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General Information and Common Questions

(DISCLAIMER: The DHYG program reserves the right to make changes to the admissions criteria at any time it deems necessary)

PROGRAM ACCREDITATION

The program is fully accredited through the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. For more information call Ms. Raquel Rico, Dental Hygiene Department Chair (e-mail raquel.rico@tstc.edu), Tanya Villarreal at 364.4636, or Lori Renteria at 956.364.4696.

“The program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements”. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/100.aspx.”

COMPLICANCE WITH BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS STANDARDS AND OTHER REGULATORY POLICIES

Dental Hygiene students will come in contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials during the clinical portion of their studies. Prospective Dental Hygiene students are encouraged to start the Hepatitis B vaccination series as early as possible to be complete by the start of the program. These vaccinations are available at TSTC-Harlingen Health Service for a minimal fee. TSTC Dental Programs comply with all institutional, local, state, and federal regulations on bloodborne pathogens and infectious diseases, ionizing radiation, and hazardous materials. Students in the Dental Hygiene Program will follow all CDC, OSHA, and other protective policies to protect themselves and their patients from occupational exposures to these potential hazards. Strict adherence with Privacy Protection (HIPAA) is required of all students, faculty, and staff.

The program is highly competitive, with the number of applicants varying each year from 100-140. We can accept up to 30 students per class, if appropriate. Acceptance is strictly based on the objective selection criteria outlined on page nine of this packet, with only qualified applicants being accepted.

WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF GETTING ACCEPTED?

There is a minimum grade point average of 2.0 needed in order to apply. Admission to the Dental Hygiene Program is highly competitive. However, success in your academic courses will help prepare you for the Test of Essentail Academic Skills V (TEAS V)

COSTS

The cost of the entire dental hygiene program for Texas residents is approximately $17,353. This figure includes tuition and fees, instruments, and clinical/laboratory supplies, Hepatitis B vaccinations, CPR certification, membership in the Student American Dental Hygiene Association, liability and health and accident insurance, and licensure examinations.

CURRICULUM SCHEDULE

You should expect to be in class from 8:00-5:00 Monday through Friday. If you transfer courses into the program you have a lighter schedule but the two-year program is not shorter. While you may not be scheduled in class or clinic from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM, most students spend the off hours studying, using learning resources in the library, etc.

CAN I WORK DURING THE PROGRAM?

We strongly recommend that you do not work because the program requires much classroom and study time. Some students work part-time, however, securing financial aid in the form of loans, grants or scholarships is strongly recommended.

PREVIOUS DENTAL EXPERIENCE

No prior work experience in any health related field is necessary to be considered for admissions.The admissions committee will take into consideration completion of TSTC's Dental Assisting Program..

FINANCIAL AID

Many students obtain some form of financial aid, usually as loans or grants. You cannot apply for aid until you are officially accepted. At that time financial aid information will be sent to you upon request. You may call the Financial Aid office at (956) 364-4332.

INSTALLMENT PLAN FOR TUITION AND FEES

TSTC has one type of installment plan available to pay tuition and fees. This system allows for three installments. The initial charge is to include 50% of the charges plus a $10.00 processing fee. The remaining charges are divided into 2 equal payments.

WHAT SALARY CAN I EXPECT AS A DENTAL HYGIENIST

Depending on the geographic location in Texas, you may expect to earn from $180-$250 per day as a new graduate in a private general dentistry practice. Surveys have shown there is a high demand for dental hygienists in the Rio Grande Valley.

WHAT IS THE TIME LIMITATION ON PRE-REQUISITE COURSE CREDIT?

The dental hygiene program will accept pre-requisite course credit in the sciences if it was taken within 5 years of application to the program. Science courses taken longer than 5 years are recommended be retaken.

WILL CLASSES FROM ANOTHER SCHOOL TRANSFER?

Transfer credit (within the past 5 years) in general education and general science courses are evaluated by the Dental Hygiene Program Chair as well and the Program Chair of the Department for which the Director of Admissions requests the transfer credit, with final approval. You must have a C or above for transfer credit. Proper forms, available at the Admissions Office, must be completed in order for transfer credit to be awarded.

Specific dental hygiene courses and dental-related courses cannot be transferred. At the present time, there is no credit by examination for courses, nor is advanced standing status granted for the dental hygiene program. General education and general science course credit obtained while attending a foreign college or university must follow the same process for U.S. college credit. No credit will be transferred for dental hygiene or dental school courses obtained while attending a foreign college or university. Note: This is the ruling of the American Dental Association Council on Dental Accreditation.

Reviewed Date: 10/3/14











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