Bulletin of Dental Education

Program Highlight: Illinois Central College

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Illinois Central College (ICC) Dental Hygienist Program is proud to serve the central Illinois community and students. Like many colleges and programs, ICC struggled to maintain faculty and patients during the worst times of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were many unexpected retirements leaving the program, which resulted in a new program director, two new full-time faculty positions and a vacancy for front desk receptionist. With support from administration and college resources, the ICC Dental Hygienist Program was able to recover and thrive. ICC faculty have been given professional development opportunities and staff support with college funding. In addition, a full-time front desk associate was hired to provide support to faculty, maintain patient and student schedules and support the clinic.

As CODA revised standards for educational requirements in July 2022, the new program director needed to fulfill the new master’s degree requirement. The program director finished their degree the following semester, meeting the requirement and getting official approval from CODA. In addition, many of the adjuncts were hired under the grandfather clause and are working toward completing their bachelor’s degrees. One ICC adjunct will complete their B.S. in December 2023 and two more will be completed in May 2024. ICC couldn’t be prouder of their hard-working faculty!

In addition to new faculty, the program has upgraded and added new technologies. The added simulation lab has brand new simulation manikins and lights for students. Simulation allows for more efficient scheduling and remediation due to factors such as facility availability and faculty. There is also a new 3D scanner at the clinic for effective teaching and learning. The 3D scanner was purchased in 2023 and was implemented in the fall semester. This upgrade introduces students to a technology that is becoming more and more prevalent in the profession.  


Illinois Central College Dental Hygienist Program’s newly integrated 3D scanner.

ICC students also have participated in many community outreach events and interprofessional collaborations. Some of the events included assisting one of the ICC supervising dentists for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, preschool and grade school presentations for oral hygiene instructions, high school presentations on what a career and schooling looks like for a dental hygienist, family education for nutritional counseling and oral hygiene care at the local YMCA and nursing home visits to discuss denture care, nutrition and oral hygiene instructions.   


As part of community service outreach, ICC dental hygiene students visited a local retirement living community.

ICC dental hygiene students have also participated in interprofessional collaborations with paramedic and certified nursing assistant students this past year, providing the opportunity to work with students from other health care professions to simulate real-life scenarios with mutual patients.


Both ICC dental hygiene and paramedic students collaborated to simulate possible real-life scenarios.

As part of community service learning and collaboration opportunities, ICC students have been given a variety of experiences that will prepare them for a fulfilling career. The students and faculty of ICC continue to uphold the college’s core values, including learning, community, integrity, responsibility and excellence.

Courtesy of Illinois Central College Dental Hygienist Program

Published on November 8, 2023

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