GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College’s Dental Hygiene program posted 100 percent first-time pass rates for both clinical regional boards and written national boards for 2016.
“This is the first time since 2007 and only the third time in Dental Hygiene program history for this accomplishment,” said Dental Programs Coordinator Chris Hallstead.
The L&C Dental Assisting program also had a 100 percent first-time pass rate for the written national board exam in 2016.
L&C’s dental programs are unique in that Dental Hygiene students go through the college’s Dental Assisting program first, and earn a Certificate of Proficiency in Dental Assisting as well as credits toward their Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. Hallstead said this laddering feature puts L&C’s programs in unique company with only a few other programs in the United States.
The 2016 classes comprised 26 dental assisting students who graduated in May and 19 dental hygiene students who graduated in December and are currently in the process of applying for state licensure.
One of those students, Katherine Whitehead, 25, of Alton, said L&C’s dental programs were the perfect choice for her.
“I feel like I have made many lifelong friends as I’ve gone through the program,” she said. “Finishing my requirements for dental assisting was a huge step toward my overall career goal, which is to work full time as a registered dental hygienist. I am so happy I chose to go through the program at Lewis and Clark.”
Hallstead said Whitehead’s future is bright.
“Katherine is a great example of a graduate who really cares for her patients,” Hallstead said. “The career outlook for dental professionals is very good, and both dental assisting and dental hygiene are very rewarding careers.”