Dental Assisting, AAS
Program Director: Karen Chockley, MA, CDA, CDPMA
Additional information is on the DA program website:
Dental assistants are vital team members who serve as ‘generalists’ in the dental office. DA responsibilities may include assisting the dentist chair side during patient treatment procedures, taking and developing x-rays, disinfecting and sterilizing instruments, mixing materials and taking impressions of teeth, providing oral hygiene instructions, and/or performing office managerial duties. The DA works in close physical proximity to patients and is at risk of exposure to infectious diseases. Dental assistant education requirements, job titles, and allowable functions vary state by state.
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, Suite 1900 Chicago, Illinois 60611-2678, 1-800-621-8099, ext. 4653.
Licensure of dental assistants is not required in Alabama. The dental assisting program prepares students to be successful on the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam administered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. Many employers prefer candidates with the CDA credential, which demonstrates knowledge attainment, a commitment to the profession, and lifelong learning.
The DAT coursework is sequential, requiring a grade of 75% or higher in each DAT course to progress to the next semester. A grade of “C” or higher is required in all general education courses which may be taken prior to beginning the program.
A new class of DA students is enrolled once a year and begins summer semester. Applicants must minimally:
- Meet all admission requirements of CCC
- Have a transcript of coursework taken at other colleges sent to the CCC Office of Admissions and Records
- Demonstrate a current minimum overall GPA of 2.3
- Submit ACT results or a Next-Generation ACCUPLACER test reading score to CCC
- Complete the online program application
Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Class size is limited and there is a selective application process. An application and the selection criteria can be found on the DA webpage.
Students enrolled in the dental assisting program are required to successfully complete both academic and clinical requirements. The purpose of the DA Eligibility Criteria, found on the DA webpage, is to delineate the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills deemed minimally necessary for admission, progression, and graduation, and for the provision of safe and effective client care. Safety is paramount in all health programs. The College endorses the Americans’ with Disabilities Act. If a student cannot meet the Eligibility Criteria it is their responsibility to request appropriate reasonable accommodations through the Student Disability Services Office.
HEALTH SCIENCES STUDENTS REQUIREMENTS
- Retain reliable transportation to and from the campus and assigned clinical education facilities.
- Comply with a dress code that includes an assigned uniform
- Undergo a health examination, TB screening, and validate immunity to infectious diseases
- Submit proof of current certification in basic life support at the healthcare provider level
- Purchase low-cost malpractice insurance through the CCC health sciences division
- Submit to a background check by a designated vendor
- Undergo drug and alcohol testing by a designated vendor
In the interest of the patients they will serve, every health science student is obligated to complete the above requirements. Policies for the background check and drug testing are provided upon enrollment. Results may prohibit a student from participating in clinical education and necessitate withdrawal or course failure.
In addition to tuition, health sciences students will have expenses related to the listed requirements, books, and associated supplies. Approximated costs are discussed in information sessions and program orientation.
Additional DA program information including policies on application, readmission, transfer students, and advanced standing are available on the DA webpage or by contacting the program director. The curriculum plan and policies of the DA program are subject to change. Written notice will be given to students enrolled in the program prior to implementation.