence-based curriculum, reflective of contemporary health care delivery.

Program Notes: 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.

Individuals who have a felony or misdemeanor conviction may not be allowed to hold an active dental hygiene license in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Any questions regarding licensure and felonies/misdemeanor convictions should consult with the Virginia Board of Dentistry prior to applying to the Dental Hygiene Program.  The phone number for the VBOD is (804) 367-4538.

Board Success Rate

 

Academic
Graduating
Class/Year

Graduate Success on
National Dental Hygiene

Board Examination

Graduate Success on

Clinical Board Examination

 

Graduates
Employment
Rates:

2015

93.3% First Attempt

85.7% First Attempt

100%

2016

93.3% First Attempt

86.6% First Attempt

100%

2017

90.0% First Attempt

80% First Attempt

100%

2018

100% First Attempt

100% First Attempt

100%

2019 93.75% First Attempt 93.75% First Attempt

100%

2020

83% First Attempt 88.89% First Attempt 100%

2021

94% First Attempt 100% First Attempt 94%
Occupational Objectives

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.

Requirements

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:

  1. A WCC application (including all high school and college transcripts or a copy of GED by February 15.
  2. Complete a Health Professions Application (www.wcc.vccs.edu/health-professions)
  3. Competency in English and Math – MDE 10 as demonstrated through direct enrollment and diagnostic tests, or by satisfactorily completing the required EDE and/or MDE units or the equivalent.
  4. High school biology or equivalent (one unit) with at least “C”.
  5. High school chemistry or equivalent (one unit) with at least “C”.
  6. A 2.5 average for high school courses or a 2.5 cumulative average for all college coursework.
  7. Shadowing hours; 16 observation hours to be completed by Feb. 15.
  8. Take the Testing Essential Academic Skills for Allied Health (TEAS-AH) by Feb. 15.
  9. It is highly encouraged these courses be completed before entering dental hygiene program; BIO 141BIO 142, and BIO 150.

Note:  All application materials should be sent to the WCC Admissions Office 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 2.5 high school GPA requirement will be waived.

Program Requirements: 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 HBV 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; purchase of student uniforms and accessories and purchase of required student instrument kits. Information about projected instruments 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-BIO 142, Human Anatomy & Physiology, BIO 150, Microbiology, ENG 111, HUM ELE, PSY 230 and SDV 100. Once admitted to the program, students must take and successfully complete all courses in the sequence stated, including non-dental hygiene courses. If unsuccessful in any course, the student will not be allowed to return to the Dental Hygiene program until the following year. The student must demonstrate a desire and capability of providing quality dental health care to patients.

Program Readmission: A student receiving a final grade lower than “C” in any of the dental hygiene (DNH series) BIO 141BIO 142BIO 150ENG 111, HUM ELE, PSY 230 and SDV 100 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 2.5 cumulative GPA at the time of application for readmission.
  3. Interview with dental hygiene faculty to discuss the following subjects:
    1. personal and professional factors which may have an influence on the student’s successful completion of the program;
    2. academic or professional activities in which student may have engaged since interruption of program studies.

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. If a student is unsuccessful and returns to the program, no clinical requirements will be carried over from previous clinical sessions. If the student is unsuccessful after two attempts, the student will no longer be eligible for readmission to the program. After beginning the program, it must be completed within four years. 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.

Complaints Policy

The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to a program’s compliance with accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students. Only written, signed complaints will be considered by the Commission; oral and unsigned complaints will not be considered. The Commission strongly encourages attempts at informal or formal resolution through the program’s or sponsoring institution’s internal processes prior to initiating a formal complaint with the Commission. The dental hygiene program will maintain a record of student complaints related to the Commission’s accreditation standards and/or policy. A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission’s policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 or by calling 1-800-621-8099 extension 4653.

The following list is a suggested sequence in which students may plan their class schedules to ensure graduation in two years.

First Semester

Course # Course Title Lect. Hrs. Lab Hrs. Credits Transfer
BIO 141 3 3 4
DNH 111 2 0 2
DNH 115 3 0 3
DNH 120 2 0 2
DNH 141 3 6 5
SDV 100 1 0 1
Virginias Public Colleges & Universities
Radford University
UNIV 100 elective
Suggested Credits & Hours for Semester 14 9 17  

Second Semester

Course # Course Title Lect. Hrs. Lab Hrs. Credits Transfer
BIO 142 3 3 4
DNH 130 2 3 3
DNH 142 2 9 5
DNH 145 2 0 2
DNH 146 2 0 2
Suggested Credits & Hours for Semester 11 15 16  

Summer Semester

Course # Course Title Lect. Hrs. Lab Hrs. Credits Transfer
BIO 150 3 3 4
Virginias Public Colleges & Universities
Virginia Tech
BIOL 2604+2614
Radford University
BIOL 334
Old Dominion University
NS 1REQ
Virginias Private Colleges & Universities
Bluefield College
GEN ED SCIENCE, ADDITIONAL AREA SCIENCE
Liberty University
BIOL 203
Emory & Henry College
Elective Credit
DNH 143 2 6 4
DNH 214 1 2 2
DNH 216 2 0 2
Suggested Credits & Hours for Semester 8 11 12  

Third Semester

Course # Course Title Lect. Hrs. Lab Hrs. Credits Transfer
DNH 150 2 0 2
DNH 226 2 0 2
DNH 235 1 2 2
DNH 244 1 12 5
ENG 111 3 0 3
Virginias Public Colleges & Universities
Virginia Tech
ENGL 1105
Radford University
CORE 101
Old Dominion University
ENGL 110C
Virginias Private Colleges & Universities
Bluefield College
ENG 1013/1023, GEN ED
Liberty University
ENGL 101
Emory & Henry College
ENG 100
Suggested Credits & Hours for Semester 9 14 14  

Fourth Semester

Course # Course Title Lect. Hrs. Lab Hrs. Credits Transfer
DNH 227 0 3 1
DNH 230 1 0 1
DNH 245 1 12 5
ELE 1 Humanities Elective
PSY 230 3 0 3
Virginias Public Colleges & Universities
Virginia Tech
PSYC 2034
Radford University
PSYC 230
Old Dominion University
PSYC 203S
Virginias Private Colleges & Universities
Bluefield College
PSY 2043
Liberty University
PSYC 210
Emory & Henry College
Elective Credit
Suggested Credits & Hours for Semester 5 15 10