Jul 17, 2024  
2024-25 Academic Catalog 
2024-25 Academic Catalog

Dental Hygiene - DHYG.AS

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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


Program Goals

  • 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 and required/supporting documents should be received by the Admissions Office no later than March 15 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.
Admission Prerequisites
  • Proof of High School transcript, GED or HISET
  • Math
    • Successful completion of high school Algebra 2(grade of C or higher) or an equivalent course; OR
    • Successful completion of  Algebra 2 MAT 097   or Pre-College Algebra MAT 063   or college level (100 or higher) math course (grade of C or higher): OR
    • Placement examination score at (Accuplacer) MAT-101 or (ALEKS) MAT-100p or higher
  • Biology
    • 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
  • Chemistry
    • Completion of college level Chemistry with a lab, CHM-101  CHM-101L  or equivalent (grade of C or higher, within 5 years)
  • 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 Admissions Office)
      • Electronic checklist (to be completed and submitted online) 
        • Currently enrolled STCC students click here for electronic checklist
        • Potential students (not currently enrolled at STCC) click here for electronic checklist


  • 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. Correspondence should be sent to admissions@stcc.edu. Please note, Spring 2 courses do not post mid-term grades.
  • 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
  • Admission decisions (acceptances, waitlist, denials) will be sent via email to applicants in late April/early May.
  • 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
    • Graduate of a CODA accredited Dental Assisting program (must submit a copy of your diploma, DANB certificate or current Dental Assistant license)
    • 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

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

  • 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.


(DHYG.AS) Curriculum

Program Personnel

Name Title Office Phone Email
Mary Loadholt Program Coordinator/Associate Professor 20/240 413-755-4858 mmloadholt@stcc.edu
Darlene O’Brien Faculty/Associate Professor 20/244 413-755-4910 dgobrien@stcc.edu
Brenda Hanson Faculty/Assistant Professor 20/242 413-755-4861 bhanson2101@stcc.edu
Samantha Kelley Faculty/Assistant Professor 20/203A 413-755-4979 shkelley2101@stcc.edu
Miciel Mariano Clinic Manager 20/238 413-755-5249 mmariano@stcc.edu


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