Associate in Science - Dental Hygiene

The Goodwin College Dental Hygiene Program (DHP) is designed to equip students with the skills to become professionals ready to assist the public and the community by providing clinical and therapeutic services as well as oral dental hygiene education. The program is centered on evidence-based learning with the theoretical foundation and hands-on classwork that prepares students for the workforce and engenders an appreciation for lifelong learning.

Dental hygienists are required to be licensed in the state where they practice. Upon completion of the 80 credit-curriculum, students are qualified to take the National Board Examinations (NBDHE) and the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA), which are requirements for state licensure. The Goodwin College Dental Hygiene Program has been granted initial accreditation status by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation for Dental Hygiene Education Programs.

Admission Requirements

The Goodwin College Dental Hygiene Program is a rigorous and intensive postsecondary program that is both physically and mentally demanding. Due to the limited number of enrollments in the program, admission is based on specific entrance criteria as well as a ranking point system. To qualify with a minimum standard for admission the applicant must:

  1. Complete the application for admission into Goodwin College, if not already a student at Goodwin. Applicants to the Dental Hygiene Program must first meet the requirements for admission and be accepted into Goodwin College.
  2. Have a minimum college G.P.A.of 2.7
  3. Date of application submission and points attained in the Selection Point System will dictate the class roster’s placement order. Twenty-eight (28) students are accepted each summer semester.
  4. All students must successfully pass a background check, drug test and DCF check before official acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program will be granted. Forms are provided by program personnel.
  5. Have completed required coursework for admission with a grade of C+ or better. All science courses must be taken within five (5) years of applying to the program:
    1. Math (Intermediate algebra or higher) Anatomy & Physiology I, Chemistry, Introduction to Psychology, Computer Literacy elective, and English Composition.
    2. Student must be enrolled in Anatomy & Physiology II at the time of application. Course must be successfully completed (C+ or better) before beginning the first DHP course.
    3. Student could be enrolled in Microbiology for the first semester of DHP; however, this course must be successfully completed (C+ or better) before beginning the second semester of the DHP.
    4. Exposure to community work in a health-based program is encouraged. Proof of community services should be included with the application.
  6. An interview of approximately 30-45 minutes with the Dental Hygiene Program faculty is required. As part of the interview, the student will be asked to write a 500-word essay. The topic will be provided at the time of the interview.
  7. Students must be able to perform all functions and tasks required of a dental hygienist. As part of the curriculum, the student would be asked to fully participate in all clinic/rotation/community enrichment activities, these activities require the student to be prepared physically and mentally to avoid risks to the safety of a patient or the student.

Students are expected to be able to perform the following:

1. MOTOR FUNCTION-student should be able to:

  1. Manipulate dental equipment and instruments with both hands.
  2. Assist patients, classmates, and faculty in medical emergencies.
  3. Demonstrate adequate motor skills to accomplish effective instrumentation.

2. VISUAL OBSERVATION-student should be able to:

  1. Determine anatomy and pathology, through dental x-ray images characteristics.
  2. Read material pertinent to the care and safety of the patient, classmates and faculty.
  3. Demonstrate adequate depth perception to accomplish effective instrumentation.

3. AUDITORY (HEARING) OBSERVATION-student should be able to:

  1. Hear alarms, telephones, as well as, patient, classmates, and faculty voice ranges.
  2. Hear stethoscope sounds when performing blood pressure examination, and sounds from dental equipment.

4. COMMUNICATION SKILLS-student should be able to:

  1. Have sufficient command of the English language to ensure proper verbal and written communication with patients, classmates, and faculty.

5. CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS-student should be able to:

  1. Comprehend and assimilate the knowledge acquired from didactic courses into the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of dental hygiene treatment to patients.

Point System

The Goodwin College Dental Hygiene Program has limited capacity; a point system has been developed for the selection of prospective candidates. The system was developed to maintain objectivity and to follow the Dental Hygiene program’s goals and competencies.

