Program Overview

Prepare for a career as a Registered Dental Hygienist with a combination of classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience. Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) offers a two-year professional program leading to an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene (AAS.DHY). This is a rigorous 2-year, full-time, daytime program with a science-based foundation and a focus on evidence-based dental hygiene care. Our program is committed to a high standard of education that promotes the knowledge, critical thinking skills and values that ensure quality patient care, professional competence and ethical behavior in the practice of dental hygiene. Please read through the following tabs for information regarding applying and admission into the program.

Mandatory Information Session

Information sessions are offered at several points throughout the year and are mandatory for admission into the dental hygiene program. They are held in a hybrid format where prospective students can opt to attend in person or virtually. Registration is required. 

  • Attendance at one information session is mandatory in order to apply to the Dental Hygiene Program (program beginning Fall 2024) 

  • Information sessions expire annually at the time of application closure, applicants must attend a new session for the year they apply

  • Registration is required for the information session

  • The list of information sessions is posted at the bottom of the Dental Hygiene Program website

  • Applicants are required to stay the entire length of the session, applicants who leave the session early will not receive credit for attending and will need to attend another session

  • A receipt of attendance will be emailed to the student using the email address provided in the registration form

  • This receipt of attendance will need to be uploaded to your Dental Hygiene Program Application

  • This email may arrive 48-72 hours after the session and may go to your junk/spam folder


2023 Information Sessions

2024 Information Sessions

Program Requirements

Required Courses

Below is a list of all courses that are taken to complete the A.A.S Degree in Dental Hygiene. Though not required for applying, it is strongly recommended that all non-dental hygiene courses (14 courses) are taken prior to the application deadline, as this is one of the criteria for admission to the program. Please speak with an academic advisor for assistance in planning your course load rcbc.edu/advising 

 PLEASE NOTE:

All courses must have a grade of “C” or higher.

Anatomy I, Anatomy II and Microbiology must have been taken within 10 years of beginning the program. If the course(s) was taken more than 10 years ago, the course will need to be retaken to be considered on the application. If the older course final grade was a “C” or better, the course lecture may be taken for a grade without taking a lab.

 

Required non-dental hygiene courses

Credits

ENG 101

Written Communications

3

SPE 102

Oral Communications

3

MTH 107

Introduction to Statistics

3

 BIO 110

Fundamental Anatomy & Physiology I

3

BIO 111

Fundamental Anatomy & Physiology I Lab

1

 PSY 101

Introduction to Psychology

3

 SOC 101

Introduction to Sociology

3

CHE 210

Chemistry Nutrition

3

BIO 114

Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology II 

3

BIO 115

Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology II Lab

1

BIO 155

Basic Microbiology

3

BIO 156

Basic Microbiology Lab

1

CHE 107

Chemistry

3

CHE 108

Chemistry Lab

1

 

Dental Hygiene Program Courses

Semester One

DHY 101

Pre-clinical Dental Hygiene

4

DHY 110

Dental Head and Neck Anatomy

3

DHY 120

Dental Radiology

3

DHY 130

Dental and Medical Emergencies

1

Semester Two

DHY 140

Oral Embryology and Histology

2

DHY 151

Clinical Services I 

4

DHY 160

Periodontology I

2

Semester Three (Summer)

DHY 200

Dental Pharmacology and Pain Control

2

DHY 222 

Local Anesthesia 

1

Semester Four

DHY 201

Clinical Services II

4

DHY 210 

Periodontology II

2

DHY 241

 Supportive Therapies 

3

Semester Five

DHY 220 

Oral Pathology 

3

DHY 240 

Dental Public Health 

3

DHY 251 

Clinical Services III 

4

Total

53

Total Required for Degree

75

Transfer Credits

Prior to application:

Transfer credits are evaluated by the Office of the Registrar. The evaluation process begins after a student sends an official transcript to the Registration office from another accredited College or University. The exact number of credits that will transfer may vary depending on your program; however, RCBC recognizes most equivalent course work from accredited colleges and universities. Please click here for more information regarding transfer credit evaluation.

Please direct all questions regarding transfer courses to the Office of the Registrar:

The Office of the Registrar
Rowan College at Burlington County
900 College Circle
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Phone: (856) 222-9311, ext. 1560
Fax: (609) 726-0401
Email: registration@rcbc.edu

After completion of the A.A.S degree at RCBC:

Rowan College at Burlington County provides numerous opportunities for students to transfer successfully to four-year schools in order to continue their education. Click here to visit the transfer page or contact us below.

Contact Us

RCBC Advising
Mount Laurel Campus
Student Success Center, Second Floor
transfer@rcbc.edu
(856) 222-9311, ext. 2737

Applying to the Program

Students interested in Dental Hygiene (DHY) are required to attend one of our Informational Seminars held periodically throughout the year. Please read the admissions process carefully. All application requirements MUST be completed before submission of the online application.

