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What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Flagstaff Arizona, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid 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. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Flagstaff AZ employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the school you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Flagstaff AZ dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, practical 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 professional relationships in the Flagstaff AZ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Flagstaff AZ dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Flagstaff AZ dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don't forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Flagstaff AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Flagstaff AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need 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 due to illness, work or family responsibilities.