Apr 18, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2023-2024 
    
Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Dental Hygiene, BS


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Introduction


The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene is an entry-level dental hygiene program that provides the education required to become a licensed dental hygienist. The program is designed to meet national accreditation standards for dental hygiene education programs and to ensure that students achieve the student learning outcomes.

Admission


Enrollment is limited and admission is selective. The Admissions Committee considers the following factors when reviewing candidates for admission:

  • Strength and breadth of academic record
  • Prior dental or health care experience
  • Essay questions
  • Community and/or college service
  • Accuracy, completeness and neatness of application
  • Personal interview

Students who complete all prerequisite coursework at Pacific University will be granted preferred admission to the BS Degree Dental Hygiene Program if all other admission requirements for this program are met. Students who do not complete all prerequisite coursework at Pacific University may still qualify for preferred admission if they complete the majority of their prerequisite coursework at Pacific University and receive approval from the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.

Application Process

Applicants should submit the following to gradadmissions@pacificu.edu:

  • Pacific University Dental Hygiene Application (online or paper)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Resume
  • TOEFL test scores, if applicable
  • Application fee of USD $50

Alternatively, applicants may submit the Dental Hygiene Central Application Service (DHCAS). For more information, contact gradadmissions@pacificu.edu.

Prerequisite Coursework

Students must complete a minimum of 48 semester credits of prerequisite coursework prior to starting the dental hygiene coursework. The prerequisite coursework may be completed at Pacific University, at another regionally accredited institution, or at a combination of both. Prerequisite coursework must be 100-level or above and must be completed with a grade of C or above. Science courses should be completed within the previous seven years.

Natural Science – 14 semester credits

  • Chemistry (with lab)
  • Microbiology (lab preferred)
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology (full year series with labs)

Communication – 6 semester credits

  • English Composition / Writing
  • Interpersonal Communication / Speech

Social Sciences – 6 semester credits

  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Mathematics – 3 semester credits

  • College-level Mathematics course (Statistics preferred)

Spanish – 3 semester credits

  • Must be at the college-level

Nutrition – 2 semester credits

Humanities – 8 semester credits

  • Courses in art, music, theatre, media arts, world language, literature, philosophy, religion, ethics, history, anthropology, gender studies, geography, business, communications, and humanities

Prerequisite Coursework at Pacific University

Students may complete the prerequisite coursework at Pacific University. The prerequisite coursework is offered at the Forest Grove Campus of Pacific University. All prerequisite coursework must be 100-level or above and must be completed with a grade of C or above. Science courses should be completed within the previous seven years.

Students who complete all prerequisite coursework at Pacific University will be granted preferred admission to the BS Degree Dental Hygiene Program if specific admission requirements for this program are met. Students who do not complete all prerequisite coursework at Pacific University may still qualify for preferred admission if they complete the majority of their prerequisite coursework at Pacific University and receive approval from the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.

A suggested sequence of courses for completing the prerequisite coursework at Pacific University appears below. Students should work closely with the pre-dental hygiene advisor to choose the courses and sequence that best meet their needs. 

Suggested Sequence for Prerequisite Coursework at Pacific University


Freshman Year – Fall Semester: 16 Credits


Freshman Year – Spring Semester: 16 Credits


Program Length and Degree Requirements


The BS Degree Dental Hygiene Program is designed as a 2+2 curriculum that includes two years of prerequisite coursework plus two years of dental hygiene coursework. The two years of prerequisite coursework may be completed at Pacific University, at another regionally accredited institution, or at a combination of both. The dental hygiene curriculum and sequence of courses are subject to change. Students must complete the equivalent of 128 semester credits with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above in order to receive a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.

  Two Years Prerequisite Coursework =   48 semester credits  
  Two Years Dental Hygiene Coursework =   80 semester credits  
  Bachelor of Science Degree Total = 128 semester credits  

All dental hygiene coursework must be taken in the sequence listed. All dental hygiene courses must be passed with a grade of C or above (or Pass) in order to continue in the program. The dental hygiene coursework is offered at the Hillsboro Campus of Pacific University.

Program Details


Accreditation

The program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2698 or by calling 800-621-8099 extension 4653 or www.ada.org/coda.   

Program Purpose

The BS Degree Dental Hygiene Program at Pacific University prepares students to become dental hygienists who provide compassionate, patient-centered care to diverse patient populations in a variety of health care settings.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science Degree Dental Hygiene Program at Pacific will demonstrate the following competencies:

