The Dental Hygiene program educates men and women to become vital members of the dental health profession. The two-year basic core curriculum leading to an Associate in Science degree follows the guidelines adopted by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Dental Hygiene graduate must successfully pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and regional clinical licensing examinations before being eligible for state licensure. These examinations are administered in the final semester of the Dental Hygiene curriculum. Once these examinations are successfully completed, the graduate may apply for Dental Hygiene licensure in any of the fifty states. Graduates may transfer credits to a four-year institution to complete a Baccalaureate degree. The Dental Hygiene program 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.
The curriculum is designed to provide the student a broad educational experience. The student is thus prepared to render preventive oral health services and dental health education. Students receive clinical experience at the STCC Dental Hygiene clinic, community health clinics and schools. Students are responsible to complete clinical services on a minimum number of patients. Patient recruitment is the responsibility of the student. Assistance will be provided by the College. The purchase of a first year and second year instrument kit is mandatory for each dental hygiene student.
Successful completion of all courses listed in the program curriculum is required for graduation. The dental hygiene courses are offered once per year and are restricted to the semester in which they appear in the curriculum. The Dental Hygiene curriculum is completed within two academic years, once accepted into the program. Qualifying students may be exempt from certain Dental Hygiene courses upon successful completion of a challenge exam or transfer credit.
Blood-borne Pathogen Policy: Applicants are advised that there is an increased risk of dental healthcare providers and students contracting blood-borne infectious diseases. Dental Hygiene students provide services in the oral cavity where they come in contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). Although diseases may be encountered, research indicates that risks are negligible when optimal infection control is practiced. It is required that all students complete the Hepatitis-B vaccine prior to treating patients.
Students should also be aware that during this two year program they will be exposed to ionizing radiation and hazardous substances.
Download a schedule of our upcoming Dental Hygiene Information Sessions here.
Upon completion of the requirements for this program, the degree of Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene will be awarded.
The Dental Hygiene program 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.
Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
800-621-8099 0r 312-440-4653
- Maintain admission policies to ensure qualified students with appropriate emphasis on under-represented groups.
- Ensure that students will achieve knowledge, skills and values consistent with national dental hygiene standards.
- Prepare dental hygiene graduates to assume responsibility for ethical dental hygiene care within the legal scope of practice in the Commonwealth of MA or other governing jurisdictions.
- Facilitate interactive educational experiences designed to foster critical thinking, promote appreciation for evidenced based clinical practice and the need for lifelong learning.
- Graduate students who will advance the profession through affiliation with professional organizations, and who will serve society through expertise, leadership, health education and health promotion.
- Provide continuing education programs for community dental professionals.
- Maintain a state of the art teaching environment.
- Provide the highest quality of student dental hygiene care to our patients.
- Maintain a knowledgeable, productive and diverse faculty to engage in multiple dimensions of scholarship which includes discovery, integration, application and teaching expertise to improve dental hygiene and health care.
- Professional Rescuer CPR (Red Cross) or Healthcare Provider CPR (American Heart Association) and standard first aid must be completed before the beginning of the second semester in the program.
Applying to this Program
- All applications for consideration for acceptance into the program should be received by the Admissions Office no later than March 31 of the application year.
- Fall start only, day program only
- This is a competitive program with rigorous standards. The program admits 20 students each admission cycle.
- Proof of High School transcript, GED or HISET
- Successful completion of high school Algebra 2(grade of C or higher); OR
- Successful completion of Algebra 2 MAT-097 or college level (100 or higher) math course (grade of C or higher): OR
- Placement examination score at MAT-101 or higher
- Completion of high school level General Biology with a lab (grade of C or higher, within 5 years); OR
- Completion of college level General Biology, such as BIO 101 or BIO 201 or equivalent course with a lab (grade of C or higher, within 5 years)
- Note: A & P 1, A & P 2, Microbiology, Biochemistry will not satisfy the Biology pre-requisite
- Completion of college level Chemistry with a lab, CHM-101 CHM-101L or equivalent (grade of C or higher, within 5 years)
- Admission Checklist (click here to download/print)
- In order to strengthen your application, it is strongly recommended you submit this document along with all other requirements.
- The SAT is suggested, not required
- Information Sessions: Applicants are encouraged but not required to attend an information session. For session dates, times and locations click here.
- Course work with designated time frames must be current within 5 years from the start of the program. (fall of application year)
- Mid-semester grades for spring prerequisite and required courses will be considered. Students requesting consideration for coursework being performed outside STCC must submit mid-term grade reports to the Admissions office with their application. The letter must be on the official college letterhead. An email from the individual course professor will be accepted if it is received directly from the professor’s college email address. ALL these correspondences must also be cc’d to the Dental Hygiene Program Coordinator.
