Dental

Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene

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Earn your associate degree in dental hygiene to begin working toward future opportunities in the dental field today.

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Our Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene is designed to prepare you for working as a dental hygiene healthcare provider with a strong foundation of skills in dental science and clinical knowledge. You’ll work to learn about assessing patients, planning treatments, and providing preventative and therapeutic dental hygiene care for children, adolescents, adults, geriatric patients, and those with special needs. Then, you’ll practice your skills in laboratory simulations and in clinical settings under the supervision and guidance of experienced professionals — including in our full-service Dental Clinic on campus. You’ll also have the chance to get involved in designing and implementing community outreach programs focused on disease prevention and health promotion. As a graduate, you’ll have worked to be ready to become a dental hygienist and valued member of a healthcare team, providing patient education, care, and outreach in support of oral health.

Develop Essential Skills In
  • Patient assessment and treatment planning
  • Preventative and therapeutic dental care
  • Oral radiography
  • Patient education and health promotion
  • Community outreach and education
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TN Promise

South College is proud to offer the TNP Scholarship for those that qualify helping to offset the first 2 years of tuition with required Community Service hours.

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South College proudly participates in this program with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help pay for education for military members and Veterans.

Concentrations in this Program

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You May Enjoy This Line of Study If You…

  • Desire to help others achieve better health
  • Want to learn more about oral health and dental operations
  • Appreciate working very hands-on with the general public
  • Prefer a more office-oriented and more structured environment
  • Show empathy and compassion for patients

MISSION/PURPOSE

Through quality, comprehensive, evidence-based education, patient-centered clinical care, and community outreach experiences, the mission of the South College Dental Hygiene program is to equip future dental hygienists with the skills necessary to reach their potential as a dental healthcare provider. The program faculty seek to instill in graduates the desire to continue education, become life-long learners, and contribute to the enhancement of the dental professional.
PROGRAM GOALS AND EXPECTED OUTCOMES
The goal of the Dental Hygiene program is to prepare competent dental hygiene graduates who utilize and integrate knowledge and apply critical thinking skills related to biomedical science, dental science, and dental hygiene science.
  • Provide clinical experiences and opportunities that support and encourage the development of communication and psychomotor skills relevant to the practice of dental hygiene.
  • Prepare dental hygiene graduates to display professionalism along with ethical leadership in the delivery of evidenced based patient care.
  • Prepare dental hygiene graduates to utilize reasoning, judgment, critical thinking skills, and leadership skills necessary to identify problems, develop and implement solutions, and evaluate the effectiveness of these solutions.
  • Consider student’s individuality and support their needs and development, which encourage them to reach their full potential as dental healthcare providers.
  • Prepare dental hygiene graduates who can function in the interprofessional health care system and meet the needs of elderly, medically compromised, culturally diverse, disadvantaged, and mentally and physically challenged.
  • Encourage participation in community-based outreach programs to improve the oral health and well-being of others.
  • Instill the desire to continue education by becoming a life-long learner, advancing the practice of dental hygiene through research, and participating in professional associations.
Upon completion of the Dental Hygiene program:
  • Dental hygiene graduates will be competent in teaching patients about health education strategies for disease prevention and health promotion, and counseling patients about the impact of good nutrition on oral health.
  • Dental hygiene graduates will be competent in delivering patient care including use of infection and hazard control procedures to prevent transmission of disease and provide a safe environment. Including assessing, treatment planning, and providing preventative and therapeutic dental hygiene care for children, adolescents, adults, geriatric, and special needs patients.
  • Dental hygiene graduates will continue education and become life-long learners, advancing the practice of dental hygiene through research and participating in professional associations. Dental hygiene students will be competent in producing effective written communication on literature reviews, research, and assignments.
  • Dental hygiene graduates will be competent in providing community and public oral health strategies through outreach service.
Admission Requirements
Applicants interested in this program are required to visit the college and meet individually with an admissions representative and program faculty. Admission is dependent upon class size. Applicants will be reviewed based on minimum requirements for cumulative GPA of required pre-requisite general education courses, cumulative GPA of required pre-requisite science courses, and interview score. The Admissions, Progression and Retention (APR) Committee will make admission recommendations to the Chair of Dental Education for final approval. The Chair may accept or reject the recommendation of the Committee.

