The Dental Assistant curriculum encompasses the multi-disciplinary team concept. Theoretical skills are attained in conjunction with supervised off-campus clinical affiliation experiences. The curriculum conforms to the standards which are required by the Commission on Accreditation of Dental and Dental Auxiliary (CODA) Educational Programs. Upon successful completion of the program, the student graduates with a Certificate in Dental Assistant and is eligible to take the Dental Assistant National Board Examination.
This CODA accredited program program has two primary objectives: to prepare the student for employment as a professional member of the dental team, functioning as a competent certified dental assistant after graduation; and to prepare and motivate the student to continue his/her dental education toward a degree. Advanced degrees will enable the qualified student to participate in broader areas of the dental profession.
Clinical affiliation is conducted off-campus at various dental offices throughout Western Massachusetts. The student is responsible for providing transportation to and from each clinical and educational facility. The student is expected to be in full dress uniform during this portion of the curriculum.
The Dental Assisting program will produce graduates who are qualified to perform basic skills/advanced functions and roles within dentistry such as:
- Chairside Assisting for general and specialty practices
- Infection Control Protocol Management
- Dental Practice Management
- Dental Radiology/Conventional/Digital Applications
- Advanced Functions Assisting
Upon the successful completion of requirements for this program, a Certificate in Dental Assistant will be awarded.
Accreditation and Program Outcomes
The program in Dental Assisting is fully 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.
- Prepare the student for employment as a dental health care professional.
- Prepare the student to be a safe and competent dental health care professional by being in compliance with both Federal and Massachusetts State Standards and Regulations.
- Prepare the student with academic knowledge and skill competencies to qualify for the Certified Dental Assistant Examination given by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.
- Provide a curriculum that will offer opportunities for the student to develop competency in basic practice management procedures.
- Prepare the student to perform chairside assisting skills and related laboratory procedures utilized in General and Specialty Dental Practices.
- Provide a curriculum that will offer the student knowledge and concepts of Infection Control Protocol as it pertains to patient and student safety.
- Certify students for performing dental radiography procedures within the State of Massachusetts.
- Provide a curriculum that will give the student the knowledge and understanding of the law, professional duty and ethical behavior of a Dental Assistant employed in the State of Massachusetts.
Applying to this Program
- Applications will be accepted on a rolling admission, applications will be accepted until the program is full.
- Fall start only, day program only
Preferred Coursework for Admission
- Proof of High School transcript, GED or HISET
- Completion of high school pre-Algebra with a grade of C or better; OR
- Placement examination score at MAT-081 OR
- Successful completion of Pre-Algebra MAT-078
- High School Geometry recommended
- High school Biology with a lab;OR
- College level Biology with a lab (such as BIO 101 or BIO 104)
Applying for Re-Admission to this Program
Students who leave this health program before completing it may apply for re-admission. Students reapplying to the program must resubmit an application, all supporting documents and essay with updated official transcripts. Students will be eligible to receive up to a maximum of one re-admission. Click here for information about the re-admission policy and process.
Additional Requirements for Accepted Students
Deposit: If offered admission, a non-refundable $50.00 deposit will be required to secure your acceptance to this Program.
Mandatory Health Records: All required health records, immunizations, and physicals MUST be filed in the STCC Health Services office by July 1 of the admission year. The Health Office is located in the Building 20 Suite, room 320 (third floor center) (413-755-4230). The college/program reserves the right to rescind the admission status of any student not meeting, as well as not submitting, all post-admission requirements in a timely manner.
Background Check: Students enrolled in Health Professions Programs that involve potentially unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly, or which includes a clinical affiliation, internship, or field placement with a private or public health care provider, will be required to undergo state-wide and/or national criminal background checks, including but not limited to Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Record Information (SORI), Seven (7) year residential Search, and FBI Fingerprinting checks. Depending on the results of the background checks, a student may be deemed ineligible to participate in such academic or clinical activities, which may impact a student’s ability to complete program requirements. Furthermore, please be advised that eligibility to participate in College academic and/or clinical activities following a background check does not guarantee your eligibility to sit for a professional credentialing examination(s) or employment upon graduation. It is your responsibility to contact the certification or licensure board for your particular health care profession to determine the standards that must be met for credentialing, licensing and/or employment in that field.
Drug Screening Policy for Clinical Placement: The School of Health & Patient Simulation is committed to high quality education and providing excellent clinical experiences to students in the health professions. Students are expected to perform at their highest functional level during all educational and clinical experiences in order to maximize the learning environment and ensure patient safety. Thus a student’s performance at all times must be free of any impairment caused by prescription or non-prescribed drugs or alcohol use. Students enrolling in Health Professions programs are required to undergo and pass a drug and/or alcohol screening analysis in order to be eligible for placement in a clinical facility. Students assigned to clinical education experiences at our contracted facilities may also be required to undergo and pass random drug screening analysis in order to remain at that clinical facility and in the program. Students who fail a screening, or refuse to submit to a screening within the designated time frame will be ineligible for clinical placement, which will affect their status in the program. Students with a positive drug test may challenge the results of the test within five (5) days of notification of the drug test results. This challenge must be in writing and delivered to the college’s Director of Health Services. Students may re-apply for re-entry into a health program after one year. Requests for re-admission will be considered on a case by case basis.
