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What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Alexander City AL, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Alexander City AL dental practices frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only important that the program you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Alexander City AL dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Alexander City AL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Alexander City AL dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Alexander City AL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Alexander City AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Alexander City AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.