Jul 21, 2024  
2023-24 Academic Catalog 
2023-24 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dental Assistant - DAST.CRT

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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:

  1. Chairside Assisting for general and specialty practices
  2. Infection Control Protocol Management
  3. Dental Practice Management
  4. Dental Radiology/Conventional/Digital Applications
  5. 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.

Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
800-621-8099 0r 312-440-4653


Program Goals

  • 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

  • Dental Assisting will now be accepting students to start in the FALL and SPRING semesters
  • Fall AND Spring start, afternoon/evening program
  • Applications for FALL 2024 will open February 1, 2024
  • Last day to apply for Fall 2024 is April 30, 2024
  • Acceptance letters will go out May 24, 2024
Admission Prerequisites
  • Proof of high school graduation, GED or HiSet-required. Submit official high school transcript or GED, HiSet scores
  • One of the sciences listed below must be completed or in progress :
    • BIO 120/120L Basics of Anatomy & Physiology OR
    • BIO 231/231L Anatomy & Physiology 1
  • Admission Checklist 
    • In order to strengthen your application, it is strongly recommended you submit this document along with all other requirements.
    • Select one of the following two options
      • Paper checklist (click here to download/print, can be mailed or emailed to the Admissions Office)
      • Electronic checklist (to be completed and submitted online) 
        • Currently enrolled STCC students COMING SOON click here for the electronic checklist
        • Potential students (not currently enrolled at STCC) COMING SOON click here for the electronic checklist
Preferred Coursework for Admission
  • Students who have completed the following courses will be given priority consideration in the admission process:
  • English Composition 1- ENG 101  
  • General Psychology 101 PSY 101   or Introduction to Sociology-SOC 101  
  • Fundamentals of Oral Communication- ENG 105  


  • The Dental Assisting program will begin it’s next new class in Fall 2024.  Applications will open February 1, 2024.
  • The application deadline for Fall 2024 will be April 30,2024.
  • DSC 112/112L Dental Radiology and Lab, DSC 111 Oral Anatomy 1 and DSC 211/211L Dental Materials and Lab are core courses for Dental Science. These core courses transfer into the Dental Hygiene program. Students that have completed these courses with passing scores will strengthen their application when applying to the Dental Hygiene program at STCC. DSC 112/112L and DSC 111 Oral Anatomy 1 fall in the first semester of dental hygiene school, having this course work complete will allow the student more time to focus on other required dental hygiene coursework.
  • It is recommended that ENG-101ENG 105,  and PSY 101   be taken prior to Semester 1. Completion of these courses with a grade of C or better, prior to admission, will enable the full time student to complete the program within two semesters.
  • It is mandatory that the student complete ENG-101ENG 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.
  • Mid-semester grades for applicable courses in progress will be considered. Students requesting consideration for required course work being performed at another accredited college must submit a mid-term grade report to the Admissions office along with their application.
  • Conditional acceptances will be given for applicants who have incomplete courses. 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.


Applying for Re-Admission to this Program

If a student leaves a health program for any reason, and intends to re-enter the following academic year into the semester in which they left, the student must follow the readmission process as outlined in the School of Health & Patient Simulation Readmission Policy. 

Click here  to see full policy and procedures.

The student seeking readmission to a health program must submit a Letter of Intent to Return, to the Dean of Health & Patient Simulation Office (Building 20/Room 320) and to the Program Director, by November 16 for consideration for return in the spring semester, and by February 1 for consideration for return in the fall semester. These dates may change from year to year.

If a student intends to return to a health program after one full academic year has passed, the student must apply as a new applicant through the college admissions website https://www.stcc.edu/apply/.  

All students must follow the readmission policy and guidelines of their specific department/program.

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 for students being admitted in the Fall semester and no later than two (2) weeks prior to the start of the program for students being admitted in the Spring semester of the admission year. The Health and Wellness Center is located in 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.

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.


Programmatic Technical Standards: Technical Standards reflect performance abilities and essential skills that a student must demonstrate in order to successfully complete the requirements of a specified program.  These Standards must be satisfied by all students in all aspects of the program, with or without reasonable accommodations, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including in the classroom, laboratories, and externship. If you are an individual with a documented disability who seeks reasonable accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services at (413) 755-4785 or stop by Building 19, Room 141 as soon as practicable for information concerning the College’s accommodation process. Additional information can also be found on the Office of Disability Service’s website: https://www.stcc.edu/resources/academic-support/ods/. Please note that 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 and can be reached at (413) 755-4230.  

Drug Screening:The School of Health & Patient Simulation is committed to providing high quality education and 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 including alcohol, marijuana, and cannabis-derived products. Students enrolling in Health Professions programs are required to undergo and pass a drug screening analysis in order to be eligible for placement in a clinical facility. STCC student program fees cover the cost of this screening. Additional scheduled and random drug and/or alcohol screenings may be required depending upon clinical facility and/or program guidelines. 

Students who are notified of a negative-dilute result will submit to an observed urine drug test within 24 hours of the previous test (or soonest appointment made available to STCC Health Compliance by the testing agency) in order to confirm the negative or positive finding status of the drug screening. If a student continues to receive a negative-dilute or inconclusive drug screening result, the subsequent drug test will be of the hair collection method until a conclusive negative or positive result is confirmed.

Students with a positive drug screening may challenge the results by filing a written appeal to the College’s Director of Health Compliance within five (5) business days of notification of the test results. An appeal by a student who claims that the positive test was due to a prescription drug and was unable to clarify this matter with the medical review officer (MRO) from the drug testing lab shall include evidence from a health care provider of the type of prescription, dates of permissible use and dosage amounts. Students may be responsible to pay for additional drug screening conducted as part of an appeal. Students excluded from a program due to a positive screening, failure to submit appeal, denied appeal, or refusal to submit to a screening may re-apply for re-entry into a program after one year. Requests for re-admission will be considered on a case by case basis and in accordance with the program criteria.

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 & Wellness Center on or before January 10 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 and Wellness Center on or before January 10 of the admission year.
  • 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. It is required that all students complete the Hepatitis-B vaccine prior to treating patients.
  • Hazardous Materials: Students should be aware that during this program they will be exposed to ionizing radiation and hazardous substances.
  • Transfer: General Education courses taken in the Dental Assisting curriculum can typically be transferred to another educational institution.  These courses include:  English Composition ENG 101,  Oral Communication ENG 105, General Psychology PSY 101. Final approval is always at the discretion of the receiving institution. Dental Assisting (DAS) core courses would require evaluation by the receiving institution to determine transfer credit.
  • 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
    • Name Badge: $10.00 - $15.00
    • Certification Examination- $450.00 if all three examinations (Radiology, General Chairside, Infection Control) are taken at the same time, OR;
      • Radiology Exam-$270.00, if taken alone
      • General Chairside Exam-$270.00, if taken alone
      • Infection Control Exam-$270.00, if taken alone
    • Required Immunizations
    • Personal vehicle or reliable means of transportation to/from clinical affiliation sites
    • **Please note that these estimated costs are subject to change.

(DAST.CRT) Curriculum

Total: 14 credits

Total: 9 credits

Total: 13 credits

Total (DAST.CRT) Curriculum Program Credits: 36

Program Personnel

Name Title Office Phone Email
Amanda Berthiaume Assistant Professor 20/203B 413-755-4934 aeberthiaume@stcc.edu
Samantha Kelley   Assistant Professor, Program Chair 20/203A 413-755-4979 shkelley2101@stcc.edu



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