Ever think about becoming a dental hygienist? If so, Blinn College may be a choice for you!
Not everyone needs a bachelor’s degree. High skills = high wages! There are many roads to successful careers through certificate programs and associate degrees, and the new wave in higher education is career education. The key to deciding which path to take – certificate, associate, bachelor, or advanced degrees – is it’s you, the student, who makes the decision of your college path. See, in the way back, when I was in high school, educators often told students if they were college material or not.
Truth is I haven’t visited Blinn College. I’ve listened to people talk about the college, especially a transition program from Blinn to Texas A&M University. In recent travels, I sat down to dinner with a woman I’ve known since second grade. She lives in College Station and runs the Dental Hygiene at Blinn College in Bryan, TX, a town adjacent to College Station. There’s also a Blinn College campus in Brenham, Texas, but I wanted to focus on Dental Hygiene.
What does a dental hygienist do besides put her hands in your mouth? According to Occupational Outlook Handbook online, dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventive dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm Did you know that dental hygienists median pay is over $72,000/year. Median means that half of dental hygienists make more than that and half less.
Dental hygiene at Blinn College is a 68 hour program that allows students to sit for National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and regional/state clinical board exams. Licensing is based upon successful completion of exams.
Students must complete 15 hours of prerequisite courses including chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, and English prior to enrollment. They can take microbiology during the program. The rest of the program is a combination of class theory and clinical rotations. Students must maintain a grade of 75 or they are dismissed from the program and can reapply.
In addition to satisfying Texas Success Initiative, they must also take TEAS-V Allied Health. I didn’t know what that was and had to look it up. Test of Essential Academic Skills V for Allied Health (formally known as the HOBET) covers basic math, grammar, science, and critical thinking skills. Students at Blinn, and other community colleges (always good to check with each college), won’t need an ACT/SAT, but will need this test to gain admission. When I checked online, lots of specific health programs require this test prior to admission. Just so you know there were practice books you can buy as well as free test questions available online.
So what does it cost to become a dental hygienist at Blinn College? Would you believe the cost of the whole program is under $15,000.00? That’s right. That’s why I love community colleges. That doesn’t include the costs of national exams and licensing fees. Those costs add up to about $3000.00.
Would dental hygiene at Blinn College be a choice for you? Here’s the caution – I didn’t say it would be easy. Health profession fields at community colleges are rigorous enough to prepare students for national exams. They’re highly competitive! That’s right. Programs limit the number of students based on clinical experiences and facilities.
I think they’re worth it. What do you think? Have you been part of a clinical program at a community college like Blinn? Would you like to? If so, please share. If you’re a dental hygienist, please share your work experience with us.