College of the Mainland is now accepting applications for its new dental hygiene associate degree program, which will begin this fall.

The gist

The program will give students an opportunity to learn comprehensive dental care, according to an April 23 news release from the college.

According to the news release, the program will offer the following:
  • Small class sizes to allow for individualized attention between faculty and students
  • New facilities, including a lab and clinic equipped with professional-grade equipment
  • On-campus opportunities for students to fulfill clinical patient hours
Emily Falls, the dental hygiene program director at COM, said this program will allow new graduates to retain a job in a field with high demand, particularly in the Gulf Coast region. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9% increase in job opportunities in the field in the Gulf Coast region from 2021 to 2031, according to the news release.

The program is undergoing review for initial accreditation status by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. So far, the CODA team conducted a site visit of the program at the beginning of April and had no recommendations, COM Communication Officer Monique Sennet said in an email April 24.

The program's accreditation status will be determined in August, according to the news release.

Quote of note

“This program is very important for COM because we have a great need in our community for oral health care practitioners,” Falls said in the news release. “The students and the clinic here on campus will provide a really pivotal role in addressing some of those diverse oral health care needs.”

Stay tuned

A virtual information session will be held at 5 p.m. on May 9, according to the release. To register for the information session or begin the application process, visit the program’s website.