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Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Glendale AZ, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Glendale AZ dental practices typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Glendale AZ dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to obtain 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 professional relationships in the Glendale AZ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Glendale AZ dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the programs you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Glendale AZ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based 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 public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Glendale AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near Glendale AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.