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General Considerations

Philosophy Statement

Members of the faculty strive to honor the mission of the Vermont Technical College by providing an educational environment that encourages evolving intellectual growth and personal and professional responsibility that is committed to ethical behavior, continued learning and quality patient care. To foster and sustain this environment a special partnership with students, colleagues and patients is nurtured through the widespread spirit of collaboration and shared goals.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Dental Hygiene is the professional education of dental hygienists, to educate students to competently serve patients and communities and to prepare students to continue to grow in skill and knowledge over their lifetime.

Goals

The goals of the undergraduate curriculum in Dental Hygiene education are:
  1. To provide a curriculum that integrates general education, biomedical sciences, dental sciences and the knowledge of current dental hygiene theory, practice, and the provision of dental hygiene care.
  2. To prepare a competent entry level dental hygienist to provide quality patient-centered comprehensive care in traditional and non-traditional settings, as well as to diverse populations within the community.
  3. To prepare a graduate to continually promote the most current concepts of disease control and prevention.
  4. To prepare a graduate to apply the principles of professional growth and ethical behavior in providing care.
  5. To prepare a graduate to make an essential and unique contribution as an integral of a health care team.  
  6. To foster an appreciation for professional growth and lifelong learning through self-assessment, accessing relevant research, and using current evidence based research.

The Standard Curriculum

Dental Hygiene is an Associate Degree program that is designed to be completed in two academic years. While the sequencing of courses is quite rigid and the course workload is heavy, those able students who choose to do so can complete the dental hygiene curriculum in two years. In situations where a student does not follow the curriculum as outlined, completion of the entire program in a minimum of two academic years may not be possible. Students must be aware that the professional courses (those with the prefix DHY) must be taken in the designated sequence and are only offered once a year.

Reduction in the "Academic Load"

Some students may choose to enroll in less than the standard course load during each semester. They can compensate, at least in part, for the reduced course loads by enrolling in courses prior to entering the Dental Hygiene Program or by taking summer courses. In the event that you choose to enroll in required courses at an institution other than a Vermont State College (VSC) system institution, you should consult with the Registrar‘s Office at 802.728.1302 to determine the transferability status of the course(s) BEFORE actually enrolling. A grade of "C-" or better is a College requirement for transfer of any accepted course from another institution. If a course taken at a non VSC institution is approved for transfer, only the credit transfers. The grade does not transfer and is therefore, not computed within your College grade point average (GPA).

Overall, the program can provide a great deal of flexibility allowing for traditional, non- traditional, transfer and/or disability students to combine studies and life-style and to take the time necessary to complete the requirements for the associate degree in dental hygiene.

Continuing Beyond the Associate in Science Degree

Students have a number of academic options that can complement their Associate in Science Degree. Attainment of the Baccalaureate Degree may enhance the career opportunities for the graduate. Vermont Tech now offers a Baccalaureate Degree Completion program in dental hygiene which can be completed following successful completion of the Associate in Science degree. Your Dental Hygiene advisor is your best resource if you are considering furthering your education.

Stay Informed

Regardless of the manner in which a student pursues the degree in Dental Hygiene, each student is responsible for scheduling a regular review of his/her academic status in the program and his/her progress toward degree completion with the academic advisor.