Dental Assisting Revises Degree Program

Rebecca A. Eckland
dental assisting program

The Dental Assisting Program is accepting applications until June 1. Don't wait, apply now!

Have you wanted to pursue a degree—and career—in Dental Assisting but you worry that you don’t have time for that kind of commitment? Recently, the program has undergone a new restructuring that can accommodate a busy student’s schedule (even those who are currently working or who have family responsibilities.)

Why would you want to consider Dental Assisting as a career? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of Dental Assisting positions is expected to grow by 19% from 2016 to 2026, which is higher than the average growth rate for most occupations.

And if you haven’t thought about pursuing a degree or certificate in Dental Assisting at TMCC, here are three quick facts that might make you think twice:

  1. TMCC’s Dental Assisting program is the only program in northern Nevada that is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Accreditation;
  2. Graduates from TMCC’s Dental Assisting Program can expect to earn $13-$18 immediately after graduating with a certificate or degree, and;
  3. TMCC graduates have had a 100% employment rate over the last eight years. Our program continues to hold an excellent reputation with potential employers in the community.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, read on for more details about TMCC’s revised Dental Assisting program.

All the Dental Details

Starting in the 2019-2020 Course Catalog, students can expect to see substantial changes to the program that enable them to earn a Certificate that is seamless and stackable with the Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting degree. This means the work you complete toward the Certificate also applies toward the Associate degree, which wasn’t always the case.

So too, the credits required to complete the degree and certificate program have been made more flexible. While all students are required to complete 36.5 credits of Dental Assisting classes, the General Education requirements are more flexible, enabling students to take classes that interest them while they work toward their program of choice. For example, the required math class is actually embedded into the program, so you don’t need to take an additional math course to get the certificate or degree. “Students are more likely to have already taken classes that meet those requirements,” said Dental Assisting Program Coordinator Julie Muhle.

Also, there are no pre-requisites for admission to the program nor are there any additional program fees (like other Dental Assisting programs in our area). Instead, applying to the program is free; but your selection is based on your numerical position on the applicant list (literally: the sooner you apply the better) and the completion of courses that grant additional points toward admission. These courses include English 101 or English 113, Communication 113 or English 102 or English 114. Additionally, all applicants must attend an information night. More information on application procedures can be found on the department website.

Most importantly, though, the Dental Assisting program better accommodates the needs of students who work and have other responsibilities—like families—outside of their academic lives. Classes are held three days each week and each class includes online content to assist with the flexible scheduling. Students looking to earn a certificate can expect to complete the program in 10 months; students in the degree program can graduate in 18 months.

You Need to Write this Down

Starting in Fall 2019, the Dental Assisting program will accept 28 students—the most it has accepted during a single semester to date. If you would like to occupy one of those seats, mark your calendar for these important dates:

  • The next Dental Assisting Information Night is happening Thursday, May 23 in Red Mountain 414 at 5:30 p.m.– 6:30 p.m. Attending an Information Night is a requirement of program admission.
  • Contact Julie Muhle for the written information session document in lieu of attending the on-site information session.
  • The application deadline for Fall 2019 is June 1.

For more information about the Dental Assisting Program contact the department at 775-673-7125 or the contact Program Coordinator, Julie Muhle.