Admissions Process:

The Dental Hygiene program has a limited number of spaces (maximum of 26 each year) and admission into this program is very competitive. Please note that applying to the program and meeting all rubric requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program due to the limited number of spaces available each year. 

Deadlines

The Dental Hygiene program accepts one cohort per year every fall semester. 

The application for 2024 program opens on November 1, 2024 and closes on January 31, 2024. Applicants will be notified of decisions by late March via email only to RCBC student email account.

How to Apply

Applicants to the Dental Hygiene program are evaluated according to the following requirements:

Step 1: Apply to become an RCBC student by completing the Admissions Application to Rowan College at Burlington County.  You will need to have an RCBC student ID number and email address in order to apply the Dental Hygiene program

Step 2: Submit any/all transcripts from previously attended colleges and/or universities. Must be sent to the Office of Admissions.

  • Transfer credits are evaluated by the Office of the Registrar. Please reach out to registration@rcbc.edu for specific questions.

Step 3: Attend a mandatory information session within 1 calendar year of the application deadline.

Step 4: Review and complete the application criteria listed below prior to the application deadline.

Step 5: Complete the Dental Hygiene online application during the open application cycle (November 1-January 31) to be considered for the following Fall semester.

Application Criteria

  • Applicants must be 18 years old prior to the start of the program
  • Submission of proof of high school completion via
    • High school diploma, GED or Translation of Foreign credentials
    • Must be sent to the Office of Admissions
  • Submission of ALL college transcripts 
  • Achievement of cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or greater in all college coursework
  • It is strongly recommended that all prerequisites (non-dental) are completed prior to the application deadline with a grade of “C” or higher to apply. Pease see program requirements for the list of courses.
  • Students are non-admissible into the program under the following conditions:
    • Students with non-repeated failures in prerequisites (non-Dental Hygiene courses).
  • Students with more than 2 failures and/or more than 2 repeats of the required courses. 
    • NOTE: we do not count courses that are 8 years old or older when looking at failed courses.
  • Students who are enrolled/failed/dismissed from other Dental Hygiene schools/programs.

NOTE: Meeting all admission standards DOES NOT guarantee admission into the program.

Admissions Decisions

The Dental Hygiene program has a limited number of spaces (maximum of 26 each year) and admission into this program is very competitive. Please note that applying to the program and meeting all rubric requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program due to the limited number of spaces available each year. 

Applicants will be selected according to total points earned based on an admission rubric. This rubric will evaluate the academic performance of a student within the pre-requisite courses (14) including all the sciences.

Applicants will be ranked according to total points scored and number of required courses repeated.

Click here to view the rubric. 

Acceptance into the Program

Candidates

Applicants who score highest on the Admissions Rubric will become candidates to the RCBC Dental Hygiene program.

  • Candidates will be notified through their RCBC student email account in late March to attend a mandatory in-person interview with the RCBC Dental Hygiene Program Director, Full-time and Adjunct Faculty, and members of the advisory board.
  • Applicants who have not qualified as a candidate for the interview will be notified through their RCBC student email account in late March. These applicants will be required to re-apply to a future application cycle. 

Conditionally Accepted

The candidates who score the highest on the Interview Rubric will be notified through their RCBC student email account of their Conditional Acceptance to the RCBC Dental Hygiene Program. 

Students are accepted on a conditional acceptance basis and can be denied if mandatory requirements are not met. Applicants that do not meet the complete and submit the following by the deadline of July 15th will have their acceptance rescinded.

As healthcare providers dental hygienists are exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted to and from clinicians and patients. Dental hygienists are in constant contact with blood and saliva and are at great risk for infection without vaccines to protect them. Therefore, due to the high level of exposure in this profession, vaccinations are required to participate in the RCBC dental hygiene program. There are no exemptions for the following immunization requirements.

  • Completion of a physical examination in the last year
  • Immunizations, including:
    • Two-step tuberculosis skin test prior to admittance, and a single test must be completed annually thereafter.
    • Influenza/flu shot (annually)
    • Tetanus test (within the past 10 years)
    • MMR (or titers proving immunity)
    • Varicella (or titers proving immunity)
    • Hepatitis B (or titers proving immunity)
  • Comprehensive eye examination in the last year
  • All non-DHY curriculum courses (14) must be completed with a C or better.
  • Mandatory attendance at the June and August DHY Orientation Sessions
    • The dates and times will be announced with Conditional Acceptance to the program.
  • Proof of medical insurance
  • Proof of “in person” American Heart Association BLS with AED CPR course with card.
  • Clear criminal history background checks/urine drug test
  • Malpractice insurance (fee for the coverage is part of the tuition rate; therefore, there will be no additional fees to the students for this coverage.)
  • Reliable transportation (to clinical sites)

Waitlist

  • Candidates that are not conditionally accepted may be put on a waitlist in case of a student rejecting admission or not meeting the acceptance requirements. You will be informed if you are on a waitlist.
  • Waitlists are eliminated after the first day of the Fall semester. 
  • Waitlists are not maintained from one year to the next, the student must reapply for a future application cycle.

