BY SAMANTHA WANDERER
Plaza College in Forest Hills is now home to a fully accredited dental hygiene program.
The four-year accreditation process was through the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), a part of the American Dental Association (ADA).
“The granting of full approval by the Commission on Dental Accreditation is a remarkable validation for our faculty, students and to their future employers,” said Dr. Laura Sleeper, RDH, dental hygiene program director.
The program’s first class was admitted September 2017. As a part of the program, these students received two years of clinical experience. Students worked alongside licensed dentists and hygienists in the program’s Community Dental Clinic, which provides free or discounted treatment to patients of all ages from across New York City’s region.
“Our students are making a true difference and also gaining hands-on experience as they provide accessible and affordable healthcare, especially for children and underserved populations,” said Dr. Margaret Garland, practicing dentist and dental hygiene program instructor.
As for that first class of students, they just graduated this past May and are now on their way to receiving their individual professional certifications.
All the graduates have already passed the Clinical Dental Competency Assessments Examination (CDCAE), one of two exams that are required in the New York state to apply for licensure. They are now in the process of taking the National Board Examination Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE), the second required exam.
With a diploma from their newly accredited program, the students are set up for greater future success.
ADA’s website explains that this official stamp of approval provides students’ with independent validation that their program has educational value to be “approved” by ADA, which, in turn, has the U.S. Department of Education’s approval.
For more information about Plaza College’s School of Dental Sciences, visit: plazacollege.edu/academics/school-of-dental-sciences/.