Dental Hygiene Handbook

I. General Considerations

A. 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.

B. 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.

C. 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 member 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 three academic years.   In situations where a student does not follow the curriculum as outlined, completion of the entire program in a minimum of three 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.

Expectations of Students in the Program of Dental Hygiene Degree Requirements

To be eligible for graduation, a student must have attained a cumulative average sufficient to meet the minimum grade point average requirement of 2.0. Grades in courses accepted for transfer credit are excluded in computing this average.

Use of the English Language

Correct use of the English language is required of all dental hygiene students. Written work of any kind that is unsatisfactory in manuscript form, grammar, punctuation, spelling, or effectiveness of expression may be penalized, regardless of content. Students whose written work falls below the standard of correct usage may be referred for additional instruction, even though the first-year course in English has been passed. Before admission to the department, foreign students must offer evidence that they are capable of reading and writing English at the college level.


A student who is not present at the beginning of a class or class exercise may be marked absent point deductions will be applied.

Right of Appeal

Students who believe that they have been unfairly treated may appeal in writing to the Dean of the College or the Academic Dean.

Low Scholarship Policy Department of Dental Hygiene Expectations

Completion of all program requirements including a minimum of 93 approved semester hours and a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or above is required for the Associate in Science Degree in Dental Hygiene.  Completion of all program requirements and 120 credits is required for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene.

  • Must complete at least 50% of the course work at the home institution.
  • Each of the professional dental hygiene courses must be successfully completed with a minimum grade of C (73 class average).
  • Any specific independent project(s) that has been identified as "a graduation requirement" by the Program Director must be completed.
  • The candidate must attain a level of clinical competence and professional judgment, which, in the opinion of the faculty, demonstrates adequate preparation for professional licensure examinations
  • Financial obligations to the Vermont Technical College and the Department of Dental Hygiene must be resolved.
  • Any probationary status, whether it is disciplinary, academic or professional, must be resolved.

Professional Standards

Students In the health care field are expected to assume and maintain an ethical and professional responsibility and respect for themselves, their patients, colleagues and the faculty. These personal qualities are essential in order for students to meet expected curricular obligations. Daily student behaviors that reflect these attributes Include, but are not limited to; being prompt, preparing for and attending all classes, labs and clinics, demonstrating integrity, courteousness and cooperative conduct inside and outside the classroom and displaying an attitude that enables learning to occur. If, in the opinion of the faculty, a candidate is unsuited for the practice of dental hygiene, recommendation for licensure and the degree in Dental Hygiene will be withheld.

III. Competencies

Competencies for the Vermont Technical College Dental Hygiene Student Vermont Technical College Department Of Dental Hygiene can be viewed here.

IV. Infection Control Manual and Required Immunizations

The careful management of infection and cross contamination is extremely important in the dental field. The Department of Dental Hygiene follows the Blood borne Pathogen Standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2003 and all subsequent revisions. An INFECTION CONTROL MANUAL has been specifically designed for use by students and faculty in the Department of Dental Hygiene. The manual is available for download by each student in the fall semester of their first year in the program. Dental Hygiene students are required to have several vaccinations to prevent them from common diseases. These vaccinations must be completed prior to the initiation of patient treatment at the beginning of the spring semester of their first year. The following vaccinations are required: Hepatitis B or a positive titer; two Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccines or a positive titer; a tetanus vaccination within the last 10 years; Varicella virus (VZ) vaccination or positive titer; a PPD within 1 year; and proof of polio vaccination including dates. Documentation from the student's personal physician must be made available to the College prior to patient care. The Vermont Technical College is not responsible for medical costs resulting from injury during clinical rotation, or during any other curricular activity, unless this injury is due to negligence by the College. All Vermont Tech students must carry their own health insurance.

Professional Liability Insurance

Dental Hygiene students are assessed through their student account an annual premium of $25.00 per year for professional liability coverage during their clinical patient experiences while they are a student in the professional dental hygiene program. These experiences begin early in the first semester of the professional curriculum and continue each semester until graduation. Individual student volunteer activities or employment in private practice is not included within this coverage.


