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 https://www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/health-professions/dental-hygiene/.
Placement Requirements: Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to credit-level coursework established by the college.
Applicants must receive an ENG 111 , ENG 111 /EDE 11* placement recommendation, or have successfully completed EDE 10 .
Students who do not demonstrate readiness for the college-level math will be required to select appropriate MDE coursework in consultation with an advisor.
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. Please contact the dental hygiene program head for more information.
Retention Policy: Satisfactory progress is demonstrated by achieving a grade of “C” or better in all curricular 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.
AAS degrees prepare students for direct employment upon completion of the degree. However, many programs may also transfer to four-year institutions. Students interested in transferring should verify program requirements with specific four-year institutions and with the program head for Dental Hygiene.