Program Description | BridgeValley



Program Description


The Dental Hygiene program is designed to prepare students for a career in dental hygiene with concentration on educating students for clinical dental hygiene practice and transer to baccalaureate studies. Faculty and students are committed to a culture of excellence in education, service and patient care while maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and teamwork. The program, accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation, requires a minimum of one year of prerequisite coursework and two full academic years of Dental Hygiene major courses with 83/85 hours of credit course work including many hours of clinical practice. 

Dental Hygiene Scope of Practice

A dental hygienist is a preventive oral health professional licensed to provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to the public.

Limited Enrollment
The Dental Hygiene program is a limited enrollment program which admits one class each fall semester. An admissions committee selects candidates based upons published requirements. For specific information on program admission requirements and application deadlines please refer to the Admissions tab. 

Program Goals 
In addition to the learning outcomes set forth in the general education core curriculum for the associate degree, the mission of the dental program reflects the department goals to comprehensively: 

  • Provide a quality educational program meeting the standards of the Commission on Dental Accreditation and reflecting relevant and current dental hygiene practice to ensure competent individuals for licensure and clinical practice of dental hygiene
  • Provide opportunities for quality patient care experiences in the dental hygiene clinic and off campus enrichment sites for diverse populations
  • Encourage participation in community service and health promotion initiatives
  • Provide an academic experience which allows students to pursue advanced degrees
  • Promote an environment committed to professionalism, career development and lifelong learning

Program outcomes are assessed systematically and comprehensively by didactic course reviews, clinical performance evaluations, externally administered board examinations, advisorycommittee/employer feedback, patient surveys, student/graduate surveys and faculty evaluation. 

Careers in Dental Hygiene
Dental hygienists may assume the roles of clinician, educator, researcher, administrator/manager and advocate. Dental hygienists are employed clinically in private dental practice, hospitals, clinics, institutions, public and private schools, and the armed forces. Dental hygienists are also employed as health educators in various public health settings. 

Baccalaureate Options

All coursework completed in the Dental Hygiene program is delivered at a level recognized as transferable to baccaluarate studies. Baccalaureate options include:

  • West Liberty State University - BSDH
  • WVU School of Dentistry – Dental Hygiene Degree Completion
  • Other online BS/BA options in dental hygiene, healthcare or related majors