Non-Acceptance or Declined Admission

  • Students who are not accepted or decline admission to the Dental Hygiene program, must reapply in a future application cycle.
Dental Hygiene Scope of Practice

Registered Dental Hygienists perform tasks in a variety of roles ranging from clinician, health educator, prevention specialist, and counselor. Communication skills are of utmost importance to be effective in these areas when dealing with a diverse population of clients. Our emphasis is the maintenance of health: the total health and well being of those who come under our care. The delivery of quality oral health care is dependent upon the personal integrity of the hygienist to perform more than rote clinical procedures. S/he must be able to think critically, analyze a patient’s individual needs and deliver a total health maintenance package, which includes complex assessment, treatment, education, documentation and evaluation of a variety of treatment options.

The practice of dental hygiene puts the student at risk for exposure to blood borne and infectious diseases. The Rowan College at Burlington County Dental Hygiene Program follows all local, state and federal regulations for the protection of faculty, students, patients and staff. A complete manual of our compliance policies and procedures is available upon request.

Mission Statement and Program Goals

Dental Program Mission Statement
The mission of the Rowan College in Burlington County Dental Hygiene Program is to provide affordable education that assures students a foundation for success as dental hygienists who are competent critical thinkers able to assist individuals and groups in the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of oral health.

 

Dental Hygiene Program Goals

  • Integrate basic sciences and technical skills in the application of

    dental hygiene practice;
  • Integrate ethical, legal and regulatory guidelines in the provision of professional dental hygiene care;
  • Evaluate scientific information as a basis for dental hygiene decision making and research;
  • Utilize professional knowledge to evaluate actions and competently care for and educate community members.
Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out more about the program?
Information seminars are held virtually and on the Mount Laurel Campus in the Health Sciences Center throughout the year. Attendance at an information session within the calendar year of the application deadline is mandatory. Registration for the information sessions is required. Please check the RCBC event calendar for additional upcoming information session information.

Do you have online or night courses?
At this time, all courses in the dental hygiene program are held in person, with the exception of 1 course delivered 100% online (DHY 200). Courses are typically only offered Monday-Friday, between the hours of 8am and 5pm.

I've had my dental x-ray license for many years. Do I still have to take DHY 120 Dental Radiology?
 Yes. All students accepted to the program will be requires to take the DHY 120 Dental Radiology course during the program, regardless of previous courses taken.

 I have a degree from another college. Will any of my credits transfer?
Transfer credits are evaluated by the Office of the Registrar. The evaluation process begins after a student sends an official transcript to the Registration office from another accredited College or University. The exact number of credits that will transfer may vary depending on your program; however, RCBC recognizes most equivalent course work from accredited colleges and universities.

Please direct all questions regarding transfer courses to the Office of the Registrar:

The Office of the Registrar
Rowan College at Burlington County
900 College Circle
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Phone: (856) 222-9311, ext. 1560
Fax: (609) 726-0401
Email: registration@rcbc.edu

I'm an adult learner. Will I be out of place? Will I be the oldest student in class?
There are many adult learners in RCBC courses and dental hygiene is no exception. The mix of students varies from year to year but we have had students ranging in age from 20 to 50. People who are serious about their education and dedicated to succeeding in the program are never out of place.

I have no dental experience. Is it necessary to have worked in a dental office to be accepted? Will I be able to understand what is going on if I have never been employed in the dental field?
Dental experience is not a prerequisite to entry into the DHY Program. It can be helpful, but not necessary. We do not award extra points in the admission process for previous dental assisting experience.

If I have several years of experience and all of the non-dental hygiene courses completed prior to starting the program, how long will it take to graduate?
The program will still take 2 years (5 semesters). The dental hygiene courses must be taken in sequence. You cannot take Clinical Services I prior to or in conjunction with Preclinical Dental Hygiene. Nor can you take any of the other DHY courses out of sequence.

 How much does the program cost?
 To view current tuition and fees for RCBC, please click here.

Although we work hard to maintain low tuition costs, tuition has risen slowly to meet the economic constraints of cuts in Federal and State funding. If you look at our curriculum, and take all of the non-dental hygiene courses prior to coming into the program, then you will not be taking a full 12 credit load by the time you enter, so you'll have to figure out the costs based on when you take which courses.

You should also plan on spending another $2-3,000 for instruments, books, uniforms and supplies over the course of the program. Of course, you will be asked to join the student component of the American Dental Hygienists' Association, and there will be various events, conferences and meetings that you may also have to help fund. Students fund raise to help defray the cost, but we can't guarantee that you won't be required to pay a portion of the expenses.

If you are interested in scholarships, the Foundation Website is very helpful, and there are ADHA scholarships and the Delta Dental Foundation Scholarship too.

Do you keep a waiting list, and if so, how long is it? If not, do I have to reapply each year?
We do NOT maintain a waiting list from year to year. If you are waitlisted, your instructions will say that if you are not called before the start of fall classes, you must reapply for the following year. Being waitlisted just means that if someone does not accept placement into the RCBC Dental Hygiene Program, or drops out before the start of classes, you may be called to fill their spot.

Do I need to be CPR certified in order to be accepted into the program?
You need to be CPR certified in order to participate in clinical activities, and this certification must remain valid throughout the entire program.  CPR certification is NOT part of the application process, but completed once the candidate is conditionally accepted.

 I understand that I will need to have a physical exam. Should I do that before I apply?
Physicals are NOT part of the application process. You need to complete a physical and eye exam once you are conditionally accepted to the program.

 When do I start working on patients?
 During your first semester, as part of DHY 101 Preclinical Dental Hygiene you will be working on mannequins and on your fellow students. Students are required to sit as patient partners as part of the educational experience. In the second semester during DHY 151 Clinical Services I you will be seeing patients other than your student partner.  In DHY 120 you will need one patient to meet radiology requirements.

 Does the school supply the patients?
 Some of the patients you will be seeing are supplied through our facility's data base but it is the student's responsibility to supply an adequate number of patients to meet course requirements. During your tenure as a dental hygiene student you will be required to see a number of patients with a variety of oral conditions. Each clinical course has a specified number of requirements outlined clearly in the syllabus.

 Will I need a computer for the Dental Hygiene Program?
 Yes, laptops are required to complete in class assignments. There are resources to rent laptops through RCBC if needed. All dental hygiene courses; lectures, labs and clinic sessions, are in person unless posted otherwise. Our courses are delivered via Blackboard Learning Systems and WebCT formats. Participation is part of the grade for every course and logging on to the website is mandatory. Supported browsers include: Microsoft Edge, Chrome, AOL, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari.

Program Staff and Faculty

Director of Dental Hygiene
Amy Shah, RDH MDH

Amy Shah graduated from The Ohio State University in 2013 with a bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene. While working clinically as a dental hygienist, she completed her master’s degree from The Ohio State University in 2015. Amy began as an adjunct in the RCBC Dental Hygiene program in 2016, and became full-time in 2021. Amy has a passion for research, and is committed to using evidence-based teaching strategies in the classroom. When not in the classroom, Amy’s communication and leadership skills develop relationships and build trust amongst both colleagues and students. Amy is committed to lifelong learning and continuously initiates ideas for program improvement.

Assistant Professor
Faith's PhotoFaith Zimnes, R.D.H., M.S.
Faith Zimnes graduated from RCBC in 2010. She obtained her bachelor of science in Geoscience at the College of New Jersey and joined the RCBC faculty in 2013 as an adjunct. Ms. Zimnes was hired as a full-time instructor in 2016. Ms. Zimnes is the faculty lead for both freshmen and senior clinic sessions. She is the recipient of the 2017 Faculty Mentorship Award through the auspices of the New Jersey Dental Hygienist Association.

Adjunct Faculty

Lois I. Aaronson, BS, RDH
Marshall J. Alter, DMD
Jennifer Brook, AS, RDH
Samantha Bruno, BS, RDH
Mitchell G. Cohen, DMD, MAGD
Kym Davis, BS, RDH
Christina Goss, BSDH, RDH
Alyssa Gradel, BS, RDH
Lindsey Holmes, BS, RDH
Stephanie Houghkirk, BS, RDH
Donielle Fitch, MSHS, RDH, CDA

Ieva McGlone, AS, RDH, CDA
Taylor Paglione, BS, RDH
Jason Raines, DDS
Barbara Ann Rich, DDS
Kathleen Savage, BS, RDH
Rita Salva, MA, RDH, CDA
Harmit Sekhon, DMD
Valerie Soto, BSHS, RDH
Tonya Stankowski, BA, RDH
Karen Vidovich, AS, RDH
Tom Viola, RPh​

Contact Information
College Catalog

Want a more in-depth look into your program? Review the college catalog for more details.

RCBC ACCREDITATION

The program in dental hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of approval without reporting requirements. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United Stated Department of Education. 

 

The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at: (312) 440 - 4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is: https://coda.ada.org/en.

Upcoming Dental Hygiene Information Sessions

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