Do You Have What it Takes?
High School Prerequisites
Admission to the Dental Hygiene Program
Admission into the dental hygiene program is Highly Selective and competitive. The final deadline is January 30th. Interviews are conducted in the spring prior to the fall semester of application. Any application received after January 30th will not be considered.
THESE ITEMS MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO APPLICATION SUBMISSION
DHAE Study guides are available. To purchase by phone call 1-800-401-9962 and request
Required after admission to the Dental Hygiene Program
Note: All required information should be included in your Application Packet. The TSU Dental Hygiene Department will not request any information from the university. Incomplete applications will not be considered complete.
The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements"). The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.
Recommendation for Dental Hygiene Students:
Applicants whose native language is not English and who have neither graduated from a U.S. high school nor completed a minimum of 30 credit hours at a U.S. post-secondary institution must submit official TOEFL iBT scores. Preference is given to candidates with a minimum score of 100 and listening and speaking section scores of 26 or above on each.
Dental Hygiene is a very competitive program. Although the minimum scores are stated for GPA, TOEFL, ACT and SAT, most students accepted into the program have scores significantly higher than the minimum.
Recommended Essential Functions for Dental Hygiene Students
For admission to the Associates Degree Dental Hygiene programs at Tennessee State University, students are expected to be able to successfully meet specific technical standards or Essential Functions necessary to succeed in today's workplace.
Students are required to sign the Essential Functions Commitment form indicating their understanding and ability to meet these standards either with or without accommodations (for persons with documented disabilities.) Questions about these technical standards should be directed to the Program Chair.
TSU receives applications from a diverse body of potential students including those with physical disabilities. Reasonable accommodations to help students meet these technical standards will be provided where appropriate. Any student wishing accommodations should contact the Student Academic Support Service. Information regarding Disability Support Services can be found in the Catalog.
In addition to ensuring that students can meet the intellectual, emotional and physical criteria for the Dental Hygiene Program, the student must possess the ability to provide for the safety of patients.
Visual Acuity and Perceptual Skills
The practice of clinical dental hygiene requires that the student possess fine motor skills to hold small dental instruments while working within the limited confines of the oral cavity. Depth perception and excellent hand eye coordination are required when using sharp instruments to enter the oral cavity and perform functions within the oral cavity.
Students must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from a patient by palpation and other diagnostic modalities. Students must also be able to perform the motor movement skills necessary to render clinical dental hygiene treatment, and provide dental care. Fine motor skills are expected of every student. It is recommended that each student have full manual dexterity including the functioning of both arms, both wrists, both hands, both thumbs, and three fingers on each hand.
Intellectual, Conceptual and Cognitive Skills
Students must have the ability to measure, assess, calculate reason, analyze, and synthesize data. Problem solving, critical thinking and diagnosis (which include obtaining, interpreting, and documenting information) are essential skills. The ability to understand and comprehend three-dimensional relationships is necessary.
The student is expected to be able to communicate clearly at a level of understanding appropriate to the ability of an individual patient to understand. This communication ability is expected both in the oral and written form. The clinical practice of dental hygiene requires the ability to accurately transfer gathered data into a patient record.
Emotional Stability/ Personal Temperament
Direct interaction with patients requires that students are able to routinely demonstrate critical thinking, respond calmly, evenly and efficiently, and utilize good listening and communication skills. Students must have the ability to handle the stresses of academically rigorous coursework, as well as stress associated with working in a busy clinical setting with a variety of patients under time and patient management constraints. Time management skills are needed to meet deadlines and time critical tasks associated with professional education and practice. Prioritizing tasks to meet deadlines is expected. Compliance with clinical and workplace rules and regulations related to successful and safe clinical practice is required. The student must possess and demonstrate professional attributes and appearance.
Cognitive Abilities are those related to thinking skills and include such areas as focusing, organizing, recording, evaluating, communicating, and applying. The following are the expectations of the Dental Hygiene Program
Affective Abilities are those related to social and emotional skills including interaction with others and ethical beliefs that are consistent with those who work with, and are role models for young people. The following are the expectations of the Dental Hygiene Program.
Observation Skills are those skills, which help maintain awareness of people and situations in the context of classrooms, laboratories, and rotations. The following are the expectations of the Dental Hygiene Program.
Psychomotor Skills are those physical skills needed to carry out the activities required of a student in education courses and programs. The following are the expectations of the Dental Hygiene Program.
Personal Qualities: Responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, integrity, and honesty