Academics :: School of Health Professions

Dental Hygiene


What are the admission guidelines to the program?

Applicant must meet the general admission requirements for the college. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be ≥ 2.75 by the end of Fall 2015. We use the GPA calculated at the most recent institution/college you completed at least 12 college credit hours within a 12-month period. If you have not taken 12 college credit hours by the end of fall 2015, the high school GPA must be ≥ 2.75. If your GPA is not above a 2.75, you are encouraged to seek advising from Miss Woody (advisor) about how this will impact your eligibility and how to improve your GPA.

The following high school courses with a grade of "C" or higher: Biology, Chemistry, Algebra I, and Algebra II. Appropriate developmental or college courses can be substituted for high school deficiencies. These prerequisites must be successfully completed by the end of Spring 2016. (MTH 151, 152, or 157 will not substitute for the Math requirements.)

College level prerequisites include Bio 141 and Bio 142 (Human Anatomy & Physiology I-II) or equivalent, which must be completed by the end of Spring 2016 with a "C" or higher in each course (must include a lab component). Bio 231 and Bio 232 with labs are acceptable equivalents.

Is Admission to the program very competitive?

Approximately eighteen (18) students will be admitted to the Roanoke 2016 Dental Hygiene class and eighteen (18) to the Joint Venture at Lord Fairfax Community College. The criteria that will be evaluated includes: (1) academic record, (2) interviews by faculty members, which includes an essay component, (3) TEAS reading comprehension results, and (4) the two recommendation letters and evaluation forms submitted. In 2015, the total number of qualified applicants considered for admission (including the Joint Venture) was approximately 110.

What is the TEAS? When do I take the TEAS?

TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills V for Allied Health).  The TEAS measures basic essential skills in the academic content areas of reading, mathematics, science and English and language usage.  We are most interested in the results of the reading comprehension component for Dental Hygiene admission purposes.

Roanoke TEAS testing is usually conducted from late February to mid-March. All qualified early applicants for Roanoke will receive additional details by late-February 2016 regarding TEAS testing dates.

Applicants can only test once. Those who have applied before and took the TEAS, must test again (previous score cannot be used). Interviews for both sites will not be scheduled until after the application deadline and TEAS results reviewed (interviews are usually held in late March at each site).

Note for LFCC applicants only:  LFCC has a new policy effective 2014 for the VWCC/LFCC Joint Venture site Dental Hygiene applicants.  LFCC applicants will only be allowed to take the TEAS test at LFCC between February 15th and March 15th.  Your application file must be received by 2/15/16 and reviewed by Miss Woody at VWCC to determine if you meet the minimum criteria.  You will be notified (letter) by her when the review has been completed. You will be informed during February when you may proceed with contacting the testing center to schedule the test.  A list will be made available to the LFCC testing center also, your name must be on the list before the testing center staff will allow you to schedule a test date.  If you submit application material during the last month of the application period there may be a delay to being added to the testing list, due to the volume of material being received at that time needing review.

Who makes the admission decisions? When are the results given to the applicants?

A Dental Hygiene Admissions Committee, which meets near the end of the spring semester. Their admission decisions are mailed to the applicants as soon as possible, usually during the 2nd full week of May.

Does it help to take the program support courses before starting the program?

The dental hygiene program is difficult, so some students like to have the general support courses like English, developmental psychology, microbiology, and the Humanities Elective done prior to beginning the program. It should be understood that support courses are not treated as prerequisites and meeting the admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. The advisor, Pam Woody, is available to advise you after your official transcripts are reviewed.

Why is the dental hygiene program considered difficult?

The curriculum has a heavy emphasis on general and dental hygiene sciences, as well as clinical sessions which demand technical and lecture application skills. All DNH and Natural Science courses must be passed with a grade of "C" or above to ensure continued enrollment. Continuance in the program is based upon academic criteria and adherence to attendance and other program policies covered at orientation. Satisfactory progress is necessary for eligibility to take licensure examinations.

Are there additional costs beyond tuition and books associated with the program?

Yes. Upon enrollment into the program, Dental Hygiene students are required to purchase items specifically for their field of study such as an instrument kit, uniforms, and special supplies. These fees are non-refundable. The student should be prepared to pay approximately $2,200.00 for these particular expenses at dental hygiene orientation prior to the beginning of first year fall classes. Beginning in the fall 2014, a loupe and light will be required to assist with visualization. This item will cost approx. $1,295.00. Other medical related expenses (ie. physical, PPD, Hep B) if accepted are typical for most students in a health related program (please see the estimated cost sheet).

How are patient / clients recruited for clinical experiences?

Students are responsible for recruiting patient/clients for clinical experiences. Approximately 60 patient/client experiences at specified levels of competency are required for program completion. Resources for client recruitment include previous clinic clients, students, college faculty/staff, Bradley Free Clinic (Roanoke), Roanoke Valley Health Department, and friends or family of students. Clinic services are free to the public. Note: Applicants should be aware that an evening clinical experience may be necessary on a limited basis, due to the number of students involved and clinical hours necessary to meet educational standards.

What should I know about my own infectious disease status? How might it affect my education or career?

Applicants who believe they are at risk of contracting an infectious disease should seek testing and counseling prior to making application to the dental hygiene program. Students engaged in patient care activities are encouraged to know their HIV and HBV status. Applicants who are HIV or HBV positive may wish to reconsider their career goals. They should consider: 1) the possibility they may become disabled during their dental education or early in their career; 2) the infectious hazards that certain aspects of dental practice may pose; 3) the possibility of barriers to training in certain invasive clinical activities that may be imposed while in dental hygiene school because of possible hazards to patients; and 4) the cost of dental education given personal health and career uncertainties.

What is the policy regarding non-discrimination?

Applicants for admission to the dental hygiene program are considered for class positions based on their ability to meet program admission standards, without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, or other non-merit factors.

Is there a waiting list? What process do I follow if I want to apply for a future year?

No. All applicants who meet the deadline who are minimally qualified and complete the application process will be considered for the 2016 program. Applicants that wish to begin preparing for possible consideration for 2016 or 2017 can submit the 2016 Dental Hygiene application form with a note attached informing us of your future goal. You will still have to provide official transcripts with the application if you desire advising from the advisor so proper course selection can be suggested. If you are planning to take classes to meet prerequisite requirements or completing support courses prior to entry, you will benefit from advising and receive updates on changes to the curriculum (if any). Later, you will need to submit recommendation letters/forms prior to February 15 of the year you are "eligible" and wish to be considered for (you will be notified about taking the TEAS and interviewing at that time).

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