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School of Health Professions :: Programs of Study

Dental Hygiene - AAS

This 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).

Possible Career Paths (from the ADHA)

If you are interested in applying to the VWCC Dental Hygiene program, we encourage you to explore the information linked in the left menu to learn more about the process.  Once your application and transcripts have been reviewed, our office can provide academic guidance to help prepare students for possible entry into this program.  If you need further assistance, you may contact our office. 

Mission Statement

The mission of the dental hygiene program is to prepare students to become self-directed primary providers of oral health care services, capable of collaborating with the client and other health care professionals to enhance the client's oral and total wellness.


To effectively implement the program mission, the college and program faculty have made a commitment to:

  • Provide the educational setting and experiences necessary to develop the competencies required for entry into dental hygiene practice.
  • Provide an academic environment that promotes, models, and facilitates critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, self-assessment, and ethical behaviors.
  • Provide quality oral health services, applying the dental hygiene process of care and current standards of practice, to residents of the communities served by the college and joint-venture distance program sites.
  • Foster an interest in life-long learning and maintaining professional competence through professional activities, continuing education, research, and community service.


This program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education,

Notice of Third Party Comments

The Virginia Western Community College Dental Hygiene Program is scheduled for an accreditation Site-Visit from the Commission on Dental Accreditation on October 19-21, 2016.

The United States Department of Education (USDE) procedures require accrediting agencies to provide an opportunity for third-party comment, either in writing or at a public hearing (at the accrediting agencies’ discretion) with respect to institutions or programs scheduled for review. All comments must relate to accreditation standards for the discipline of dental hygiene and required accreditation policies.

All comments relative to programs being visited will be due in the Commission office no later than sixty (60) days prior to each program’s site visit to allow time for the program to respond. Therefore, programs being site-visited in January through June will be listed in the fall posting of the previous year and programs scheduled for a site visit from July through December will be listed in the spring posting of the current year. There is a deadline of sixty (60) days prior to the Site Visit for receipt of third-party comments in the Commission office and all comments must be signed.

A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission’s policy on third-party comments may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, or by calling 1/800-621-8099, extension 4653.

All comments submitted must pertain only to the standards relative to the particular program being reviewed or policies and procedures used in the accreditation process. Comments will be screened by Commission staff for relevancy. Only signed comments will be considered. For comments not relevant to these issues, the individual will be notified that the comment is not related to accreditation and, where appropriate, referred to the appropriate agency. For those individuals who are interested in submitting comments, requests may be made to the Commission office.

All relevant comments will have signatures removed and will then be referred to the program at least fifty (50) days prior to the site visit for review and response. Negative comments received after the established deadline of sixty (60) days prior to the site visit will be handled as a complaint.

Complaints Policy

The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to a program's compliance with accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students. Only written, signed complaints will be considered by the Commission; oral and unsigned complaints will not be considered. The Commission strongly encourages attempts at informal or formal resolution through the program's or sponsoring institution's internal processes prior to initiating a formal complaint with the Commission. The dental hygiene program will maintain a record of student complaints related to the Commission's accreditation standards and/or policy. A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission's policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 or by calling 1-800-621-8099 extension 4653.

The Virginia Western Community College Student Conduct policy can be found at: This policy includes exemptions for restricted admissions programs, such as dental hygiene, to enact program specific policies. This manual serves as notice of the dental hygiene policies. Students are required to sign a form acknowledging that they have received the policies.

Advising/Info Office

Location: Fralin Center HP339
Phone: 540-857-7306
Fax: 540-857-6640

Mailing address:
3091 Colonial Ave., SW
Roanoke, VA 24015

Program Head

Martha H. Sullivan
Administrative Officer for Dental Hygiene, Associate Professor

A.S. - University of Louisville, 1982
B.A. - Mary Baldwin College, 1998
M.S.H.A. - Virginia Commonwealth University, 2001

School of Health Professions

Carole S. Graham, Dean
Administration & business contacts
Location: Fralin Center HP214C
Phone: 540-857-6019