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Bachelor of  Science in Dental Hygiene

On October 23, 2015, In accordance with Senate Bill 850, the California Community College Chancellor's Office granted approval for WLAC to offer a bachelor degree in dental hygiene. On January 22, 2016, the substantive change for the bachelor degree program was approved by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

The college will grant the last Associate of Science (AS) degree in dental hygiene in spring 2017, and then will go through the WLAC’s Academic Senate Program Viability process in order to archive the two-year AS degree.  Additional information about the AS degree, including pre-requisite and required coursework, can be found in the college catalog and by clicking here.

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene provides the opportunity to enter into a variety of dental health positions in teaching, research, administration, public health, private industry and other areas of hygiene practice, as well as application for entry into degree programs such as Master’s in Dental Hygiene, Public Health, Oral Biology or Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice.

The upper-division dental hygiene curriculum is planned sequentially to be completed in two years. Courses are open only to students accepted into the Dental Hygiene Program, who have completed all CSU or IGETC General Education Breadth Requirements for certification and all dental hygiene pre-requisite courses.

The program follows a cohort model, with students accepted each fall semester.  Mandatory program information sessions and application workshops are held during the Fall and Winter terms.  BS in Dental Hygiene program applications are due the first week of March for the following fall start term.

 

For more information on admission to the BS in Dental Hygiene program, pre-requisite coursework, and required courses, click the links above or use the navigation tabs on the upper left-hand side of this page.  

 

Please note: before applying to the dental hygiene program, you must register as a student at West Los Angeles College.  Click here to apply to the college.


Licensing Exams

Completion of the Dental Hygiene program qualifies students to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and a Dental Hygiene Clinical Examination for licensure.  The California State Licensing Board requires the submission of official fingerprinting; a license may be denied if a person has been convicted of a felony.

For more information about licensing requirements contact the Dental Hygiene Committee of California at DHCC, 2005 Evergreen Street Suite 1050, Sacramento, CA 95815, or online at http://www.dhcc.ca.gov. Professors are also available to guide students through the licensing process.


Affiliated Institutions

West LA College's Dental Hygiene program is affiliated with other prestigious institutions in Los Angeles.  These connections offer our students excellent learning and networking opportunities.  Dental Clinic facilities are in the UCLA Health Science Center, The Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center, the VA Greater LA Healthcare System, and MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity).


Cost

The enrollment fee for upper-division bachelor degree program courses is $130 per unit for California residents.  Students will also need to purchase a professional instrument kit, textbooks, professional dues, malpractice insurance, uniforms and other supplies as needed, at an approximate cost of $10,000 for the first year and $5,000 for the second year.  Payment for these items is due before the start of classes each year.  Please note, refunds for equipment and instruments will not be issued after the first two weeks past the program start date.  For a complete list of student fees, including non-resident, international, health fees, Associated Student Organization (ASO) and parking, please refer to the college catalog.


Financial Aid is available for qualifying students and may be used to offset these additional costs. 98% of our students receive State, Federal, or private financial aid, or participate in the Board of Governors' Fee Waiver Program.  For more information on how financial aid may apply through the program, contact the West Los Angeles College Office of Financial Aid via email at wlacfa@wlac.edu or by telephone at (310) 287-4532 for more information.


Student Success and Outcome Measures

  • WLAC Dental Hygiene AS Program has achieved a 99% Retention Rate and a Program Completion Rate of 100% for the past 10 years. 
  • Graduates achieve 100% pass rate on national and state licensure exams.          
  • Graduate surveys show 100% employment in the dental field.
  • Supporting Documents: Dental Hygiene Program OutcomesAdvisory Board Report 2014

Bachelor of Science Program Projections

  • The number of applications to the Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Program is projected to double (200+ applications).
  • Based on current trends and college capacity, WLAC will begin a BSDH cohort in Fall 2016, two years prior to SB850 regulations, and award over 300 Bachelor Degrees by 2023, 5 years prior to SB850 regulations. Program Projections

Employment Data

  • The Labor Market Information projects the following growth rate in the dental hygiene profession: 33% nationally, 23% in California and 19% in Los Angeles County. 
  • O-Net Online projects a bright outlook for dental hygiene with a 22% or more increase in employment. 
  • The WLAC Dental Hygiene Graduate Survey shows 100% employment in the dental field.
  • Supporting Documents: LMI Data

Accreditation

  • In accordance with SB 850 Regulations, LACCD, WLAC and the Dental Department will comply with accreditation standards. Support Document: SB850 Comparative Analysis
  • West Los Angeles College CTE programs received commendations from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. ACCJC Accreditation, Commendation 8
  • The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredits the Dental Hygiene Program and Curriculum. Support Document: CODA Accreditation Letter

 

Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)

The West Los Angeles College Program in Dental Hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements" - Accreditation Standards for Dental Hygiene Education Programs. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

The Commission's web address is: www.ada.org/en/coda


Educational Pathways

  • The BSDH Proposed Pilot Program/Curricula complies with SB 8540, Chapter 747, Article 3, Section 78042 (d2). No transfer tracks to CSU/UC. Graduates complete over 120 units and are awarded an AS degree in Dental Hygiene without transferability to a major. Support Document: SB850 Comparative Analysis
  • The LACCD Regional Transfer Pathway will provide students from all (9) LACCD colleges and other colleges access to the baccalaureate degree.
  • Upon completion of the General Education and Science Pre-requisites (60+ units) at LACCD colleges and other colleges, students will feed into the LACCD-WLAC Bachelor Dental Hygiene Program (61+ units). Students will be awarded a Bachelor Degree for completion of the Dental Hygiene Program without adding any additional courses or units.
  • After completion of the BSDH, graduates will have a direct pathway to the University California, San Francisco (UCSF) Masters Degree program and other Masters programs.  Support Document: UCSF Pathway
  • The college will explore the opportunity to grant past graduates a BSDH in accordance with the California Educational Code and ACCJC guidelines.

Student Diversity

  • The West Los Angeles College Dental Hygiene Student Demographic Analysis shows a diverse student population, with 56% White, 23% Hispanic, 11% Asian, and 10% African American/Black. 
  • Support Document: Student Demographic Analysis (Cohort 2013-2015 and Cohort 2014-2016)

Organization Support

  • The BSDH proposal has received college-wide support: Divisional Council, Academic Senate, Curriculum Committee, Allied Health Division, and Dental Hygiene Advisory Board.
  • National and State Professional Dental Hygiene organizations support a Bachelor degree as an entry to the Dental Hygiene profession.  The California Dental Hygiene Association fully supports the West Los Angeles College BSDH program. Support Document: CDHA Letter of SupportADHA Position Report
  • Surveys conducted in Spring 2014 of Dental Hygiene Students, Dental Hygiene Faculty and Advisory Board Members show an overwhelming interest and support in the implementation of a Bachelor Degree Program in Dental Hygiene.
  • Supporting Documents: Survey Data

Supporting Documents - Comparative Analysis