2015-16 Virginia Western Academic Catalog 
    Jun 24, 2022  
2015-16 Virginia Western Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED 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.

Developmental Requirements: Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to credit-level coursework established by the college.

Applicants must receive an ENG 111  placement test recommendation or have successfully completed all developmental English requirements.

Applicants who do not demonstrate proficiency on the placement test in the following mathematical units will be required to complete developmental courses: MTE 1 , MTE 2 , MTE 3 , MTE 4 , MTE 5 , MTE 6 , MTE 7 , MTE 8  and MTE 9 .


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.

First Year

Second Year

Total Minimum Credits for Degree: 71

1 Health and wellness are emphasized throughout the dental hygiene program, but specifically in DNH 150 - Nutrition .

2 Electives must be chosen from the specific list referenced in the curriculum requirements above.

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

* This course has a requisite. Requisites for all courses are listed in the course description

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-II or MTE 1 -MTE 9  

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. Priority consideration will be given to applicants with a cumulative high school and/or college grade point average of 3.0 or above. 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. Applicants are responsible for making certain that hate following have been submitted in addition to a current college application: completed program application; official high school transcript 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 by the interview date held in spring. 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 can be accessed through the VWCC website (http://www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/health/dental/index.php).

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.

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. Student interested in transfer should consult the VWCC Dental Hygiene program page for transfer criteria.

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 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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