  1. Provide the dental hygiene process of care which includes:
    • Assessment – collect and analyze data to determine general and oral health status of patients.
    • Diagnosis – identify oral health conditions that can be treated with dental hygiene services.
    • Planning – develop a dental hygiene care plan that reflects realistic goals and treatment strategies to promote optimal oral health.
    • Implementation – provide patient-centered dental hygiene care based on current standards of practice and emerging scientific research.
    • Evaluation – measure the extent to which goals identified in the dental hygiene care plan are achieved.
    • Documentation – record complete and accurate information related to patient care.
  2. Follow protocols to prevent, prepare for and respond to medical emergencies that may occur in dental hygiene practice.
  3. Provide dental hygiene care for patients of all age groups including children, adolescents, adults and geriatric patients.
  4. Provide dental hygiene care for patients who exhibit all classifications of periodontal disease including patients who exhibit moderate to severe periodontal disease.
  5. Provide dental hygiene care for patients with special medical, physical, psychological and social needs.
  6. Incorporate expanded functions into dental hygiene care including local anesthesia, nitrous oxide-oxygen sedation, gingival curettage and restorative dental procedures.
  7. Use problem solving strategies to provide comprehensive patient care and effective management of patients.
  8. Provide dental hygiene care in a variety of settings without the supervision of a dentist.
  9. Use interpersonal skills and cultural awareness to communicate effectively with diverse population groups including dental patients who speak Spanish.
  10. Work effectively with patients and providers in a variety of dental and interprofessional health care settings.
  11. Assess, plan, implement and evaluate community-based oral health programs including health promotion and disease prevention activities.
  12. Apply principles of ethical reasoning, ethical decision making and professional responsibility as they pertain to the academic environment, research, patient care and practice management.
  13. Apply legal and regulatory concepts to the provision and support of oral health care services.
  14. Evaluate current scientific literature to support evidence-based dental hygiene practice.
  15. Use self-assessment skills to prepare for life-long learning and continuing professional development.
  16. Demonstrate skills needed to pursue opportunities in clinical practice, public health, education, research, business management, administration, advocacy and leadership.

On-Campus Clinical Facilities

Dental hygiene students receive their basic clinical education in the Pacific Dental Hygiene Clinic located on the Hillsboro Campus of Pacific University. Although patients may call the clinic for appointments, each student is responsible for securing a patient for all scheduled clinic sessions. Students may not provide transportation for their patients.

Off-Campus Fieldwork

Dental hygiene students complete clinical enrichment and educational experiences at off-campus affiliation sites. The affiliation sites provide patients for these assignments. Students must provide their own transportation to the affiliation sites.

Senior Capstone Project

All dental hygiene students must successfully complete a Senior Capstone Project in order to graduate from the program. Students choose a question, gather background research, conduct a needs assessment, develop and implement a program that addresses the identified needs, evaluate the effectiveness of the program and make recommendations for changes to their program. Many Senior Capstone Projects are community-based and are designed to be sustainable programs that can be continued into the future.

Program Policies


Academic Integrity

Students must protect the integrity of their work and maintain a high level of academic honesty. Cheating and plagiarism constitute serious academic offenses. Students involved in an act of academic dishonesty will be reviewed by the Professional & Academic Standards Committee.

Academic Standards

Satisfactory academic progress in the School of Dental Hygiene Studies is defined as regular and prompt attendance, satisfactory academic performance, satisfactory clinical progress, safe clinical practice, appropriate professional conduct, effective interpersonal skills and compliance with policies and procedures. Students will be evaluated regularly in these areas according to established standards.

Students will be given regular feedback on their academic progress in the program. A student who is not performing adequately according to the standards will receive notification through written feedback and/or individual advisement.

Professional & Academic Standards Committee

Academic progress may be reviewed by the Professional & Academic Standards Committee at the conclusion of each semester, and upon request of a faculty member. The Professional & Academic Standards Committee consists of a faculty chair and two additional faculty members.

The Professional & Academic Standards Committee may be asked to review a student who:

  • Has excessive absences that may adversely affect progress in the program.
  • Is having academic difficulties in one or more courses.
  • Is involved in an act of academic dishonesty or unprofessional conduct.
  • Demonstrates unsatisfactory clinical progress or unsafe clinical practice.
  • Provides dental hygiene treatment without faculty supervision.
  • Falsifies, copies, or removes patient records.
  • Discloses confidential patient information.
  • Refuses to treat a patient due to the patient’s age, race, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, language, physical or mental condition.
  • Receives a final grade of D, F or No Pass in any dental hygiene course

The Professional & Academic Standards Committee will review the student’s academic progress and make a recommendation to the Director. Recommendations may include no action, remediation, academic probation, suspension, withdrawal, or dismissal from the program. The Director will make a final decision based on the recommendation of the committee and notify the student in writing of the final decision.

Remediation

Remediation may be recommended for a student who needs additional time to address academic difficulties, complete course requirements or demonstrate satisfactory clinical progress. A written action plan with timelines will be developed to direct the remediation process. Failure to successfully complete remediation may result in dismissal from the program without the option for re-admission.

Academic Probation

Academic probation is an academic standing that indicates serious concerns about the student’s progress in the program. Students who are on academic probation will meet with their advisor on a regular basis to discuss their academic progress. Students who are on academic probation are not in good academic standing and are not eligible to participate in specified School activities. Academic probation typically lasts one semester.

Leave of Absence

Most students will be enrolled in this program continuously and without interruption until they complete the program. However, circumstances may arise that prevent a student from being continuously enrolled in this program. Students may request a leave of absence from the program for up to one year, and then return to the program without applying for re-admission. Upon returning to the program, the student may be required to demonstrate continued competency in didactic knowledge and clinical skills.

