Dear Prospective Student,
Thank you for your interest in our Dental Hygiene Program. We appreciate the opportunity to tell you a little bit about it. We offer a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree, which is a four year course of study. Normally, students who apply and are accepted into the Dental Hygiene program will have completed two years of prerequisite college work. They will have taken all or most of the prerequisite science courses as well as English, Math, Psychology, History, Government, etc. (see enclosed listing of prerequisite courses). The dental hygiene major is then pursued during the junior and senior years, after formal acceptance into the Program (see admissions criteria/process). We accept one starting class per year. This first year class consists of eighteen students who start in the fall semester and matriculate through the two years of the dental hygiene curriculum. The application deadline for each entering class is April 1st, proceeding the Fall semester in which a student wishes to enter the program.
All dental hygiene classes (lecture, as well as clinical) are held in the Gaines Clinic located on campus in J.S. Bridwell Hall. Our on-campus clinic affords our students a significant convenience in that there is no need for extensive travel to an off-site facility to treat patients. We are also very fortunate in that the surrounding community provides an adequate number of patients for our students to further their educational experience.
The costs of pursuing a degree in dental hygiene are approximately $1,500 to $2,000 over and above the costs of books, tuition and fees during the junior and senior years. The majority of this money is needed for instruments and supplies that each student is required to purchase during the first year in the dental hygiene program. This cost estimate does not include registration fees for written and clinical licensing exams taken during the final semester and shortly after graduation. These costs are based on the state in which the student wishes to become licensed to practice dental hygiene. Depending on the state, the registration fees for these exams range from $650 to $1050. A wide range of general scholarship information is available from the Financial Aid Office, (940) 397-4214 and the Office of School Relations, (940) 397-4334 or toll free 1-800-842-1922. Unfortunately, Dental Hygiene Program scholarship funds are rather limited. Therefore, when available, these are awarded only to students who have been accepted into the program and have completed at least one semester of the two year dental hygiene curriculum.
Understandably, due to the presence of the Dental Hygiene Program and the relatively stagnant growth in the number of dental offices, job openings in and around the Wichita Falls area are rather limited. However, graduates have found many employment opportunities in other areas of the state, as well as in Oklahoma. Students who are from the immediate Wichita Falls area are encouraged to consider relocating to take advantage of the employment opportunities in other regions of the state. 2005-2006 Occupational Outlook for Dental Hygienists
Please see the “Essential Functions for the Dental Hygienist” as set forth by the Dental Hygiene Department. It is essential that you review these functions to make certain that you are physically, psychologically and emotionally prepared for this program. Certain musculoskeletal conditions may result in difficulty performing the daily activities required in the profession of dental hygiene. These include, but are not limited to degenerative conditions or injuries to the neck, back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and/or hands. Examples: herniated or bulging disks, chronic rotator cuff symptoms, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It is strongly recommended that individuals with any of these conditions be evaluated by their physician prior to pursuing the dental hygiene degree.
You should also be aware that the profession of Dental Hygiene is classified as an OSHA Category I risk level for blood-borne pathogens. Refer to the Health & Safety link.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Dental Hygiene Department should you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a visit (940) 397-4764. Thank you.
COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES