dentist3Orange County is home to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene program, the first in the county and one of only four in the state.  The new program, offered at the Anaheim campus of West Coast University, was recently granted approval to launch by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.  The 33 month program will begin in April, 2009.

OK, so that’s the opening of the press release I received recently and tossed to the side along with the others.

But then I picked it up again.


Two reasons:

1.  A small university is essentially a small business and this one is innovating.

2.  People are hurting in this economy and looking for career changes that are practical and can make them some real money.

After graduating from a program like this (the only one of its kind in the country, by the way) you can come out of it making $35 an hour.

That’s $72,000 a year.

Not bad.

Check out Dept. Chair (and small biz innovator) Debi Gerger:

“We are pleased and complimented by the approval of West Coast University’s Dental Hygiene program, which strengthens our reputation for being a leader in health care education.  This program launches at a time when, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygiene is one of the nation’s fastest growing professions, with above-average job growth predicted through 2014.  Particularly in this current economy, our program will be appealing to individuals interested in pursuing long-term, professional opportunities.”
West Coast University joins USC, the University of the Pacific, and Loma Linda University to be one of only four universities in California offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene.  The program at West Coast will offer a year-round, multiple start schedule enabling students to complete their dental hygiene educational requirements in less than three years.
West Coast University has invested heavily to provide a first rate dental hygiene program which includes the latest technology in dental simulation laboratories with fully equipped workstations and artificial patients that can be manipulated like a human patient for the most realistic, pre-clinical learning experience possible.  During clinical sessions, students learn to use a dental software system while providing a variety of patient services.
Students complete their skill set by learning how to take and interpret x-rays in the digital and traditional radiography clinic.  General education and prerequisite courses are built directly into the West Coast University Dental Hygiene program forming the first six quarters of a student’s educational experience.  
Students who have already completed these fundamentals may be eligible to receive transfer credits enabling them to begin dental hygiene core courses sooner.
The “initial accreditation” granted to West Coast University by the Commission on Dental Accreditation confirms the new Dental Hygiene program has met regulatory standards and will be revisited in Fall of 2010 after being fully operational for over one year.  The 2010 visit will allow the Commission to review the program in operational mode and, upon meeting regulatory standards once again, move the Dental Hygiene program toward their full accreditation.
“Our Dental Hygiene program was created to provide a top caliber educational experience, and we anticipate attracting top caliber students.  While some graduates with a Bachelor of Science Degree may transition into clinical practice, others may work in alternative settings or continue their education to expand their career options,” Gerger continued. “The rewards of a career in dental hygiene include working with people, enjoying a flexible work schedule in a variety of professional settings and an attractive income with broad career opportunities.”

West Coast University is a leader in health care and nursing educational programs. It offers a dynamic and experienced faculty and staff and academic curricula designed to challenge students and prepare them to become valuable members of the health care industry – for life.


For more information, contact:

Dan Holestine

Vice President, Marketing

+1 714 727 0728