Vol State 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 Vol State get special consideration. Applicants need to submit their high school transcripts or G.E.D. scores, ACT or SAT scores if they are less than 21 years old, plus an application to Volunteer State and an application to Allied Health Careers.
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. Vol State 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 Vol State students through Learning Commons.
- Instruction — Vol State instructors have educational and clinical expertise to enhance the student’s learning experience.
- Reputation — Vol State has an excellent reputation in the allied health 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.
What to Do Next
- Download the Dental Assisting Program Information Packet
- Apply to the College
- Submit a Pre-Allied Health Interest Form
- Explore the links on the left side of this page
Gainful Employment Information
- What job(s) might I get with this degree?
- How long will it take me to complete this program?
Normal Time to Completion Percent of 2010-2011 Graduates Completing in Normal Time 3 Semesters 23%
Normal time is defined as the number of semesters that a student would be enrolled in a program if they attended on a full-time basis and enrolled in at least 15 hours per semester. The percentage of students completing on time does not take into consideration that some students take fewer than 15 hours during a semester.
- What are the chances of getting a job when I graduate?
Number of 2010-2011 Graduates Percent of 2010-2011 Graduates Employed in Field 10 66.67%
Note: Placement information is gathered in accordance with the standards of the Tennessee Board of Regents requirements. Placement data is gathered six months after graduation. Graduates are exempted from the placement rates in accordance with the standards of the Higher Education Authorization Act due to the following reasons: enrollment in further education, military service, a medical condition that prevents the graduate from working in his/her field of study, family or home responsibilities that prevent the graduate from working in his/her field of study.
- How much will this program cost?
In-State Out-of-State Tuition and Fees $5362.50 $20758.50 Books and Supplies $1381 $1381 On-Campus Room and Board Not offered Not offered
- What are my financing options to pay for the program?
Source of Funds Median Amount for 2010-2011 Graduates Median Debt for 2009-2010 Graduates $3483 Median Debt from Title IV Loans $3483 Median Debt from Other Sources $0
Note: Median loan amounts reflect the total borrowed from entry at the institution to completion of this program.