Community and Technical College (M State) A.A.S. degree dental hygiene
students are some of the first in the state to pioneer a new opportunity in
continuing dental education for allied dental students. Seven first-year dental
hygiene students are dually admitted and enrolled in M State’s A.A.S. in dental
hygiene program and Metropolitan State University’s (St. Paul, MN) B.S.D.H.
program. The students have the opportunity to simultaneously receive associate
and bachelor’s degrees on M State’s campus.
The new dual-degree program was inspired by
Colleen Brickle, RDH, RF, Ed.D., a long-time dental hygiene educator and
promoter of dental care for the underserved in Minnesota. She developed and
marketed the dual admission and enrollment concept, providing a career ladder
for dental hygiene students.
M State dental hygiene educators are eager
to encourage entry-level dental hygiene students to continue their dental
education to create greater employment opportunities as dental professionals.
Many of these positions may be in nontraditional work settings, such as
education, sales, school-based programs, health care-related project
management, marketing or research, and local, state or federal health programs.
The B.S. degree also provides the prerequisite for the Advanced Dental
The current dually enrolled students are
managing the extra one to two courses per semester with ease and earning high
grades in both programs. This career pathway allows for a shorter graduation
time for earning a higher degree, the classes complement one another, and all
B.S. courses are online so no extra travel is required. The gift of
collaboration among faculty and students of both programs is an added benefit.
of Kris Pladson, CDA, RDH, M.S., Minnesota State Dental Program Director
Published on January 11, 2017.