General Education GPA Per Course (Based on the following courses: Math, English Composition, Introduction/General Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Microbiology* & Introduction to Psychology)


2.7 - 3.0


3.1 - 3.5


3.6 - 4.0


Overall College GPA (Based on a minimum of 12 credits. Students with less than 12 credits will be given a score of 1 point only)


2.7 - 3.0


3.1 - 3.5


3.6 - 4.0


Completion of Courses at Goodwin College


1 course


2 courses


3 courses


4 courses


5 courses


6 courses


7 courses


Previous College Education


Associate Degree


Bachelor's Degree


Master's Degree


Essay (Writing Skills)


Poor (23-28)


Average (29-34)


Excellent (35-40)


Total Possible Points


*Applicants are strongly advised to complete Microbiology prior to entering the Dental Hygiene program.

Accepted Students

Admitted students will be asked to provide confirmation of:

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, graduates will be able to:

  1. Assess the need for, expose, develop, evaluate and interpret dental radiographs to support the clinical examination; while employing radiation safety principles and procedures requiring exposure to ionizing radiation;
  2. Value the importance of patient-centered care and concepts of health promotion;
  3. Assess, plan, implement, evaluate and document dental hygiene process of care for the prevention and/or treatment of oral diseases;
  4. Apply principles of nutritional and/or tobacco cessation counseling to the management of oral health;
  5. Apply standard precautions for the prevention of disease transmission;
  6. Follow all state and federal regulatory requirements when rendering patient care;
  7. Demonstrate professional communication skills in all aspects of patient care; while applying principles of professional and ethical behavior when providing patient care;
  8. Demonstrate concern and understanding of a variety of patient needs based on overall health, oral health, cultural, social, and economic circumstances; while applying principles of evidence-based decision making;
  9. Recommend referral for additional assessment and/or treatment;
  10. Self-assess ability to perform dental hygiene services at a high standard of care.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all the general Associate graduation requirements as stated in the catalog. In addition, students must complete the following programmatic graduation requirements:

1. Complete all Dental Hygiene core courses with a minimum grade of "C+".

2. Complete Anatomy & Physiology I, Anatomy & Physiology II and Microbiology with a minimum grade of "C+".


Associate - Dental Hygiene

Courses Required for Admission - NOT Included in the Curriculum

Courses are not included in the 80 credits needed for graduation


Computer Literacy Elective (CL)



Math Competency (MATH)


PSY 112

Introduction to Psychology (SS)


Courses Required for Admission - Included in the Curriculum

All science courses must be taken within five (5) years of applying to the program.

Courses that must be successfully completed (C+ or higher) before application to the Dental Hygiene program

ENG 101

English Composition


CHEM 101

Chemistry (SCI)


BIO 211

Anatomy and Physiology I


Applicants may be enrolled in Anatomy and Physiology II at the time of application. This course must be successfully completed (C+ or better) before beginning the first DHP course.

BIO 212

Anatomy and Physiology II


Concurrent Courses

Courses that may be taken along with DHP courses after acceptance into the Dental Hygiene program


Writing Competency (WR)



Communications Competency (COM)


SOC 101

Introduction to Sociology


BIO 235




Cultural Competency (CU or E/P)


* Applicants are strongly advised to complete Microbiology prior to entering the Dental Hygiene program.

Dental Hygiene Core Requirements - 49 Credits

First Semester

DHP 105



DHP 104

Head/Neck Anatomy & Embryology


Second Semester

DHP 110

Principles of Dental Hygiene I


DHP 202



Third Semester

DHP 120

Principles of Dental Hygiene II


DHP 102



Fourth Semester

DHP 106

Pharmacology and Pain Management


DHP 103

Dental Materials


Fifth Semester

DHP 210

Principles of Dental Hygiene III


DHP 201

Community and Public Health Dentistry


DHP 113

General and Oral Pathology


Sixth Semester

DHP 220

Principles of Dental Hygiene IV


DHP 200

Dental Hygiene Capstone/Board Review


Total Credits in the Program