Special Admissions Requirements: Program Application Deadline: January 15
Career Programs Building Room 170G, 240-500-2430
Award: Associate of Applied Science degree, A.A.S.
Total Credit Hours: A minimum of 70 credit hours
Dental hygienists are licensed preventive oral health care professionals. They provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to patients in dental offices, schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other public health programs. Clinical skills include performing patient assessments; taking health histories; examining head, neck, and oral tissues for disease; checking blood pressures; exposing and processing dental x-ray pictures; applying decay-preventing agents to the teeth; polishing fillings; periodontal debridement; and polishing teeth.
Purpose: For students who wish to complete a dental hygiene program with an associate of applied science degree. The dental hygiene program is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skill, and clinical practice to function effectively in all areas of a professional dental hygienist. Graduates of the dental hygiene program are eligible to sit for the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) and the American Dental Hygiene Licensing Examination (ADHLEX).
Curriculum: The curriculum is divided into several broad areas of study and consists of lecture, laboratory, and clinical experiences. Emphasis is on the dental hygiene process of care to meet the oral health needs of individuals, family members, and the community. Courses in general education provide students with the scientific and social background to function as effective people, citizens, and oral health care providers
It is the Dental Hygiene program’s philosophy to create lifelong learners. Students who are considering transferring to a four year college should inform their advisors at the earliest opportunity to discuss the options available.
Program Outcomes: Graduates of the Dental Hygiene Program should exhibit the following:
- A commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.
- The knowledge and clinical skills necessary to provide comprehensive care to patients/clients.
- An awareness of their present and future roles and responsibilities within the profession and community he/she serves.
Professionalism: The dental hygienist must be able to discern ethical issues and problems in dental hygiene practice, utilize critical thinking skills and sound judgment, and communicate with other professionals.
- Ethics. The new dental hygiene graduate must be able to discern and manage the ethical issues facing dental hygiene practice in a rapidly changing environment.
- Information Processing. The new dental hygiene graduate must be able to acquire and eynthesize information in a critical, scientific, and effective manner.
- Professional Identity. The new dental hygiene graduate must contribute to improving the knowledge, skills, and values of the profession.
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: Initiate and assume responsibility for health promotion and disease prevention activities for diverse populations in a variety of settings, including participation in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of community base oral health programs.
- The Individual. The new dental hygiene graduate must provide planned educational services using appropriate interpersonal communication skills and educational strategies to promote optimal health.
- The Community. The new dental hygiene graduate must be able to initiate and assume responsibility for health promotion and disease prevention activities for diverse populations in a variety of settings.
Client Care: The dental hygienist must be able to apply the principles from biodemical clinical and behavioral sciences to a diverse population in the diagnosis, risk assessment, planning, and implementation and evaluation components of the dental hygiene process of care to ensure client-center care is delivered.
Demonstrate entry-level comprehensive dental hygiene skills, responsibilities, and knowledge by applying principles of the dental hygiene practice in a collaborative environment.
- Assessment. The new dental hygiene graduate must be able to systematically collect, correlate, critically analyze, and record data on the general, oral, and sychosocial health status of a variety of patients using methods consistent with medio-legal-ethical principles..
- Planning. The new dental hygiene graduate must be able to formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan that is evidence-based and patient centered.
- Implementation. The new dental hygiene graduate must be able to provide specialized care that includes educational, preventive, and therapeutic services designed to assist the patient in achieving and maintaining oral health goals.
- Evaluation. The new dental hyguiene graduate must be able to critically evaluate the effectiveness of implemented educational, preventive, and therapeutic service and make modification if necessary.
Admission Requirements: Admission to HCC does not guarantee admission to the Dental Hygiene Program. The requirements below must be completed and submitted to the Office of Admissions and Registration by the application deadline:
- Submit a completed program application known as the Supplemental Application for Selective Admissions Programs form.
- Official transcripts (all schools attended)
- A minimum of 17-21 credits completed or in progress should be completed at the time of application to the program. The courses include ENG 101 , BIO 116 , CHM 101 , MAT 109 , an Arts and Humanities elective and PSY 101 . Recommended courses completed prior to application are SOC 101 , and BIO 205 . The courses indlude ENG 101 English Composition, a college-level Math General Education course, PSY 101 General Psychology, CHM 101 Introductory College Chemistry, BIO 116 Human Anatomy and Physiology for Allied Health.PSY 101
- General Education science courses completed within five years with a grade of “C” or higher.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average for all college coursework of a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. In addition, a minimum grade point average of 2.5 for all program courses is required.
- Foreign educated students’ transcripts evaluated by WES (World Education Services) or AACRAO International Education Services (IES)
- Dental Hygiene Program Application
Program Requirements: Students practice selected oral health prevention procedures on each other in the dental clinic and practice and practice oral preventive dental hygiene services oncommunity members. Students practice on patients affiliated with the Hagerstown Community College Dental Hygiene Clinic. All dental hygiene students must receive:
- An average grade of 75% in all dental hygiene courses.
- A competency performance of 85% or higher in dental hygiene clinical skill proficiencies.
Students who receive a mark of unsatisfactory in the clinical laboratory or clinical experience will be referred for remediation. Students who receive a final mark of unsatisfactory in the clinical laboratory or clinical experience, despite a passing theory grade, will not be permitted to progress in the dental hygience program and will receive a final grade of “F” for the course.
