Dental Hygiene Degree at Westmoreland County Community College

 

Excel in the Growing Field of Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene student and clinic patient

Ready to enter the dental field as a dental hygienist? Westmoreland offers an associate degree that can prepare you to excel in this growing field. The Dental Hygiene programs is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The commission is a special accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

What Will I Learn?

Dental hygienists examine patients for signs of periodontal diseases, administer local anesthesia, clean teeth and provide other preventive services. They also provide patient education to improve and maintain good oral health. The Westmoreland program includes clinical experience in the college campus facility. View Dental Hygiene in the College Catalog.

Career Opportunities

While most dental professionals practice in private dental offices, others provide services in dental specialty practices, hospital and industrial clinics, correctional institutions, government health agencies, insurance companies and military services. With additional education, dental professionals also work in school systems, dental and dental hygiene education programs, dental sales and research.

Basic Application Process -  Health Professions

  • Complete and submit an Application for Admission to
    the college
  • Download the Dental Hygiene Application Checklist for details on additional requirements
  • Complete and submit a Health Professions Programs Application 
  • You will be notified via your MyWestmoreland email if you are eligible to take the National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Examination (NLN-PAX), which is the next step in the evaluation process. Study materials are optional and available for purchase.
  • Submit official transcript from all secondary schools attended, graduate equivalency degree (GED) programs and any other formal educational program beyond high school.
  • Application Deadline: January 12 prior to fall start
  • Acceptance Notification: Mid-March

Frequently Asked Questions

Once accepted into Westmoreland’s Dental Hygiene Program, students can complete the program in five semesters, which is two academic years.

No, once accepted to the Dental Hygiene Program, students must complete the program in the recommended sequence.

No. A student must have all pre-admission courses (algebra, biology and chemistry) and any required developmental courses, as well as the three required program prerequisites completed by the application deadline date of January 12, in order to be eligible for the NLN Pre-Entrance Exam.

Should a student be working toward the program by taking general education courses that the program requires, courses must be completed with at least a “C” grade and the GPA must be 2.5 or above to test.

No, the dental hygiene courses, pre-clinical and clinical experiences are only offered at the Youngwood campus. However, students are able to take any of the general education requirements at any of our education centers.
Yes. The dental hygiene courses are offered in a sequence, therefore making the program the full two years. However, completing general education courses that the program requires will lighten a student’s course load.
Students with dental hygiene courses from other institutions will need to submit a transfer of credit form through the admissions office, including the course description and course syllabus for all completed dental hygiene courses. The Director of Dental Hygiene then evaluates the coursework to see if any of the courses are transferable.
Pennsylvania radiology certification is not transferable to the dental hygiene program. The only possibility for radiology to transfer into the dental hygiene program is if students have taken a radiology course (minimum of 3 credits) from another CODA accredited dental hygiene program at another institution, the course may be considered for transfer. This would be done through the Director of Dental Hygiene.
You may try as many times as you wish to get into our program. However, you may only test once a year.
No. Once a student has been accepted to the program these requirements will be explained to the accepted students at the orientation meeting held by the Director of the Dental Hygiene Program. Students are provided with the details of the orientation meeting along with their acceptance letter.
A previous student would get into our program just as a new student would. They must apply, meet all pre-admission requirements and score high enough on the NLN test for acceptance.
Yes. Westmoreland’s Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene program is fully accredited and transferable to most four-year institutions.

Dental hygiene classes are scheduled on Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Clinical courses are scheduled to include two evenings of clinic each semester.

The evening clinic sessions in the fall and spring semesters are scheduled from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The evening clinic sessions in the summer semester are scheduled from 4 p.m. until 8:10 p.m.

Individual class schedules will vary from semester to semester. 

Yes, students are responsible to secure the types and classifications of patients that they need to meet the clinic requirements for progression in the dental hygiene program.

The dental hygiene clinic does have a pool of public patients that are distributed on a rotating basis to students in the program.

Due to intense curricular demands, students are advised NOT to work while enrolled in the dental hygiene program. However, if the student has enough support at home, some students have been successful at working 10 – 20 hours per week while enrolled in the dental hygiene program.

Work schedules must be flexible to accommodate the changing demands of the program from semester to semester.

Students that must work more than 20 hours per week have not been successful at completing the dental hygiene program.