Withdrawal

Students who are considering withdrawing from the program should meet with the director to discuss options and initiate the withdrawal process. Students who need to withdraw due to health emergencies or other emergency reasons may be granted an Administrative Withdrawal by the Dean of Students. A statement from a healthcare provider or other documentation is typically required for an Administrative Withdrawal.

Dismissal

Students who are academically dismissed from the program may not apply for readmission. Students who are dismissed for unsatisfactory clinical progress, unsafe clinical practice or unprofessional conduct are not eligible for readmission to the program. 

Appeals

Decisions regarding academic standing in the School of Dental Hygiene Studies are final. A decision may be appealed only if the student can show that 1) there was an error in the procedure used by the faculty, 2) there is new evidence sufficient to alter the decision, or 3) the sanction imposed was not appropriate to the severity of the violation. Students may file an appeal with the College of Health Professions Standards and Appeals Committee (CHPSAC) regarding decisions made by the DHS Professional & Academic Standards Committee. Information about filing a student appeal can be found in the Bylaws of the Pacific University College of Health Professions Faculty Bylaws.

Credit Load

Full-time enrollment is defined as 12 semester credits or more; half-time is 6 credits or more.

Auditing

Students may audit courses with permission of the Director. Students who audit courses are required to enroll in, pay for, and attend classes, but are not required to complete assignments or take examinations. No credit is awarded for audited courses.

Transfer Credit

Students from another dental hygiene program will be considered for transfer into this dental hygiene program only after careful review of all available information. Transferred dental hygiene courses must be completed with a grade of C or better and should be completed within the past three years. At least 30 of the last 40 credits of the dental hygiene program must be completed at Pacific University.

Time Limits to Program Completion

Students are expected to complete the degree with their cohort. Exceptions may be granted for extenuating circumstances. A student may take up to three years to complete the two year dental hygiene program. All forms of leave (voluntary withdrawals, administrative withdrawals, or leaves of absence) may be extended to a maximum of 12 months total (either consecutive months or cumulative time) with approval from the Director. A student may be dismissed from the program three years from their start date if they have not completed program requirements.

Concurrent Enrollment in Other Academic Programs

The dental hygiene program includes two years of full-time study in a professional curriculum. Students who are enrolled in this program are expected to be fully engaged in the didactic, laboratory and clinical portions of the curriculum and meet all program requirements. Students who enroll in another academic program concurrently (at the same time) must also meet the requirements of that academic program. Students who are enrolled in the dental hygiene program must obtain written approval from the Program Director in order to enroll concurrently in another academic program at Pacific University or at another institution. Students who enroll in another academic program without this approval may be dismissed from the dental hygiene program.

Grading

A = 92 & above
B = 82 – 91
C = 75 – 81
D = 66 – 74
F = below 66 or academic dishonesty, unprofessional conduct, unsatisfactory clinical progress, unsafe clinical practice
P = Pass
N = No Pass

Continuance in Program

A final grade of C or above (or Pass) must be attained in each dental hygiene course in order to continue to the following semester in the program. Students who receive a final grade below C (or No Pass) in a dental hygiene course will be reviewed by the Professional & Academic Standards Committee for possible dismissal from the program. Students must earn a 2.0 or higher GPA each term and maintain a 2.0 or higher cumulative GPA in all coursework.

Work in Progress Grade

When unanticipated situations arise that prevent the student from completing all course requirements, the course instructor may choose to allow the student additional time to complete the work by issuing a work in progress (WP) grade to the student. A work in progress grade will only be issued if the majority of the course requirements have been completed at a satisfactory level, the student has been making satisfactory clinical progress and the student has demonstrated safe clinical practice. The student must make arrangements with the course instructor to complete the course requirements before the end of the following semester. When the student completes all course requirements at a satisfactory level, the course instructor will submit a Grade Change Request form to the Registrar’s Office to change the WP grade to the earned grade. If the student does not complete all course requirements at a satisfactory level by the end of the following term, the WP grade will change to an F (or No Pass) grade and the student will be dismissed from the program.

Incomplete Grade

When unexpected illness or emergency prevents the student from completing all course requirements, the course instructor may choose to allow the student additional time to complete the work by issuing an incomplete (I) grade to the student. An approved Incomplete Grade Contract must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. The student must make arrangements with the course instructor to complete the course requirements before the end of the following semester. When the student completes all course requirements at a satisfactory level, the course instructor will submit a Grade Change Request form to the Registrar’s Office to change the I grade to the earned grade. If the student does not complete all course requirements at a satisfactory level by the end of the following term, the I grade will change to an F (or No Pass) grade and the student will be dismissed from the program.

Repeated Courses

Courses may be counted only once towards graduation requirements. If a course taken at Pacific University is repeated at Pacific University, only the higher grade is used in computing the Pacific GPA. If a course taken at Pacific University is retaken at another institution, the Pacific grade still is counted the GPA.

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