Dec 15, 2019  
2019-20 Virginia Western Academic Catalog 
2019-20 Virginia Western Academic Catalog

Dental Hygiene, A.A.S.

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Associate of Applied Science

Purpose: The curriculum is designed to prepare students as primary preventive oral health professionals licensed to practice dental hygiene. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to take national, regional, and state board examinations leading to licensure as a registered dental hygienist (RDH).

Program Objectives: A dental hygienist may practice in dental offices and dental clinics; federal, state, and local health departments; hospitals and nursing homes/home health organizations; school districts or departments of education; educational programs for dental, dental hygiene, and dental assisting students; correctional facilities; private and public facilities for pediatric, geriatric, and other individuals/groups with special needs; or health maintenance organizations/ managed care organizations.

Admission Requirements: This is a restricted admissions program. Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to credit-level coursework established by the college. Please see the program-specific admission requirements at the bottom of this page.

Developmental Requirements: Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to credit-level coursework established by the college.
Applicants must receive an ENG 111 placement recommendation or have successfully completed all developmental English requirements.
Applicants who do not demonstrate proficiency in MTE 1 MTE 2 MTE 3 MTE 4 , and MTE 5  must have successfully completed all developmental Mathematics requirements.

Although this program is not designed for transfer, agreements with specific institutions may exist. Contact the Dental Hygiene program head as listed on program webpage.

Prior to First Semester^

^These courses must be completed by the end of Spring Semester.  Please review all Admission Requirements for this Program.

Total Minimum Credits for Degree: 72

1 Must be completed within five years of beginning the program.

2 Students at Virginia Western and Lord Fairfax CC should complete PHI 220. Students at Danville CC should complete PHI 226 for this requirement.

The two credit SDV 108 will satisfy the SDV 101 requirement. SDV 108 is for developmental English students.

* This course has a requisite. 

Admissions Requirements: Applicants to the Dental Hygiene program must hold a high school diploma or GED and meet the developmental requirements listed above.  Additionally, applicants must complete the prerequisites listed below with a grade of “C” or higher by the end of the spring semester prior to beginning the program:

  1. One unit of high school or college biology
  2. One unit of high school or college chemistry
  3. Completion of BIO 141 -BIO 142 , Anatomy and Physiology I-II
  4. Completion of Algebra I or MTE 1-MTE 5 
  5. Completion of SDV 101 Orientation to Health Professions.

The applicant’s high school or college (if applicable) cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be at least 2.75. College GPA is based on at least 12 credit hours in a 12-month time frame. The GPA is determined at the end of the fall semester prior to admission. A minimum of 16 hours of shadowing or observation of a licensed dental hygienist is required.

All qualified applicants must take the TEAS for Allied Health (at student’s expense - nonrefundable).

Admission Procedures: Admission to the dental hygiene program is offered to qualified applicants on an annual basis at the Roanoke campus. Admission to the VWCC-DCC joint venture distance program site in Danville is offered to qualified applicants on a biennial basis during odd-numbered years. Admission to the VWCC-Lord Fairfax joint venture distance program site in Middletown is offered on a biennial basis during even-numbered years. Deadline for submitting complete application materials is February 15 for the upcoming academic year. Early applications are encouraged for advising purposes. Applicants are responsible for making certain that the following have been submitted in addition to a current college application: completed program application; official high school transcript showing completion of high school diploma or copy of GED scores, if applicable; official transcripts from all colleges attended (Virginia Western and other Virginia Community College transcripts are not necessary); and two letters and forms of recommendation. Shadowing documentation will be due in March and details will be given on how to submit these documents during the TEAS testing. Applicants should be aware that meeting the curriculum admission standards does not guarantee program admission. Applicants will be notified in writing of the action taken by the Dental Hygiene Admissions Committee in May. Students interested in this program should consult the VWCC Dental Hygiene Program page, VWCC policy on Infectious Disease Status, Essential Dental Hygiene Functions, Clinical Environment, Student Responsibilities, Student Retention and Readmission Policy. The page as well as application materials can be accessed through the VWCC website (

Program Notes: This program has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

Individuals who have a felony or misdemeanor conviction may not be eligible for licensure. This decision is made by the Virginia Board of Dentistry. For questions regarding this issue, call Virginia Board of Dentistry (804) 367-4538. Clinical agencies may require that students have periodic background checks and drug screenings completed at the student’s expense before beginning enrichment rotations, VWCC requires a clear background and drug test prior to admission.

Students who have begun a dental hygiene program at an accredited institution other than Virginia Western may be considered for admission by transfer if there is class availability and if certain conditions are met. 

Retention Policy: Satisfactory progress is demonstrated by achieving a grade of “C” or better in required Dental Hygiene and Biology courses. Students must satisfactorily complete BIO 150/205 with a grade of “C” or above before progressing to the second year of the program. Because curricular components build upon each other over the five semesters, students must complete required Dental Hygiene courses in sequence.

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