(Effective Fall 2013)
This curriculum offers the theoretical and clinical education needed for a variety of dental hygiene careers. The major provides a diversified background to prepare students for licensing exams, immediate employment, and lifelong learning.
Dental hygienists are employed in private dental practices, research, government health agencies, school systems, hospital and public health clinics, military services, and in dental hygiene education programs.
Recommended High School Subjects
Because of the strong emphasis on science in this major, applicants are encouraged to complete one year of high school biology, two years of high school algebra, and chemistry with a laboratory.
Special Admissions Requirements
Acceptance into this competitive major is based on an admissions ranking process. To view acceptance criteria, testing requirements, performance expectations, and the admissions ranking system, consult the detailed special admissions information.
Special Equipment Needs
Upon admission to this major, additional expenses will be encountered for uniforms, personal protective equipment, and instruments. Refer to the list of tools, uniforms, and supplies.
Developmental math, reading, and English needs, as identified by placement testing, must be remediated prior to acceptance into the major. Chemistry must be satisfied prior to admission to the major. Applicants not having a "C" or better in high school chemistry with a lab within the past 10 years must pass one of the following: CHM 100, or CHM 108 or higher, or an adult education chemistry course at an approved high school prior to admission to the Dental Hygiene major.
Students in this major can transfer to the bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene or Applied Health Studies. This major will subscribe to the transfer standards established by the College.
International health credentials/licensure, sciences courses, and most math courses will not be accepted to satisfy requirements of this major. Please see additional information for international students applying to Health Sciences majors.
Program GoalsA graduate of this major should be able to:
- demonstrate professional and ethical conduct consistent with current dental hygiene standards of care.
- develop the knowledge and skills necessary to apply the dental hygiene process of care to diverse populations in all age ranges.
- promote oral health within the community.
Students must earn a minimum grade of 'C' in each DEN course. Failure to do so will result in termination from the major.
The following grading system applies to all dental (DEN) courses in this major. There is no rounding of grades:
C= 75 –79.99
F= 74.99 and below
|FYE101||First Year Experience||1||.50||1.50||S||REQ|
|DEN103||Dental Hygiene I||4||2||6||M||REQ|
|BIO115||Human Anatomy and Physiology I||4||3||3||S||REQ|
|ENL111||English Composition I||3||3||S||REQ|
|DEN126||Dental Hygiene II||5||2||9||M||REQ|
|DEN130||Introduction to Periodontics||2||2||M||REQ|
|DEN211||Oral Health and Nutrition||2||2||M||REQ|
|BIO125||Human Anatomy and Physiology II||4||3||3||S||REQ|
|MMM||Math Elective (MTH151 or Higher)||3||S||MMM|
|DEN202||General and Oral Pathology||2||2||M||REQ|
|DEN214||Dental Materials and Specialties||3||2||3||M||REQ|
|DEN216||Dental Hygiene III||6||2||12||M||REQ|
|DEN220||Community Dental Health||2||2||M||REQ|
|DEN224||Dental Law and Ethics||1||Writing Enriched Requirement||1||M||REQ|
|DEN227||Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice||5||1||12||M||REQ|
|DEN240||Techniques in Pain Control||2||1||3||M||REQ|
|CSC124||Information, Technology, and Society||3||3||S||REQ|
|SPC101||Fundamentals of Speech||3||3||S||REQ|
|FIT||Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective||1||S||FIT|
|SSE||Social Science Elective||3||S||SSE|
Notice of Conviction
Child abuse clearance and criminal background checks are required by some agencies involved in fieldwork and/or capstones. Agencies can bar students from their sites if a criminal record exists or a positive drug test is noted. By virtue of contract for Penn College students to be at clinical sites, agencies have the right to ask for random drug testing. The Pennsylvania Board of Dentistry advises that a drug-related conviction and/or conviction of a felonious act can result in denial and/or revocation of a license to practice dental hygiene. Inability to gain clinical or fieldwork or intern education experiences results in inability to meet program objectives and outcomes. For additional clarification, students can speak with their program director.
The associate degree program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of APPROVAL (without reporting requirements). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda