Volunteer State Community College offers a 12-month Dental Assistant technical certificate program that includes classroom and clinical instruction. The goals are to prepare students to work in the field and qualify for national and state examinations.
Getting Into the Program
Admission is competitive. Only 24 students are admitted each year. Applicants must write an essay; watch a Dental Assistant at work, then complete an observation form; and answer questions in an interview. Those who have taken other academic courses at Volunteer State Community College get special consideration. Applicants need to submit high school transcripts or G.E.D. scores, ACT scores or take the college placement exam and a complete the Pre-Health Sciences Interest form.
The one-year certificate program includes classes in dental science, dental x-rays, office management, materials and labor procedures, and working with patients who have serious health problems. Many classes involve both lectures and lab hours. Clinical training on campus and in dentists’ offices give students real work experience and make graduates attractive job candidates. Volunteer State Community College has clinical agreements with dozens of dental practitioners throughout Middle Tennessee. By the time students finish the program, they’ll have had nearly 400 hours of clinical work.
The technical certificate option is a one-year, three-semester program. If the student wishes to pursue a two-year degree they can take the Associate of Applied Science - Health Sciences. Students wishing to pursue the A.A.S. Health Science Option must take English Composition I, Humanities or Fine Arts, Natural Science, Social Science, and either Communications or Math plus another 13 hours of electives.
Placement testing is necessary and preparation is available for Volunteer State Community College students through Learning Commons.
- Instruction — Volunteer State Community College instructors have educational and clinical expertise to enhance the student’s learning experience.
- Reputation — Volunteer State Community College has an excellent reputation in the health sciences and dental community.
- Advisory Committee — The dental community is supportive of the program and has representatives on the Dental Assistant Advisory Committee.
- Placement — All dental assistant graduates who wish employment find many opportunities within the surrounding area.
- Accreditation — The program in Dental Assisting is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation and the United States Department of Education.
ADA Commission on Accreditation Third Party Comments
If a student has a complaint about the effectiveness of the Dental Assistant Program's compliance with the accreditation standards set forth by the American Dental Association they have the opportunity to file a complaint with the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to the programs compliance with accreditation standards. The commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of the dental and dental-related education programs, but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or acts a court of appeal for individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students. A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission's policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission.
The VSCC Dental Assistant Education Program must retain a copy of all information regarding students' comments and complaints sent to the Commission. A notebook is available in the classroom for recording any comments and/or complaints.
The address and phone number for the Commission is as follows:
ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611-2678
Bloodborne pathogen statement
This profession may expose the student to bloodborne pathogens. Therefore, the Dental Assistant Program follows all rules and regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The student is required to be immunized against infectious diseases as required by the clinical affiliates and OSHA regulations or complete a refusal document with the guidelines of the regulations. Clinical affiliates may refuse clinical rotation access to students who fail to obtain the required immunizations.
What to Do Next
- Download the Dental Assisting Program Information Packet
- Apply to the College
- Submit a Pre-Health Sciences Interest Form
- Explore the links on the left side of this page