Feb 09, 2023  
2016-2017 Online Catalog 
2016-2017 Online Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dental Hygiene, A.A.S.

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Program Description

By virtue of an agreement between Union County College and the Rutgers School of Health-Related Professions (SHRP), an A.A.S. degree in Dental Hygiene is conferred jointly by these two institutions. The general education courses are taught by Union County College and the professional courses are taught by the Department of Allied Dental Education, Rutgers-SHRP at the Scotch Plains and Newark campuses. All students will be attending both Scotch Plains and Newark campuses. Enrollment is limited and admission to this program is competitive. Completion of this program entitles the student to sit for the National and Northeast Regional Board Examination for Dental Hygiene.

The program is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation.

A dental hygienist, under the supervision of a dentist, removes deposits from the teeth, applies agents which make teeth more resistant to decay, instructs groups and individuals in the proper care of teeth and surrounding tissues, charts disease and decay conditions for diagnosis and preventive treatment by the dentist, and performs patient services delegated by the dentist.

The dental hygienist must possess manual dexterity, good vision, and good health and oral hygiene habits.

Admission is limited. For admission information, contact the Union County College Admissions or Recruitment Office. Application deadline – August 1 dental classes begin January of each year.

Inextricably related to SHRP’s overall mission, the mission of the Rutgers SHRP Department of Allied Dental Education is to promote professional standards of excellence and leadership among its students and health professionals while meeting the health care needs of New Jersey residents through patient care, education, research, and service.

The Department’s unique and innovative curriculum reflects the direction of allied dental practice and often presages the evolution of the profession. The Department seeks to develop new and innovative approaches to education while keeping pace with current treatment modalities and research strategies. The students develop a humanistic approach to health care delivery as well as critical thinking, problem-solving, independent decision making, and research skills which characterize the professional.

The Department strives to instill in its students and its members of the allied dental professions a dedication to lifelong learning and provides opportunities for continued growth within the health professions.

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, graduates will be able to:

  • Exhibit competency as clinicians through demonstrated performance on the Northeast Regional Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the National Board Examination and feedback from Employer Surveys;
  • Assume responsibility for health promotion and disease prevention for individuals and communities through participation in multiple dental health education projects;
  • Perform multiple, advanced level dental auxiliary functions as defined in the New Jersey State Dental Practice Act under the auspices of Dental Specialties II;
  • Obtain the RDH license;
  • Demonstrate professional development through membership in the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association and participation in related activities;
  • Display professionalism in the delivery of comprehensive dental health care through achievement of satisfactory grades in Clinical Services courses;
  • Prepare individuals for employment as dental hygienists;
  • Determine student satisfaction with educational programming;
  • Assess patient satisfaction with treatment service provided by students through data collection from the patient satisfaction survey.

Students register for the professional phase courses at Rutgers and pay the Rutgers undergraduate tuition rate and fees.

The nature of the courses may require students to act as dental service providers and patients with fellow students.

Please note that the State Board of Dentistry of New Jersey conducts criminal background checks on all applicants.

Graduation from the program does not assure that the Board will issue a license.

After Union County College

Graduates will sit for the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, Northeast Regional Board Examination for Dental Hygiene, and the Ethics and Jurisprudence examination administered by the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry.

Recommended Sequence

Total: 22

** Must be completed prior to application to the program minimum 2.85 GPA

General Education Requirements

These courses must be completed before entering the professional phase of the program in January

Total: 13

First Year

Second Year

Total Program Credits: 65

Dental Hygiene Admission Information

A high school diploma or its recognized equivalency with a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) and completion of six college level prerequisite courses with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.85 is required for admission into the program. All basic skills requirements must have been completed PRIOR to entry into the program. Those persons who lack certain basic skills will have to complete the indicated remedial courses and demonstrate competence in all basic skills before beginning the program in January.

Application deadline is August 1, annually.

Candidates are rank-ordered according to GPA of the six courses listed below.  Performance in additional college level course work and dental work experience are considered although not required.

The following college level courses must be competed with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.85 (C+) or above:

  Prerequisite Courses
English Composition I
Anatomy & Physiology I
Anatomy & Physiology II
College Chemistry I
General Psychology I

* Thomas Edison State College applicants MUST apply through SHRP Office of Enrollment Services (973) 972-5454.


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