Goals and Competencies

The following dental hygiene program goals reflect the mission of the University and College. Reflected in the curriculum, the program competencies support the attainment of the program goals.

Goal 1 (Education)

Through appropriate didactic and clinical education, the dental hygiene program will prepare graduates with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be competent and qualified dental professionals.

Dental hygiene program will:

  • Offer an educational program sufficient in scope and depth to prepare graduates for competent professional practice.
  • Utilize faculty expertise and current educational methodologies to provide quality and contemporary didactic and clinical dental hygiene education through a competency-based curriculum.
  • Provide a positive environment that leads to maximized learning as well as professional and ethical development.

Goal 2 (Patient Care)

Dental hygiene graduates will possess the clinical skills and knowledge fundamental to providing high quality dental hygiene care to diverse populations in an ethical and professional manner.

Dental hygiene graduates will:

  • Provide contemporary and quality dental hygiene care for patients with a variety of oral health needs using the four phases of assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation as described below:
    • Assessment – Systematic collection and analysis of data to identify needs and oral health problems to include assessment of the general and oral health of the patient via review of medical/dental histories, vital signs, extra/intra-oral examinations, periodontal assessment, dental charting, radiographs, indices, risk assessments, and consultations and/or referrals.
    • Planning – Establishment of realistic patient care goals and strategies to facilitate delivery of appropriate treatment to include dental hygiene diagnosis, interpretation of radiographs, treatment planning, case presentation, informed consent, emergency preparedness, individualized oral hygiene instructions, and supportive care.
    • Implementation – Provision of the treatment as identified in the assessment and planning phases to include infection control, periodontal debridement and scaling, pain control management, application of chemotherapeutic agents, fluoride therapy, application of pit and fissure sealants, coronal polishing, care of oral prostheses, care of fixed and removal appliances, study models, nutritional counseling, and oral hygiene instructions.
    • Evaluation – Measurement of the extent to which goals identified in the planning phase were achieved and modify as needed. This includes periodontal reevaluation, indices, subsequent treatment needs, periodontal maintenance, referral, and patient satisfaction.
  • Demonstrate professional ethics and appropriate conduct as established by the American Dental Hygienists Association.
  • Comply with state and federal laws governing the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene.

Goal 3 (Professional Service)

Dental hygiene graduates will promote oral health as an integral part of the health and welfare of the community through involvement in oral health care programs and activities for diverse populations.

Dental hygiene graduates will:

  • Respond to the evolving oral health care needs of a racially and culturally diverse society by demonstrating a sense of commitment to the community.
  • Assess, plan, implement, and evaluate community-based oral health care programs including health promotion and disease prevention activities.
  • Participate in and support service activities and affiliations with organizations that advance the mission of the University, College, and profession.

Goal 4 (Life-Long Learning and Scientific Activity)

Dental hygiene graduates and faculty will value the profession through career growth and development and commitment to life-long learning.

Dental hygiene graduates and faculty will:

  • Assume responsibility for evidence-based decision making and life-long learning.
  • Participate in professional organizations and advance the profession through leadership and service activities.
  • Advance the science of dental hygiene practice through participation in scholarly and research activities.