Dental hygiene | Stark State College | North Canton, Ohio
dental hygiene

Dental hygiene

Dental hygienists, licensed to work with dentists in the delivery of dental care, combine knowledge and clinical skills to plan and provide dental hygiene care for patients.

You’ll use interpersonal skills to motivate and instruct patients and community groups in preventing oral disease and maintaining oral health.

It’s a career that offers excellent income and scheduling flexibility. While most dental hygienists work in general or specialty dental offices and clinics, you could also work in public health departments, nursing homes, school systems, private industry, academic institutions and dental sales manufacturers.

Stark State’s program consists of one semester of eligibility (pre-application) courses and four semesters plus one summer session of academic coursework and hands-on learning experiences in the classroom, laboratory, clinic and community. An important feature of the program is the on-campus Dental Hygiene Clinic which is open to the public. The hundreds of hours of supervised patient care experiences provide excellent skill and professional development training.

Enrollment in the program is limited. Admission is offered to eligible applicants on a space-available basis. The dental hygiene program requires a separate application; admission to Stark State does not automatically mean acceptance into the dental hygiene program.

Stark State College Allied Dental Health Professions Endowment Scholarship
All students currently enrolled in dental hygiene technical courses having a 3.0 GPA or higher are automatically placed in the pool of students eligible to receive this annual scholarship.

American Dental Hygienists’ Association Scholarships
Scholarships offered through the American Dental Hygienists’ Association – students can access the online scholarship applications for the following scholarships go going to:

  • Scholarship for Academic Excellence
  • Colgate “Bright Smiles, Bright Futures” Minority Scholarships
  • HuFriedyGroup/Esther Wilkins Instrument Scholarships
  • Karla Girts Memorial Community Outreach Scholarship

Ohio Dental Hygienists’ Association Scholarships
Scholarships offered through the Ohio Dental Hygienists’ Association – students can apply online by going to:

  • Louise M. Barrett Scholarship
  • Christopher L. Simmons Memorial Scholarship Award

Stark County Dental Society Scholarship
Students currently enrolled in dental hygiene courses are eligible to apply for a $1000 scholarship and will be provided scholarship applications each spring semester.

Scholarships offered through the Akron Community Foundation—students can apply online by going to:

The Stark State College Dental Hygiene Program has the following written articulation agreement for a bachelor in science degree completion program with:

  • Ohio State University, dental hygiene program, section of primary care, College of Dentistry

Applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria, described in program informational materials. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements:

  • Be a high school graduate or have a GED certificate.
  • Complete SSC’s ACCUPLACER test and take any courses recommended as a result of the test.
  • Complete four pre-application courses – ENG124, PSY121, CHM121, BIO121 and their prerequisites according to the eligibility rules regarding minimum grade, age of course, and number of repeats/drops.
  • Achieve a GPA of at least a 2.75 for the four eligibility courses.
  • Maintain an overall college GPA of at least 2.00.
  • Complete the dental office observation experience requirement.
  • Complete specified supplemental requirements.

Specific physical requirements are necessary to perform dental hygiene functions. Details are provided in program information materials.

Program learning outcomes

  • Graduates will demonstrate competence in the provision of contemporary dental hygiene services based on assessment of individual patient needs.
  • Graduates will demonstrate professionalism and ethics in all aspects of dental hygiene care.
  • Graduates will effectively communicate the importance of oral health with patients, healthcare providers and the public.
  • Graduates will address the oral health needs of local and diverse communities.
  • Graduates will seek opportunities for life-long learning.

Graduates are eligible to take the Dental Hygiene National Board and Northeast Regional Board examinations, both of which are required for licensure in Ohio. Licensure is mandatory for employment in Ohio as a dental hygienist. Other states may have different licensing requirements.

According to Section 4715.21 of the Ohio Revised Code, applicants for licensure must submit to an FBI background check.

Dental hygiene applicants/students are responsible for informing the program director of any misdemeanor related to alcohol or drugs, or felony convictions so that they may be informed of the steps the Ohio State Dental Board will take before considering their application for licensure.

According to various sections of the Ohio Law and Regulations for Certification and Licensure Boards, persons convicted of any felony or a misdemeanor may not be able to take the licensure or certification examinations; may be refused acceptance of placement by the clinical/practicum sites; or may have restrictions placed on their ability to practice. For more information, contact the dean of student services and the applicable licensure/certification board.


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