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Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Montevallo AL, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Montevallo AL dental practices often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Montevallo AL dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Montevallo AL dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Montevallo AL dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public 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 textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Montevallo AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Montevallo AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.