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Hagerstown Community College / HCC

Academic Catalog

2012-2013 Catalog 
    Jan 20, 2021  
2012-2013 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dental Assisting, Certificate

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Career Programs Building, Room 128B, 240-500-2507

Award: Certificate

Total Credit Hours: 35 credit hours

Purpose: The purpose of the Dental Assisting Program is to provide a program of study for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to become an integral and qualified member of the dental team. This program also prepares the student to sit for the Maryland General Dental Assisting Expanded Function (MGD) exam and the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam, both administered by DANB.

Curriculum: The curriculum is divided into several areas of study and consists of lecture, laboratory and clinical experience. Emphasis is placed on the knowledge and skills of the dental assistant to meet the needs of other members of the dental team and the needs of dental patients.

Admission Requirements: Admission to HCC does not guarantee admission to the Dental Assisting Program. The requirements below must be completed and submitted to the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration before the first day of class.

  1. Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  2. College placement tests in mathematics, English and reading
  3. Completion of MAT 099  and ENG 099 , or satisfactory results on placement tests
  4. A minimum cumulative grade point average for all college coursework of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
  5. Foreign education students must have their college and high school transcripts evaluated by World Education Services (WES)

Students will be admitted to the dental assisting program each fall. The dental assisting program is limited to 22 students. This limit is based upon available lab space and externship sites. If more than 24 students apply to the dental assisting program within one academic year, selection will be based on previous course completions. 

Program Requirements: All dental assisting students must:

  1. Receive a minimum grade of 75 percent in each dental assisting course and a “C” or better in BIO 110  and SPD 108 
  2. Meet program competency requirements for both the dental lab and externship experiences

Students who receive a final mark of unsatisfactory in the dental laboratory or externship experience, despite a passing theory grade, will not be permitted to progress in the dental assisting program and will receive a final grade of “F” for the course.

Students who do not meet program or course standards that result from termination from the dental assisting program by the College are not eligible for readmission. This includes students who cannot meet safety standards, and students who violate the college’s Honor Code and Standards of Conduct, the dental assisting program’s Standards of Conduct and the American Dental Association’s Principle of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.

Over the course of the Dental Assisting program, students may be required to participate in enhanced dental-related activities, which are determined by the Program Coordinator.

An orientation session will be held prior to the beginning of the first semester of the dental assisting program—attendance is mandatory.

Certificate Requirement (35 Credits)

Recommended course sequence:

Certificate Requirement (35 Credits)

Final Acceptance:

Final acceptance into the program is contingent upon the following criteria. Students unable to meet these criteria will be withdrawn from the program.

  1. Successful completion of program requirements at the time of application
  2. Students must be able to meet the program’s essential functions and technical standards
  3. Satisfactory completion of a health examination record and all required tests and immunizations, along with a urine drug screen and criminal background checks. Prior criminal records may prohibit you from program externship and employment opportunities.
  4. Prior to externship rotations, students must have a current American Heart Association Healthcare Provider certification


Pathway I—Student who has no dental background; completes all Dental Assisting required courses; receives certificate at completion of program; can take the Maryland General Dental Assisting Expanded Functions (MGD) exam and the DANB Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam.

Pathway II—Student who is currently working in a dental office and wants to be certified as a Qualified Dental Assistant (expanded functions in Maryland); student must prove at least one year full-time or two years part-time dental assisting experience in a dental office (letter from current employer); completes Dental Assisting II course only; can take the Maryland General Dental Assisting Expanded Functions (MGD) exam.

Pathway III—Student who is currently working in a dental office and wants to become certified as a Dental Radiation Technologist; student must prove at least one year of employment at a dental office (letter from current employer); completes Dental Radiology course only; can take the DANB Radiation and Health and Safety (RHS) exam.

Technical Standards

There are technical standards and skill requirements which students are expected to possess and demonstrate in order to be successful in this program. More information on these standards can be found on the Web page for this program.


For those who have worked for two years in the dental field or are currently enrolled in HCC’s dental assisting program, the course DEN 245 - Orthodontics for the Dental Assistant , is available. Those who successfully complete this course are eligible to sit for the Maryland Orthodontic Dental Assisting Expanded Functions exam administered by DANB. DEN 245  is offered during the summer semester. Current dental assisting program students are strongly encouraged to take this course.

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