Associate Degree Requirements:
(Note: The required general education courses are determined based on the date of admissions into the Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies, pre-dental track. The required courses for the major are determined based on the date of matriculation into the Associate of Science, Dental Hygiene degree program.)
- Minimum 90 Credit Hours
- Writing Intensive Course
- Minimum Cumulative UMA G.P.A.: 2.50
- 15 Credit Hours of Residency Courses
- 9 Credit Hours of Major Residency Courses
- Pass all courses applied toward degree credit with a C- or higher on first attempt or a student will be dismissed from the program.
Clinical Course Prerequisites:
Before entering the clinical portion of the dental hygiene program, normally in the second year of the curriculum, students are required to attend a mandatory pre-clinical student orientation. Any student who does not attend the mandatory orientation risks forfeiting their seat in the program.
Immunization, PPE, and CPR Requirements
The programs teach and utilize the Center for Disease Control Infection Control Guidelines. (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/hcw.html) and therefore dental hygiene students are strongly encouraged to have a physical examination, including an eye exam and completing specified immunizations and titers (blood tests which must be ordered by the students own medical providers), specifically: Hepatitis B Vaccine Series with Titre indicating immunity; Varicella vaccine, history of the disease, or titre showing immunity; Tetanus within the past 10 years; Flu vaccine each year enrolled in the clinical coursework; Tuberculin Skin Test on an annual basis. Students are also strongly encouraged to obtain and maintain medical insurance coverage and have the COVID-19 vaccine. Students must obtain certification in healthcare provider level cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or equivalent and be fitted for professional magnification eyewear. The CDC and OSHA requires that dental practitioners working in the dental setting that performs aerosol generating procedures be fitted for and wear a respirator mask (e.g. N95). A respirator is designed to protect the wearer from inhaling airborne contaminants such as fumes and infectious agents associated with inhaling small and large particle droplets; guidance on appropriate selection and use is covered by OSHA’s respiratory protection and personal protective equipment (PPE) standards.
*The CDC recommends repeating the Hepatitis B vaccine series and titre if the initial titre does not indicate immunity. If after a second series, the titre does not indicate immunity, the individual is considered a non-responder. Non-responders should be considered susceptible to Hepatitis B Virus and should be counseled by their own healthcare provider regarding the risks of working in the healthcare field as a non-responder. Being a non-responder does not preclude students from participating in the dental hygiene program or profession, however, it is imperative that dental hygiene students be aware of their immune status to properly manage post exposure incidents.
Applicants considering dental hygiene need to be aware that this program is academically rigorous and physically demanding, requiring long hours (8-9 hour days) and prolonged periods in a seated position. Tasks require hand-eye coordination, visual acuity, fine motor dexterity and close focus vision.
Applicants to the Dental Hygiene program should be aware that a criminal background check and fingerprinting may be required while enrolled in the program, to obtain licensure in Maine or other state, or as a condition of professional employment. Internship/extramural sites may limit or deny clinical privileges to those who have a prior or current criminal record. If denied clinical privileges at a facility, the student is at risk of not being able to obtain the number of clinical hours required for graduation. Students will be expected to provide clinical internship/extramural sites with a current background check at the request of the interning site(s), with associated expenses the students’ responsibility.
It is the intention of the University of Maine at Augusta that every degree graduate will be prepared to function in our society as an effective and informed citizen. To this end, the faculty has designed a set of minimum expectations that students are expected to satisfy. The aspirations are defined by core skills, competencies, and abilities as well as knowledge based learning experiences that are the grounds for the General Education Requirements. To learn more, visit www.uma.edu/academics/general-education/