Applicants seeking admissions must:
  1. Meet South College General Undergraduate Admission or Admission of Transfer Student requirements.
  2. Complete the South College Dental Hygiene program application and admissions essay. The Dental Hygiene program has rolling enrollment with cohort admissions in the Spring and Fall quarters.
  3. Have earned a minimum of 2.50 cumulative grade point average in required pre-requisite General Education courses.
  4. Have earned a minimum of 2.50 cumulative grade point average in required pre-requisite Science courses.
  5. Participation in an interview is required for admission to the program. Interviews will be conducted by the faculty in the South College Dental Hygiene program the quarter before the cohort start date. The applicant must achieve a minimum score of 25 points out of a possible 40 points to be considered for admission. Students who score less than 25 points may apply for admission to the next cohort.
  6. Complete all Dental Hygiene Prerequisite Courses: ENG 1201 English Composition, MAT 1100 College Algebra, BIO 1110 Anatomy & Physiology I, BIO 1120 Anatomy & Physiology I Lab, BIO 1130 Anatomy & Physiology II, BIO 1140 Anatomy & Physiology II Lab, BIO 1160 Microbiology, BIO 1170 Microbiology Lab, CHM 1010 General Chemistry I, CHM 1020 General Chemistry Lab I, and PSY 1811 General Psychology. A minimum grade of “C” or better in a maximum of two attempts. Withdrawal grades (W) are considered attempts.
  7. Commit to full attendance and participation in a rigorous educational program which requires class participation, significant out-of-class preparation time, and clinical education assignments.
Students who have been unsuccessful in the South College Dental Hygiene program, or other Dental Hygiene programs, will be reviewed on an individual basis. Students who present transcripts indicating failure from two Dental Hygiene programs will not be considered for admission or readmission to the South College Dental Hygiene program.
Requirements for Admission (Other than Academic)
In addition to course work, each student must provide proof of ability to perform the skills needed to practice dental hygiene effectively. Health care facilities must meet federal guidelines, and students must also meet these requirements in order to be allowed to gain clinical experience. All Dental Hygiene students must comply with communicable diseases/blood-borne pathogen requirements that the clinical agencies require. Therefore, proof of the following are requirements for the dental hygiene program applicant:
  1. Health history and physical exam certifying ability to function in the required capacity prior to admission.
  2. Common communicable disease immunization or immunity, including MMR (2 in series if born after 1957), Tetanus (booster required every 10 years) and Varicella vaccine (2 in series). A vaccine titer test showing immunity is also acceptable.
  3. Hepatitis B immunization (3 in series) or completed Declination Form for Hepatitis B Vaccination depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. The Declination Form must only be used for medical reasons and must be documented by student’s primary care provider. A vaccine titer test showing immunity is also acceptable.
  4. Annual Flu immunization or completed Declination Form for Influenza Vaccination depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. The Declination Form must only be used for medical reasons and must be documented by student’s primary care provider.
  5. Annual screening for tuberculosis or x-ray follow-up.
  6. Acceptable drug screen. Students may be required to obtain more than one acceptable drug screen per year depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. In any case where a drug screen is positive and no authorized prescription is produced to validate the presence of the drug in the individual’s system, continuation in the program will be denied. Upon notification of the drug screen results, the student will have 5 working days to provide prescription validation. Students are responsible for costs associated with any required testing.
  7. Acceptable criminal background check for a minimum of past 15 years. Students may be required to obtain more than one acceptable criminal background check per year depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. If the background check reveals previous criminal convictions, admittance into the program will be made on a case-by-case basis. Students who are denied clinical experiences due to past convictions may be unable to progress in the program which will result in failure to complete the required courses for the program.
  8. Proof of health insurance coverage throughout the entire Dental Hygiene program.
Students admitted to the Dental Hygiene program must demonstrate the functional capacities as communicated via the Department of Dental Education. Students who believe they will not be able to meet one or more of these requirements without accommodation or modification must notify the Program Director of Dental Education and the Director Student Success, and a determination will be made on a case-by-case basis whether reasonable accommodation may be made. In no instance will an accommodation be made which will compromise dental hygiene care, or that will put patients or other students at risk. Accommodation granted when a student is generally admitted to South College does no guarantee that this modification will apply to admission to the dental hygiene program. Acceptance into a South College program does not imply or guarantee that a student will be able to obtain licensure, certification, or employment. Several South College programs require field experiences during the curriculum (e.g., clinicals, internships, practicums, student teaching) and/or lead to a field that requires a license or certification. Background checks are required prior to matriculation into these programs and may further be required prior to the field experiences and/or licensure/certification. Students should be aware that a prior misdemeanor or felony arrest or conviction (or an event of this nature occurring during the program) may restrict the individual’s ability to gain admission into the program, progress into field experiential training, and/or obtain professional licensure or certification. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the program of any issues that may have occurred in the past or that arise during the program. The events may require voluntary withdrawal or administrative dismissal from the program. All students are responsible for learning the requirements for licensure within their home state or any state in which he/she wishes to practice ensuring ability to meet these requirements.

Accreditation

The Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene program offered at the Nashville campus 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. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda.

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Tuition & Fees
What is the tuition for South College?

Tuition and fees for South College students vary by program, and tuition rates are tiered based on the number of credits taken each quarter. For example, in our undergraduate programs, students taking 10-20 credits per quarter are charged one quarterly tuition rate based on their program, while students in the same program taking 1-5 or 6-9 credits are charged different tuition rates. Our tuition rates are designed such that South College students who take a high number of credits per quarter may be able to complete their program at a lower total cost than students who take fewer credits per quarter. Contact our admissions team who can help you prepare the budget for the field of study you want to pursue. And don’t forget we also offer numerous grants, scholarships, and financial aid packages to those that qualify.

