Dental Assisting, AAS
Dental Assisting, A.A.S.
Ms. Karen Chockley, Program Director
Additional information and applications are available on the Dental Assisting program website (www.calhoun.edu/DAT).
Dental assistants are valuable members of the dental health care team. Students in the DA program learn to perform a variety of patient care, laboratory, and office functions. DA responsibilities may include assisting the dentist during patient treatment, taking & developing X-rays, working in the dental laboratory, providing oral hygiene instruction, &/or performing office managerial duties. Dental assisting requires excellent communication abilities, proficiency in a wide array of technical skills, and personal flexibility.
The dental assisting program is committed to student success and strives to graduate knowledgeable, skilled, and comprehensively prepared entry-level dental assistants for the provision of safe, effective, and compassionate care that meets the needs of employers and the public.
The DA program offers students two educational options. The first option, an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree, is awarded to those who complete the general education requirements (12+ hours). The second option, a long certificate, is awarded to those who have successfully completed College English and Math, Speech, Psychology and all the DA classes. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam from the Dental Assisting National Board.
DA classes are only offered during the day, Monday through Friday, on the Decatur campus. The coursework is progressive, requiring a grade of 75% or higher in each DA course. Students participate in approximately 24 weeks of part-time clinical practice experiences, which equals out to over 300 hours of clincial experience.
The dental assisting program has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements” by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611, 1-800-232-6108
Admission to the Program
A new cohort of DA students is admitted once a year. Applicants must minimally
- Meet all admission requirements of Calhoun Community College (CCC);
- Submit a current year DA program online application;
- Submit an ACCUPLACER or ACT reading score;
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.3 or higher;
- Submit all applicable course work taken at another college and confirm classes are accepted in transfer by the Office of Admissions & Records;
- Have completed 8 hours of dental assisting observation experience, signed by dental office staff; and
- Provide evidence of current cardiopulmonary resuscitation for basic life support (CPR BLS) course completion at the healthcare provider level.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application is complete; incomplete applications will not be considered.
Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the DA program. Class size is limited and therefore the application process is competitive. After meeting minimum requirements, applicants are rank-ordered using a 100 point scale. The Admissions Committee meets in July and all applicants are notified by mail no later than July 15th.
Dental Assisting Student Requirements
After students are enrolled in the DA program and prior to the first clinical experience, they are required to
- Submit a current CCC Student Health Form signed by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner;
- Provide medical verification of a two-step Mantoux skin test (chest x-ray if positive) indicating the student is free of tuberculosis;
- Provide documentation of vaccination or immunity to Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella;
- Provide verification of immunization against Hepatitis B, or positive titer, or sign a waiver;
- Purchase professional liability insurance through the College;
- Arrange for reliable transportation to and from clinical facilities assigned by the Program;
- Abide by the policies of the College and the DA Program Student Policy Manual; and
- Submit to drug testing and a background check.
Drug Testing / Background Check
As stipulated by the health facilities with which the DA program contracts for clinical education, each student enrolled in the program will undergo drug and alcohol testing and background checks as a pre-condition to beginning clinical experiences. The fees are the responsibility of the student. The Health Sciences Drug and Alcohol Screening Policy is available at https://calhoun.edu/health-sciences.
Enrolled Dental Assisting students are required to successfully complete both the academic and clinical requirements of the program to graduate. The Dental Assisting program has a list of Eligibility Criteria which outline the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills deemed as minimally necessary for admission, progression, graduation, and the provision of safe patient care. If a student cannot demonstrate the skill and abilities delineated in the Eligibility Criteria, it is the responsibility of the student to request appropriate accommodations through the CCC Office of Student Disability Services. The Dental Assisting program eligibility criteria can be found on the Dental Assisting webpage: www.calhoun.edu/DAT.
Program Costs (approximate & in addition to tuition):
Lab Supplies $200.00
Malpractice insurance $10.00
CPR certification. varies
Lab supplies. $100.00
Drug Testing / Background Check. $75.00(est)
Health Exam, PPD, Immunizations. varies
Certified Dental Assistant Exam (CDA) $750.00
DA Policies / Curriculum
Information contained in this Catalog and the policies and curriculum of the DA program are subject to change at any time. Written notice will be given to all students enrolled in the program prior to the implementation of a change. Please see the dental assisting program website for the most current information.
Readmission to the Program
A student may be readmitted to a DA program one time following a failure of or withdrawal from a DAT course. Students who return following a failure are considered to be using their second and final opportunity to complete the DA program. Students may apply for re-admittance within one year of original entry by submitting a letter of intent to the Program Director.
The readmission of a student is based on the availability of space and the student-teacher ratio, provided the student is eligible to return. Any student requesting readmission must have a minimum Grade Point Average of 2.3 on all course work attempted and should contact the Program Director at 256-306-2786 to schedule an appointment to discuss re-admission requirements. All conditions for students newly enrolling in the program will apply to students returning to the program.
Students who re-enter the program will be subject to following the current curriculum and will be required to validate lab skills.
All DAT courses must be taken and successfully completed in the order delineated by the curriculum plan. Three semesters are required even when all general education coursework has been completed prior to enrollment.