Dental Hygiene online program set for next year
By Matt Westerfield
For the 2009-2010 academic year, 19 students graduated with a B.S. in Dental Hygiene. The two-year program enrolled 25 new students in June for a total of 48 current students.
Did you know?
Dental Hygiene students (from left) Grady Watt, Jennifer Covington, Emily Lott, Kassie Hodges, Charlotte Allard and Janie Prude pose with instructor Elizabeth Carr. Students visited Belhaven Senior Care on Oct. 22 to teach the basics of oral care to certified nursing assistants while the program's other junior and senior students visited other nursing homes in the tri-county area. More than 90 CNAs in the area received instructions on how to care for their patients' teeth and dentures during the event.
Dental Hygiene will offer a new degree-completion program beginning in June 2011. Associate professor and chair of Dental Hygiene Beckie Barry says the program will be completely online and geared toward working students who previously earned a certificate or associate degree at a community college in the state.
The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics predicts Dental Hygiene jobs to increase 36 percent by 2018. Barry said it's that kind of demand that led to the development of the online program.
In March, the program received full accreditation from the ADA after its site visit with no recommendations.
In October, instructor Elizabeth Carr led the third annual MDHA Statewide Community Oral Health Project. Every year, students and dental hygiene instructors as well as dental hygienists visit nursing homes statewide and teach basic oral health care.
Last year, about 500 Certified Nursing Assistants were trained in proper oral care techniques. After analysing last year's results, Carr said this year's training focused on teaching CNAs how to deliver oral health care to difficult or combative patients.
Awards and achievements
Dr. Amy Sullivan, associate professor, was appointed to the ADHA test construction committee for the Dental Hygiene National Board exam. Instructor Elizabeth Carr won an ADA Scholarship, and student Rebekah Wright won the SHRP dean's scholarship
Longtime faculty members Kit Stilley, Dr. Peggy Coleman and Dr. Bob Deville retired this year.