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Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Birmingham AL, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Birmingham AL dental practices frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with local 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 are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Birmingham AL dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Birmingham AL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Birmingham AL dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the programs you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Birmingham AL dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don't forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Birmingham AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Birmingham AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.