Bulletin of Dental Education

Minnesota State Launches Innovative Dual Admissions Dental Hygiene Bachelor’s Program

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Minnesota State Logo 225wMinnesota State 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 Therapist program. 

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.

Courtesy of Kris Pladson, CDA, RDH, M.S., Minnesota State Dental Program Director

Published on January 11, 2017.


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