Dental Assisting Diploma (DA12)

The Dental Assisting accredited program prepares students for employment in a variety of positions in today’s dental offices. The Dental Assisting program provides learning opportunities which introduce, develop, and reinforce academic and occupational knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. Additionally, the program provides opportunities to upgrade present knowledge and skills or to retrain in the area of dental assisting. Graduates of the program receive a Dental Assisting diploma and are eligible to sit for a national certification examination.

Employment Opportunities

Graduates of the Dental Assisting program are prepared for responsible positions in private offices, public health dentistry, dental school clinics, and federal and state community clinics.


The program in Dental Assisting 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. The Commission’s web address is:


Dental assistants who choose to become nationally certified may take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Students may sit for the national exam upon completion of the program.

Admissions Criteria

  • Submit a completed application and application fee;
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Submit official high school transcript or GED transcript;
  • ENGL 1010, ALHS 1040, ALHS 1011, DENA 1080, MATH 1012, and PSYC 1010/PSYC 1101 must be completed prior to beginning program courses fall semester;
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0 in all required coursework listed above before beginning program courses. This includes all previous attempts, including transfer credits. Students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement may be considered on a space available basis. 
  •  Must have Healthcare Provider CPR certification prior to beginning program courses;
  • Meet the following assessment requirements:
Test Reading Writing Numerical Algebra
Accuplacer 55 60 34 NA
Accuplacer (Next Gen) 224 236 229 NA
Compass 70 32 26 NA
SAT 16 15 18 NA
SAT 270 280 310 NA
ACT 14 13 14 NA
ASSET 37 38 32 NA
PSAT 16 15 18 NA
GED NA 145 145 NA
TABE 461 NA 442 NA

Dental Assisting Curriculum

The curriculum for the Dental Assisting diploma program is designed for the semester system. A student may enter any semester to take general core courses. The Dental Assisting program course sequence begins fall semester only. To graduate, diploma-seeking students must earn a minimum of 54 semester credit hours. The program generally takes 5 semesters to complete.

Program Courses

Basic Skills Courses (9 Credits)

ENGL 1010Fundamentals of English I


PSYC 1101Introductory Psychology


MATH 1012Foundations of Mathematics


NOTE: “C” or higher grade is required for all the above courses.

Occupational Courses (45 Credits)

ALHS 1040Introduction to Health Care


ALHS 1011Structure and Function of the Human Body


DENA 1050Microbiology and Infection Control


DENA 1080Dental Anatomy


DENA 1340Dental Assisting I: General Chairside


DENA 1030Preventive Dentistry


DENA 1070Oral Pathology and Pharmacology


DENA 1350Dental Assisting II: Dental Specialties and EDDA Skills


DENA 1390Dental Radiology


DENA 1460Dental Practicum I


DENA 1090Dental Assisting National Board Examination Preparation


DENA 1400Dental Practice Management


DENA 1470Dental Practicum II


DENA 1480Dental Practicum III


NOTE: “C” or higher grade is required for all the above courses.

Program Costs

Tuition ($100 per credit hour): $5,400

Fees ($385 per semester): $1,925

Books/Supplies: $950

Uniform Costs: Approximately $300*

Liability Insurance: Liability Insurance (click to find your program)

Certification Exam: $450-$810

TB Test: $40

Hepatitis B Series: $265

Dosimeter Badge: $45

Drug Screening: $30

Criminal Background Check: $80

Course Supply Fee: Health Care

* Uniforms are required beginning 1st semester of program courses. 

(Costs are estimates and are subject to change.)

Clinical Education

General Location of the Clinical Sites: Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Jenkins, Screven, Tattnall, and Toombs Counties.

Special Requirements of the Clinical Sites:

  • Healthcare Provider CPR Certification
  • Prior to beginning clinical practicum, students must submit documentation of TB skin testing and all required immunizations, including Hepatitis B. Students who refuse the Hepatitis B vaccination series must sign a declination form and may not be accepted by clinical sites. Forms will be provided by the instructor.
  • Criminal background check
  • Urine drug screening

Clinical Education Courses

The Dental Assisting practicums allow students to become involved in a work situation at a professional level by providing students with opportunities to observe and assist in a dental office setting. The three Dental Assisting practicum courses require students to spend a total of 315 hours in a supervised work setting (45 hours in DENA 1460, 45 hours in DENA 1470, and 225 hours in DENA 1480). Assigned clinical times may range from 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Clinical sites are selected by the program administrator. Students are responsible for having reliable transportation to the site.

Readmission to the Dental Assisting Program

Students may request readmission into the Dental Assisting program after a leave of absence. A student wishing to re-enter the program must understand that readmission is granted on a space available basis, based on the program’s criteria, the accrediting agency criteria, and clinical capacity. Readmission will be considered only if there are slots available. The same applies to a student who wishes to transfer into the Dental Assisting program from another accredited Dental Assisting program.

A student who is dropped from the Dental Assisting program due to academic reasons, attendance, or having received a grade of less than a “C” in any Dental Assisting course will be limited to one-time re-entry into the program.

Students seeking readmission to the program more than 12 months from the date of their last completed semester will only be readmitted fall semester and will be required to retake all Dental Assisting courses previously completed.

A student desiring to re-enroll in the Dental Assisting program within 12 months of their last completed semester must follow the following policies and procedures:

  • Submit a letter to the appropriate Dean and to the Program Administrator of Dental Assisting which explains the circumstances of the student’s previous withdrawal from and/or failure to complete the program. The letter must be received no later than mid-term of the semester prior to readmission.
  • Take a written examination covering materials taught in previously completed Dental Assisting courses. If the student does not make a minimum grade of 75, he/she will be required to retake previous coursework.
  • Take a practical lab examination covering competencies taught in previously completed Dental Assisting courses. If the student does not make a minimum grade of 80 with no critical errors, he/she will be required to retake previous coursework.
  • All health requirements (criminal background check, drug test, tuberculin test, immunizations, CPR certification, physical examination, and any additional requirements) must be current before entering a clinical rotation.

The above policies and procedures also apply to any Dental Assisting courses a student transfers from another accredited Dental Assisting program.