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Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Mobile Alabama, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Mobile AL employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Mobile AL dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Mobile AL dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Mobile AL dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don't forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Mobile AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Mobile AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.