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BS Dental Hygiene Program Effectiveness

A Quickly Expanding Field

There is a promising job outlook for those graduating with degrees in dental hygiene. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012), dental hygiene is a field that is growing “much faster than average” as compared to other occupations, with an expected 38% growth from 2010 – 2020 (U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]).

Both those with associate and bachelor degrees in dental hygiene have positive career outlooks. Advantages may be realized by those who secure a baccalaureate degree through the fully online Dental Hygiene Bachelor Completion Program at Ferris State University. This program gives those with their associate degree in dental hygiene an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally with the completion of the baccalaureate degree. Individuals with a baccalaureate degree in dental hygiene may experience a positive job-market impact, as advanced degrees have the potential to enhance career choices, and thus expand job opportunities (Rowe, D. J., Massoumi, N., Hyde, S., & Weintraub, J. A., 2008; Rowe, D. J., Weintraub, J. A., Shain, S., Yamamoto, J., & Walsh, M. M., 2004).

Student Testimonials of how the program meets student expectations

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed taking this class. I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed writing like this. Of course it is definitely nice to be able to write about something you do every day but it is also nice to write about things you are passionate about and something you genuinely care about.Although this class was fun and interesting, it was not a breeze either. There were many discussions and questions that I really had to turn on my thinker for. However, once I addressed those questions and really dove in head first, I found myself lost in the material and really getting into what I was doing. I think the fact that I was working with students who were just as interested in the material as I was, was really helpful. It was very rewarding to see that everyone was genuinely interested in what each individual had to say. In addition to that, I felt the instructor to be very helpful when needed and feedback was always great whether it be constructive criticism or just commenting on things I am doing well. I was also never lost this semester, if I had any questions I needed answered I could usually find them in the modules or class calendar, etc. This was a great class to be a part of and I am hoping that the rest of my classes are the same as well. I would also like to end on the fact that I am very excited that by taking this class I feel as though my professional career has continued to improve and I have been able to take many things from this class and put them to good use. Thank you Mrs. ­­XXX for a great semester!!”

“I feel very proud of my accomplishments navigating through the world of technology. I feel that not only did this program broaden my perspective of expanded roles with a dental hygiene degree, but it also expanded the way I think and make my decisions. I think this program was a gateway to learning what can be accomplished with technology at our fingertips. It helped me transition from paper to paperless in the workplace.
The instructors were very positive and supportive and encouraged me to better myself so that I can give more of myself to others.”

“The dental hygiene degree completion program has allowed me to further investigate the career options that are available to dental hygienists. It has also helped me to become a better writer since the program included several writing projects. I am proud of myself that I was able to balance work and school together. One of the most meaningful experiences I had was completing the fieldwork experience. Being able to actually go to a college and work with students helped me to realize that I may consider going into the educational field should an opportunity arise.”

“I just wanted to give you ladies a FYI of how much I appreciated your classes. I am starting my masters’ program, (well yesterday I did). They have us doing a 1 week class on learning how to search on the internet. I am the only person that knows how to search the internet for pub med, etc. None of these ladies did any type of work we did in Ferris program. SO, Thank you! I feel so lucky that I'm going to be that much ahead of everyone else.”

“I always knew I wanted to earn a Bachelor's degree in dental hygiene, but it wasn't offered at Ferris when I began the clinical program. I had originally planned to attend another university for my BSRDH. I think that just being a hygienist with a BS is an accomplishment, since many quit with an AAS. Before I went to hygiene school (but knew my career goals) I worked for an office where the head hygienist/DDS's wife is a Ferris dental hygiene alumni. She really pointed me in the right direction and urged me to finish my degree right away because of the constant evolution of our profession. It's really difficult to pinpoint the most meaningful part of the program. I learned a ton in all of my classes: gerontology, informatics, education, capstone, etc... All of the courses have really given me a greater awareness of the non-clinical aspects of our profession. This opens my eyes to a ton of possibilities that I would not have ever dreamed of prior to this undertaking. Overall, I feel well-prepared for a number of non-clinical career pathways and am definitely a more mature person and professional for completing this academic program and earning my BSRDH!”