2023-2024 College Catalog 
    Jun 15, 2024  
2023-2024 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dental Hygiene, AAS

The Dental Hygiene program prepares the student to work as a dental hygienist under the supervision of a licensed dentist in dental offices and other health agencies. Dental hygienists remove soft and hard deposits from teeth, teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene, and provide other preventative dental care, such as cleaning and polishing teeth, taking radiographs, and applying fluoride treatments. The dental hygienist also serves as an oral health educator in the clinical and community setting. Dental hygienists should work well with others and must have good manual dexterity to use dental instruments within a patient’s mouth, with little room for error.

Dental Hygiene Program Goals

  • The dental hygiene student will complete all college requirements to attain an Associate in Applied Science degree.
  • The dental hygiene student will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be a competent entry-level dental hygienist.
  • The dental hygiene student will exhibit the values and skills necessary for life-long learning and self-improvement.
  • The dental hygiene student will manage the ethical and professional responsibilities of the dental hygiene profession.

Working Conditions

Flexible scheduling is a distinctive feature of this job. Full-time, part-time, evening, and weekend schedules are widely available. Hygienists are frequently hired to work only two or three days a week, so hygienists may hold jobs in more than one dental office. Dental hygienists work in offices that are clean and well lit, and they must follow important health safeguards including wearing safety glasses, masks and gloves to protect themselves from blood-borne pathogens and infectious diseases.


Employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages and as research continues to link oral health to overall health. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual wage for dental hygienists was $77,810 in May 2021. Earnings vary by geographic location, employment setting, and years of experience. Source: www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm


The Dental Hygiene program has been approved by the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The program in dental hygiene is accredited by the American Dental Association 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 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. Graduates from the Dental Hygiene program will be eligible to take the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination, the respective clinical dental hygiene board examination, and the examination for registration as a dental hygienist in the respective state.

Admission to Program: Limited

Admission to limited enrollment programs is competitive and selection is based on candidates’ overall academic performance. All prospective students for the Dental Hygiene program must submit all admission materials and meet admission requirements before their applications will be considered for review. Applicants who are denied admission to a program and wish to apply for a subsequent academic year must repeat the application process in its entirety. As a result, no application files are carried over from prior years which allows the evaluation process to begin anew October 1 of each year. The most qualified applicants who are residents of the Carl Sandburg College district or who are residents of a community college district participating in a cooperative agreement with Carl Sandburg College will be given preference for admission to the program.

Department of Health Professions

2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.
Galesburg, IL 61401
Phone: 309.341.5299

For Additional Information Contact:

The Welcome Center
Phone: 309.345.3500

For Graduation Requirements:

See the graduation policies and procedures page for details .

Note: Students must apply for admission to this program. Please refer to the program’s page for admission requirements including coursework and pre-requisites prior to applying.

Degree Requirements

First Year

Second Year

Total Semester Hours: 78.5

Courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better by the end of the scheduled semester. In order to graduate, each student must complete all required courses with a grade of “C” or better.


Stacy Kosier
Associate Professor, Dental Hygiene
Coordinator, Dental Hygiene Program

Reghan Merry
Instructor, Dental Hygiene

Ashley Reaves
Instructor, Dental Hygiene

Tiffany Viggiano
Dean, Department of Health Professions


The Dental Hygiene program is located in the Annex in downtown Galesburg. This facility contains the faculty offices, general classroom space, a simulation lab, and the dental hygiene clinic. The dental hygiene clinic contains fifteen patient operatories and six radiology suites that contain analog radiography, digital radiography, and/or panoramic technology.