Dental Hygiene Program F.A.Q.'s

When does the program start and is there a waiting list?

The Dental Hygiene program begins each year in the fall. No waiting list, it is a selective limited enrollment program and each year the application and selection process begins over.

What are the minimum requirements?

High School Diploma or Equivalent
High School GPA 2.5
GED Scores 550

Assessment Scores
ACT English 18 Math 18 Reading 18
SAT Verbal 430 Math 430 Reading NA
COMPASS Writing 65 Math P39 Reading 80
ASSET Writing 40 Math 40 Reading 40
ALEKS Math 20    

*Applicants must submit a copy of their ACT, SAT, Asset, or Compass test, unless taken at Iowa Central Community College (Asset/Compass only). Only one test is required, however applicants who have taken a test more than once, or have taken different tests, are encouraged to send in as many different tests as they would like. The highest scores will always be used for evaluation.

General Education Courses:
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Public Speaking
Composition I

It is highly recommended to have these general education courses completed prior to beginning the Dental Hygiene Program.

What about patients and clients?

If accepted you will need to secure radiographic clients the first semester and you will begin clinics in the spring semester your first year. You are responsible for scheduling your clients in your clinical sessions.

What are the Dental Hygiene Pre-requisites?

Students must have previously completed the following prerequisites with a "C" or better, before beginning the Dental Hygiene Program:


Course # Course Title
Credit Hours
BIO-168 Human Anatomy & Physiology I w/lab
BIO-173 Human Anatomy & Physiology II w/lab
CHM-110 Intro to Chemistry
CHM-111 Intro to Chemistry Lab
BIO-186 Microbiology with Lab
Total Hours: 16.0

Students must submit proof of their enrollment in/or completion of these classes prior to the application deadline.

Is the program accredited?

The program in dental hygiene 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 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL  60611.

How long is the program and what degree will I receive?

The dental hygiene program is five consecutive semesters, with a summer session, not including pre-requisites or general education classes. Upon successful completion and graduation you will receive an Associate of Applied Science degree.

How can I register and get into the Dental Hygiene Program?

a. You must apply to Iowa Central and indicate “pre-dental hygiene” that means you are interested in the dental hygiene program. That does not mean you are in the dental hygiene program and it does not mean you will be selected for the dental hygiene program. After acceptance into Iowa Central you will be sent a "Dental Hygiene application package" which will be available October through January.

b. The separate Dental Hygiene application must be post marked not later than the application deadline March 1st each year for consideration for acceptance into the following fall dental hygiene class.

What is the job outlook for Dental Hygiene graduates?

According to information by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Industry sources, it is predicted that Dental Hygienists may have an estimated 64,200 new jobs by 2022 with an average salary of $70,210. Private dental offices employ most dental hygienists, with flexible scheduling, generally 8am-5pm Monday through Friday with no holidays. Dental hygiene is a licensed profession that provides preventative and therapeutic services in clinical and community settings. As a dental hygienist, you will be expected to perform diverse and complex health care services. Employment is also available in education, sales, research, and public health.

What are the Dental Hygiene Program Goals?

  1. Promote excellence in instruction and create a safe and nurturing learning environment that facilitates student learning and improves client care through research, guided self-study, online activities and varied clinical instructional opportunities.
  2. Comprehensively prepare students for entry level dental hygiene with core knowledge of dental hygiene sciences, critical thinking skills and clinical skills for individualized delivery of preventative education and oral healthcare to diverse populations.
  3. Provide effective education in dental hygiene to produce graduates competent to practice within the profession’s ethical and legal framework pertinent to the role of a dental hygienist and who participates in community service and lifelong learning through professional development.
  4. Provide transferable education to allow graduates to continue their education in dental hygiene related fields.

As Iowa Central Dental Hygiene students you have the right to file complaints with the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation?

Required notice of opportunity and procedure to file complaints with the Commission
As Iowa Central dental hygiene students you have an opportunity to file complaints with the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. This serves as your notification and procedures to file a complaint.

  • A complaint is defined by the Commission on Dental Accreditation as one alleging that a Commission accredited educational program, or a program which has an application for initial accreditation pending, may not be in substantial compliance with Commission standards or required accreditation procedures.
  • An “appropriate” complaint is one that directly addresses a program’s compliance with the Commission’s standards, policies and procedures. It is noted that the burden does not wish to reveal his/her identity to the accredited program, he/she must develop the complaint in such a manner as to prevent the identity from being evident. The complaint must be based on the accreditation standards or required accreditation procedures. Submission of documentation which supports the non-compliance is strongly encouraged.
  • The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to a program’s compliance with the accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for treatment received by patients or individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students. A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission’s policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678 or call Iowa Central for more details at 800-362-2793.


Renee Piper, RDH, MA Program Coordinator 515-574-1335  
Brenda Anderson Instructor 515-574-1329  
Cindy DeWall Instructor 515-574-1326