- Conditional acceptances will be given for applicants who have incomplete courses in the spring semester. The condition will state what final grade must be earned to gain full acceptance. Students not meeting stated conditions will not be granted admission to the program.
- It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all OFFICIAL transcripts are updated upon completion of courses AND all non-STCC college academic records are included with their application at the time of filing
- Upon review of application materials and scoring using the departmental rubric, students will be ranked by score and then accepted into the program. If there are additional qualified students in the applicant pool, students will be notified and placed on a wait list. If a seat in the program become available, students will be accepted based on ranking and notified
- Programmatic Technical Standards: Students with disabilities must be able to meet the technical standards of the program with reasonable accommodations as defined by the ADA.
- Students who have completed the following courses or meet the criteria listed below will be given priority in the admission process:
- College level Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2 (current within 5 years)
- Biochemistry (Survey of Chemistry 2 is an acceptable substitute if taken on the STCC campus) (current within 5 years)
- Microbiology (current within 5 years)
- English Comp I
- General Psychology
- Introduction to Sociology
- Fundamentals of Oral Communication
- Dental Assisting Education (must submit a copy of your certificate with your application)
- Students currently enrolled AND/OR who have completed 12 credits of liberal arts/general education and science courses at STCC.
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 and Wellness Center by July 1 of the admission year. The Health and Wellness Center is located in the Building 19 Room 177 (413-755-4230). For additional information and required forms please visit the Health and Wellness Center website at http://www.stcc.edu/healthservices. 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: College programs involving potentially unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly, including fieldwork (a clinical affiliation, internship, externship, or field placement) with a private or public healthcare provider or daycare 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. The purpose of the background check is to ensure a safe and protective environment for all clients, particularly members of vulnerable populations.
Students choosing not to consent to the required background checks will be ineligible to participate in fieldwork involving vulnerable populations. Ineligibility to participate in fieldwork may affect a student’s ability to successfully complete the program.
Based upon the results of the background checks, a student may be deemed ineligible to participate in academic or clinical activities, which may impact a student’s ability to successfully complete program requirements. Background checks are reviewed by the College’s CORI Board. The CORI Board determines eligibility to participate in academic and/or clinical activities. Students have the right to appeal the determination of the CORI Board by filing a written appeal with the Vice President of Student and Multicultural Affairs within 10 business days of receiving the CORI Board’s determination.
Furthermore, please be advised that eligibility to participate in College academic and/or clinical activities following a background check does not guarantee eligibility to sit for a professional credentialing examination(s) or for employment upon program completion. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the certification or licensure board for a particular healthcare or other service 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) business 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) business days of notification of the drug test results to the college’s Director of the Health and Wellness Center. 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 Health and Wellness Center by July 1. The Health and Wellness Center is located in Building 19, Room 177 (413 755-4230)
Health Program Latex Policy
Program Requirements and Advancement
- All accepted students must complete, prior to semester 2 of the curriculum, the HIPAA Awareness/Privacy Training Class for Healthcare Providers, Standard First Aid, and HealthCare Provider/Professional Rescuer CPR.
- CPR Certification: Students are required to maintain CPR certification (American Heart Association BLS) 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.
- Minimum Grade Requirement: Students must achieve a minimum grade of “C” (73%), or better, in each Dental Hygiene course. In addition, students must attain a minimum grade of “C” (73%), or better, in related science and general studies courses. The student who is unable to meet this minimum requirement will be withdrawn from the program. Application for re-entry can be made only once and the decision will be based on the recommendations of the faculty and program coordinator.
Course Transfer : General Education courses taken in the Dental Hygiene curriculum typically can be transferred to another educational institution. These courses include: English Composition ENG 101, Anatomy & Physiology 1 BIO 231, Anatomy & Physiology 2 BIO 232, Biochemistry BIO 114, Microbiology BIO 235, General Psychology PSY 101 and Nutrition BIO 115. Final approval is always at the discretion of the receiving institution. Dental Hygiene (DHY) core courses would require evaluation by the receiving institution to determine transfer credit.
- The Dental Hygiene graduate must successfully pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and regional clinical licensing examinations before being eligible for state licensure. These examinations are administered in the final semester of the Dental Hygiene curriculum.
- Once these examinations are successfully completed, the graduate may apply for Dental Hygiene licensure in any of the fifty states. Graduates may transfer credits to a four-year institution to complete a Baccalaureate degree.
- Students must adhere to the strict attendance policy in lecture, lab and practicum in order to graduate.
Total (DHYG.AS) Curriculum Program Credits: 71-72
||Program Coordinator/Associate Professor