Students who violate the college’s Honor Code and Standards of Conduct, the dental hygiene program’s Standard of Conduct, the American Dental Hygiene Association Code of Ethics for Dental Hygienists and the American Dental Association Standard of Care that results in termination from the dental hygiene program are not eligible for readmission.
General Education Requirements (23 Credits)
Program Requirements (47 Credits)
First Year - Fall Semester
First Year - Spring Semester
Second Year - Fall Semester
Second Year - Spring Semester
Degree Requirement (70 Credits)
Points are earned by the number of courses complete, cumulative grade point average for all required program courses, residency and credentialing of a dental assisting certificate or equivalent. Those with the greatest number of points are admitted to the program.
Those students not admitted to the first class will be placed on a standby list which will be dissolved after the first class has started their program. Students who desire admission to the dental hygiene program in the subsequent year, must fill out another Supplemental Application for Selective Admission.
Final acceptance into the program is contingent upon the following criteria. Students unable to meet these criteria will be withdrawn from the program and the seat filled by a student from the standby list.
- Successful completion of program requirements at the time of application
- Students attend the mandatory orientation session
- Students must successfully pass a drug screen and criminal background check
- Students must be able to meet Dental Hygiene Technical Standards
- Satisfactory completion of a health examination record and all required tests and immunization, including a yearly TB test and Hepatitis series
- Current American Heart Association “Healthcare Provider” CPR certification
Readmission to the Dental Hygiene Program
- If a student wishes to re-enter the program, he/she must submit a written letter of this intent to the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration. Decisions relative to readmission will be made by the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration and the Coordinato, Dental Hygiene Program based upon resolution of the previous situation.
- If a student reapplies to the Dental Hygiene Program and is in good academic standing, he/she can be accepted if the class of students will not exceed the maximum number as established by the Commission on Dental Accreditation’s Standards for Dental Hygiene Education.
- If the number of students requesting readmission exceeds class capacity, acceptance to the program will be determined by the highest grade point average.
- If a student receives a grade lower than a “C” in a science or dental hygiene course(s), he/she must satisfactorily complete the course prior to consideration for readmission into the sequence. A student may be readmitted into the Dental Hygiene Program once.
- If an unsatisfactory grade is achieved in science or dental hygiene course(s) a second time, the student is not eligible for readmission.
A satisfactory Mantoux (tuberculin) test or a chest x-ray; complete physical examination and necessary immunizations; panel 10 urine drug screen; and State and Federal background checks must be received one month before a student is readmitted into the Dental Hygiene Program.
In order to keep our curriculum current, it is revised from time to time. Therefore, the curriculum under which a student seeks readmission may be different from the one under which the student left. Students who are accepted for readmission must complete the degree requirements in place at the time of readmission. Students may need to buy different books, supplies, or equipment.
Advanced Placement Requirement
Students may be considered for advanced placement in the dental hygiene program if the coursework has been completed within the last year. Students transferring from another CODA-approved accredited dental hygiene program to Hagerstown Community College must meet the following criteria for advanced placement:
- Fulfill all academic criteria for admission to the dental hygiene program, including submission of official transcript(s) from the former institution.
- Attended a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
- Achieved satisfactory grades (“C” or higher) in the academic and clinical courses of the former program. Minimum grade point average of 2.5 is required.
- Achieved a score of 85% or greater on writtenl comprehensive examinations and performance competency tests in the clinical area.
- Submit a letter of recommendation from the Director of the former program.
Admission of applicants for advanced placement in the dental hygiene program are considered on an individual basis and restricted by the student capacity of the program. Students should contact the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration for information.
Criminal Background Checks
All students who are offered admission to the dental hygiene program will be required to submit to fingerprinting and a complete criminal background check. If a student cannot meet program requirements because of the background check, the student will be dismissed from the dental hygiene program.
All students who are offered admission to the dental hygiene program will be required to submit to fingerprinting and a complete criminal background check. If a student cannot meet program requirements because of the background check, the student will be dismissed from the dental hygiene program. All students who are offered admission to the dental hygiene program will be required to submit to fingerprinting and a complete criminal background check. If a student cannot meet program requirements because of the background check, the student will be dismissed from the dental hygiene program.
Reporting of pregnancy to program officials is voluntary on the part of the student. Regulatory Guide 8.13, Instruction Concerning Prenatal Radiation Exposure, (www.nrc.gov) published by the United States Regulatory Commission provides information and guidelines.
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.
Services to Special Needs Students
Students who have special needs are encouraged to identify themselves to the coordinator of special student services as early as possible. Reasonable accommodations based on current documentation are provided to qualified students. Please call 240-500-2273 for more information.
Standards of Conduct
Students enrolled in the Hagerstown Community College Dental Hygiene Program are required to adhere to the program’s established standards of conduct, in addition to the standards of conduct set forth by the College.
Adherence to these standards are expected at all times while students are enrolled in the Dental Hygiene Program and engaged in professional activities during the course of their instruction both at the College and in the community.
A violation of the standards of conduct will be reviewed for appropriate action by the Dental Program Faculty or the Director, Division of Health Sciences.
In addition to the Honor Code of Hagerstown Community College and the requirements of the Dental Hygiene Program, students are required to adhere to the American Dental Hygiene Association Code of Ethics and the State Regulation and Scope of Practice for a registered Dental Hygienist. Violations of any of these policies and/or requirements may result in immediate dismissal from the Dental Hygiene Program.