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Financial Aid
Does South College offer Financial Aid?

Yes! Financial aid for South College is available to those who qualify. Students at South College have access to a range of financial aid to provide the economic assistance they need to pay for college. Aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants and awards, work-study programs, and loans. We’re happy to participate in numerous federal, state, and private student aid programs, and to offer funding directly. In addition to federal and state financial aid, South College institutional grants can reduce out-of-pocket expenses for qualified military-affiliated students, first responders, and recent high school graduates. Visit our financial page or contact our admissions team. We want you to succeed! Let us help you give your dream direction and address your financial aid questions.

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Accreditation
Is South College Accredited?

Yes! South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the doctorate, educational specialist, master's, baccalaureate, and associate levels, as well as certificates. With over 100 programs and concentrations and campuses on multiple states the state authorizations have been obtained. Visit the link to see the full listing. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the appropriate licensing board to confirm whether a South College program will meet the requirements for professional licensure in that state. South College will assist with this information for fully online programs. For on-ground/hybrid programs, the institution ensures that the program meets requirements for the state in which the campus is located.

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Visit South College and see for yourself what the college has to offer. Campus tours include a personal admissions consultation, campus facility tour and more! When you are ready to start your journey at South College, submit an online application or speak with an admissions representative. Once your application is received, we will begin building your personalized plan to pursue the chosen degree or certificate program based on your interest. We want you to have the best possible educational experience. To learn more about the educational opportunities available for your future, Apply today!

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Do you Offer Housing?

South College offers a wide range of degree and certificate programs in areas such as business, healthcare, legal studies, education, criminal justice, and technology. At this time, we do not currently offer housing options. Our expansive online study and hybrid options allow our students to learn wherever they are located, and often with the flexibility of their own convenient time. With academic advisors that support the students throughout their tenure at South College, along with tutors, study groups, and a student success team, students at South College have resources at their fingertips to assist them in their educational pursuits and may be able to guide towards housing areas close to the campus of their choice. The individual attention and support provided by our faculty and staff helps to set us apart. Students interested in a more personalized learning experience are often attracted to South College over other larger universities and colleges in our campus locations. Request more information about South College today!

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South College was founded in 1882 and focused on serving students who want a hands-on, relevant education that can have a meaningful impact on their lives. South College strives to provide quality instruction, resources, and support services based on systematic and ongoing assessment and evaluation of objectives/outcomes to ensure the development of student abilities necessary for the achievement of positive student outcomes and the mission/vision of the college. The institution establishes policies and procedures to maintain compliance with applicable federal, state, and accrediting requirements. Click below to learn all about South College’s history, and who we are as an institution today.

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Transfer
Does South College accept Transfer Students?

Yes! Credit for transfer work may be given if it was taken at an accredited collegiate institution, if it is equivalent to courses offered at South College, and if it carries a grade of C or better. Any coursework taken over seven years ago may be denied transfer credit if the material is outdated. Policies for the acceptance of any graduate level transfer credit are determined by the associated program faculty within guidelines determined by the institution. We want students to succeed and will do our best to help you in your journey to apply transfer credits to those who qualify. Contact admissions for assistance for your transfer individualized plan and consideration and learn about transfer specifications and time limits by course here:

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What Kind of Certificate & Degrees does South College Offer?

South College is a regionally accredited private co-educational, institution with non-residential campuses in Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee; Asheville, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Orlando, Florida. Students can pursue academic programs at all levels, including professional certificates and associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. New academic programs are added frequently in response to local, regional, and national employment trends, and South College is committed to providing programs at all levels with innovative course content and teaching platforms. Explore all the programs and come back often as we regularly add new programs that may spark your interest!

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Online vs On-Campus – What Is Best?

Since its founding 141 years ago, South College‘s mission has been to serve students who want a hands-on, professional focused education. Today this means offering traditional classroom experiences along with accelerated, hybrid, and online learning options. It means small class sizes, modern labs, and campuses that are convenient to large numbers of students. Most of all, it means experienced instructors who provide real world experiences in their classes and lead in-depth discussions on the concepts taught. South College also offers non-traditional distance-learning programs, allowing students to earn a college degree online providing more flexibility with the same level of quality education and experience from all academic programs offered. This option is great for potential students who are working a full-time job or are not in travel distance to one of the learning sites. Online vs. campus? You decide. Get the student experience you desire in the program that fits your style best on your road to success!

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Does South College Have Programs for Active or Retired Military?

As an institution of higher education, South College recognizes its responsibility to society and supports both institutional and individual commitments to service. South College encourages its administration, faculty, and staff to invest their knowledge, experience, and expertise in community, professional, and institutional service. South College’s core values of excellence, responsibility, and integrity serve as the foundation for assessing the quality of institutional, school/departmental, and individual performance in achieving this mission. South College is grateful for the service and sacrifice of our military and their families. We are happy to provide the South College Military Grant to support our military – past and present – in the pursuit of their education and skill development. The South College Application Fee is waived for all active-duty military members, veterans, their spouses, and their dependent children who receive this Grant.

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