Excel in the Growing Field of Dental Hygiene
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.
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.
In the 10-county region surrounding Westmoreland County Community College, earnings for occupations related to this program range from $16.56 to $27.50 per hour, with an average hourly wage of $21.92.
*Data provided by EMSI (economicmodeling.com)
Basic Application Process - Health Professions
- Complete and submit an Application for Admission to
- Complete and submit a Health Professions Programs Application
- 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
- Download the Dental Hygiene Application Checklist for details on additional requirements.
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.
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.