Students who are notified of a “negative-dilute” result will submit to a random drug test within 24 hours of the previous test in order to confirm the negative status of the screening. Additional random testing may also be required under the guidelines listed in your program’s handbook. A student who claims that he/she tested positive due to a prescription drug and was unable to clarify this matter with the medical review officer (MRO) from the drug testing lab shall be required to provide evidence from a health care provider of the type of prescription, dates of permissible use and dosage amounts within five (5) days of notification of the drug test results to the college’s Director of Health Services. Failure to complete this notification will result in the student being ineligible for clinical placement, which will affect their status in the program.
Students who test positive for marijuana are unable to continue in a clinical placement, which will affect their status in the health program. A student who has a prescription for Medical Marijuana and tests positive for marijuana will also be ineligible to participate in clinical placement due to the federal restriction on the use of marijuana. While the use of Medical Marijuana is permitted in Massachusetts, marijuana remains classified as a controlled substance under federal law and its use, possession, and/or cultivation at educational institutions remains prohibited.
Programmatic Technical Standards: Technical Standards reflect performance abilities and essential skills that are necessary for a student to successfully complete the requirements of a specified program. Students with disabilities must be able to meet the technical standards of the program with reasonable accommodations as defined by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA.) See the link below. Program Technical Standard forms found in your admission acceptance packet must be submitted to the Office of Health Services by July 1. Health Services office is located in building 20, room 320 (413 755-4230)
Health Program Latex Policy
Program Requirements and Advancement
- Minimum Grade Requirements: To continue in the progression of courses offered in the Dental Assistant program, a student must obtain a grade of “C” (73%) or better in all courses. Students not meeting the minimum grade requirement of “C” (73%) will be withdrawn from the program.
- Upon successful completion of the program, the student graduates with a Certificate in Dental Assistant and is eligible to take the Dental Assistant National Board Examination.
- CPR Certification: This must be completed prior to the first day of class. Students are required to maintain CPR certification (American Heart Association BLS OR ACLS) throughout the entire program. Certification must be valid and a copy of certification must be submitted to the Health Services Department on or before August 15 of the admission year.
- First Aid Certification: Students are required to maintain First Aid certification (American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid) throughout the entire program. Certification must be valid and a copy of certification must be submitted to the Health Services Department on or before August 15 of the admission year.
- CPR and First Aid Certification is available through STCC. Information can be found through Workforce Development, Health Care Training at: www.stcc.edu/wt
- Bloodborne Pathogen Policy: Dental Assisting Students provide services in the oral cavity where they come in contact with blood and saliva. Although diseases may be encountered, research indicates risks are negligible when optimal infection control is practiced.
- Additional Costs:Dental assisting students must purchase a kit which is non-refundable and is comprised of essential materials and supplies. In addition, other expenses will be required as the academic year progresses.
- Dental Assisting Kit: $600.00 - $800.00
- Textbooks for Summer, Fall and Spring Semesters: $1,300.00 - $1,500.00
- STCC Uniforms: $150.00 - $200.00
- White Leather Uniform Shoes: $100.00 - $150.00
- Name Badge: $10.00 - $15.00
- Maroon Lab Coats: $50.00 - $100.00
- STCC Identification Uniform Patch: $5.00 - $10.00
- Certification Examination: $175.00 - $200.00 per Examination
- Campus Parking: Cost varies with parking area
- Lock for locker $5.00 - $10.00
- Notebooks, three-ring binders (one for each lecture course), pens, pencils, colored pencils, paper, stapler, paper punch, clear plastic ruler, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss/tape, small standing mirror, permanent black marker, graph and tracing paper. $75.00 - $125.00
- Required Immunizations
- Personal vehicle or reliable means of transportation to/from clinical affiliation sites
- **Please note that these estimated costs are subject to change.
Total (DAST.CRT) Curriculum Program Credits: 40
- ENG-101 , BIO-120 , ENG-105 and PSY-101 should be taken prior to Semester 1. It is mandatory that the student complete ENG-101 , BIO-120 , ENG-105 and PSY-101 with a grade of 73% (“C”) to receive transfer credit for these courses.
- Check Financial Aid information regarding courses offered and those eligible for financial assistance during the Summer Sessions.
- Both BIO-231 and BIO-232 must be taken as a substitute for BIO-120 . A grade of 73% (C) is required to receive transfer credit for these courses.
||Program Coordinator/Dental Assisting