All students will be assigned an advisor who is a full time Dental Hygiene faculty member. The advisors will make every effort to be helpful and aware of the student's progress. Although the advisor will schedule regular appointments, students are encouraged to consult with them at any time they have a need. In the event a student is not comfortable with the assigned advisor, he or she may request a change of advisor by talking with the desired advisor and her/his current advisor. In addition, each incoming student will be assigned a "senior-student-advisor" (a second year student mentor). The senior student will offer information and guidance to the first year student.

Student Members of the American Dental Hygienists' Association

Student membership in the American Dental Hygienists' Association involves an organization of students of dental hygiene dedicated to building the ethical and educational basis for future service and success in the profession. Meetings are usually held once a month with officers elected annually. Yearly dues of $65.00 entitle each member to receive the Journal of the American Dental Hygienists' Association and Access Magazine, apply for ADHA scholarships, join the Association's group insurance policies, and be eligible to attend state and national dental hygiene meetings.

The student association provides students with an opportunity to serve and benefit from their profession. Activities are scheduled throughout the year and include fund raising events, attending state, regional and national meetings, social events and community service projects. Participation as a student member helps students understand the part the American Dental Hygienists' Association plays in the advancement of the dental hygiene profession.

Miscellaneous Items

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation

All students In the Department of Dental Hygiene must be certified in Cardio- Pulmonary Resuscitation.  A healthcare provider course is required including training in one and two rescuer, child and infant CPR and foreign body airway obstruction and AED. Certification status must remain current until completion of the program.
Withdrawal and Re-Admission Policies

  • A student requesting re-admission should understand that changes in courses and / or prerequisites may have occurred since their date of withdrawal; therefore, the requested date of re-admission will take precedence over an earlier catalog enrollment date.
  • A student who exits the Dental Hygiene Program for any reason is not guaranteed re¬admission.
  • All re-admissions are on a space available basis and are reviewed as part of the standard candidate selection process.
  • At the time of withdrawal from the Dental Hygiene Program, the student must have an exit interview with the Dental Hygiene Program Director.

Procedures for re-admission:

The applicant must contact the admissions office and request their application be reactivated and submit current transcripts.

The Vermont Technical College Admissions Office will review the re-activated application packet and previous course work to determine whether re-admission will be granted or denied. All applicants will be notified in writing as to their application status.

All re-admltted students who have been out of the Dental Hygiene Program for less than one academic year (9 months) must meet with the Dental Hygiene Program Director to discuss skills updating including the possibility of remediation. This may require the applicant to repeat or audit course work, purchase new instruments, supplies and or textbooks.

All re-admitted who have been out of the Dental Hygiene Program for one academic year (9 months) or more must repeat the dental hygiene curriculum in its entirety without exception. In addition, the purchase of new instruments, supplies and textbooks will most likely be necessary.

Verification of Student Identity in Online Learning Policy

All users of the College’s learning management system are responsible for maintaining the security of usernames, passwords, and other access credentials as required. An account is given to an individual for the exclusive use by that individual. Attempting to discover another user’s password or attempts to gain unauthorized access to another person’s files or mail is prohibited. It is against Dental Hygiene department policy for a user to give someone his or her password or allow others to use his or her account. Users are responsible for any and all users of their account. Users are responsible for all activity on their accounts. Failure of students to comply with this agreement/policy will be addressed through departmental and college academic honesty policies (Policy 107).

Third Party Comments

The Commission on Dental Accreditation regularly solicits third party comments relative to the accreditation status of the Department of Dental Hygiene at the Vermont Technical College. Comments may be submitted by interested parties such as faculty, students, program administrators, Commission consultants, specialty and dental related organizations, patients and/or consumers. The deadline for receipt of third party comments is 60 days prior to the accreditation site visit which will occur in 2018. Comments must pertain only to the standards for dental hygiene program or policies and procedures used in the Commission's accreditation process. A copy of the accreditation standards and/or Commission's policy on third party comments may be obtained by contacting the Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 or by calling 1.800.621.8099, extension 4653.

Complaint Policy

If a student feels that the Vermont Tech Dental Hygiene Department is not in compliance with the Dental Accreditation Commission standards or required accreditation procedures, he/she has the right to file a complaint with the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission will review complaints that relate to a program's compliance with the accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related programs, but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeals for individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students. A copy of the accreditation standards and/or Commission's policy on third party comments may be obtained by contacting the Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 or by calling 1.800.621.8099, extension 4653.