What to Look for In a Good DH Program
Dec. 22, 2016
There are a lot of good Dental Hygiene programs out there, and of course we at Concorde feel we have one of the best. But, whether you choose Concorde or not, we want you to be able to make an informed decision on your professional future as a dental hygienist.
So, we thought weâd take a hard look at what common qualities most, if not all, good Dental Hygiene programs share. Hereâs what we found, from three of our best Dental Hygiene Program Directors.
According to Alissa Sanchez, Dental Hygiene Program Director at Concordeâs campus in Kansas City
, Mo., the first thing to look for in a good DH school is that it is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and theÂ American Dental Association
Commission on Dental Accreditation which offers a student-centered supportive learning environment.
Sanchezâs colleagues concur. Donna Sutton, DH Program Director at Concorde â Dallas
, said prospective students can check a schoolâs accreditation status at www.ada.org/coda
and then search for schools by state and type of program. Dental Hygiene is under allied health with Dental Assisting and Dental Lab Technology.
âThe college or university needs to be accredited also through an accreditor approved by the (U.S.) Department of Education,â Sutton said.
Do your homework on Dental Hygiene faculty
Diane Osso, DH Program Director at Concordeâs campus in Aurora, Colo
., said the experience of full-time faculty and the program director is important. More seasoned faculty will have better prepared classes and course material and usually are better lecturers.
Faculty turnover rate is another important factor to consider, Osso said.
âAll new faculty is a bad thing,â she said. âIt can show many internal issues with the program. New faculty drains time of existing faculty that can be spent improving the program.â
Sutton added, âVisit the faculty and notice the cleanliness and equipment available.â
Itâs important, Osso said, that equipment be up to date. New technology should be available for students.
Board pass rates and retention rates
âThe bottom line is being able to make it through DH school,â Osso said. âRetention rates that are high should point to quality students being admitted, well-prepared curriculum and good faculty/school support. Even if you graduate with a 4.0 GPA, you canât get a license without passing boards.
âA high pass rate for the national and clinic boards is one of the best indicators for whether a program is good.â
Other than that, simply check out the schoolâs atmosphere and climate â the cleanliness, temperature of the building, state of repair. It might not seem like much, but it counts.
âAsk to visit a class or talk to current students,â Sutton said. âVisit the facility and notice the cleanliness and equipment available.â
Finally, ask about graduate employment and job placement assistance. After all, thatâs why you come to Concorde or a Dental Hygiene
career college â¦ to land that career of your dreams!