Dental Hygiene (DHY.APP)

Extended Degree - Associate in Applied Science

Health Sciences

Highland Lakes Campus

Successful completion of this accredited program leads to an associate in applied science degree and is designated as an extended degree program in which the student must complete a minimum of 73 credit hours. The program prepares selected individuals through theory, clinical and community experiences to assume the responsibility of providing safe, competent care for the dental patient in the prevention of oral disease. In order to complete the program, a "C" or better is required for all program courses. Through program completion, students are eligible for the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE), American Board of Dental Examiners - The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (ADEX-CDCA), CDCA Local Anesthesia Examination, and CDCA Nitrous Oxide Examination.

Dental Hygiene courses involving the clinical and classroom experiences are offered only at the Highland Lakes Campus. An external rotation is required at an external site during the second year of the program. Registration for the dental hygiene courses is possible only after the student is admitted to the dental hygiene program through a selection process. All requirements must be completed by December 15th of the year preceding intended enrollment into the dental hygiene program.

Students must first be admitted to the college and designate dental hygiene (DHY) as their curriculum. Admission into the program follows a selection process that is based on the student's grade point average (GPA) in the eight Required Supportive Courses listed under the Basic Admission Requirements below in conjunction with the respective completion date. The prospective student applying to the dental hygiene program must pass a criminal background check.

Basic Admission requirements include:

  • High school graduation or GED
  • Attendance at a Dental Hygiene Information Session
  • 10 hours of job shadowing with a Registered Dental Hygienist and 5 hours of observation in the OCC Dental Hygiene Clinic.
  • Records review with the Program Coordinator
  • Completion of each Required Supportive Course with a grade of "C" (2.0) or better: BIO 1570 or BIO 2710, BIO 2630, BIO 2640, CHE 1320, COM 1600, ENG 1510PSY 2510, SOC 2510
  • Successful completion of HESI-A2 admission testing with a minimum score of 75th percentile for each section, Reading Comprehension, Math, Anatomy and Physiology, and Learning Styles.  One retake is permitted.
  • Completion of a dental hygiene final checklist with a counselor at Highland Lakes
  • Refer to the Student Brochure for additional admission requirements

For a complete listing of the admission requirements (including HESI-A2 admission testing) and selection procedures, refer to the "Student Brochure: Prospective Dental Hygiene Candidates," available during the dental hygiene information sessions, and at the dental hygiene website at  The policies regarding admission, progression and retention in the dental hygiene program as well as certification, licensure qualifications are outlined in the Student Brochure which is provided to each student enrolled in the dental hygiene program. All of these provisions are also explained in the information sessions prior to admission to the program. In addition to the tuition, dental hygiene students incur extra costs such as pre-admission health examinations, uniforms, supplies, pinning ceremony/graduation costs, membership into the student organization of the American Dental Hygienist Association, and licensure application fees.

A licensed dental hygienist, who works under the supervision of a dentist, may find employment in private or specialty offices, in schools, hospitals, clinics, or in the public health arena.

The Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). Issues pertaining to compliance with the standards of the Commission of the ADA can be addressed to the Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, phone: 800.621.8099. A copy of the standards may be downloaded at

The Michigan Board of Dentistry may deny dental hygiene licensure to an applicant who has been convicted of a crime or is addicted to drugs or alcohol. A mandatory criminal history check including fingerprints will be conducted on all students selected to the Dental Hygiene program prior to the start of the program, at the student's cost. 1) Conviction of a felony or any attempt to commit a felony within the 15 years immediately preceding the date of the criminal history check; or 2) conviction of a misdemeanor within the 10 years immediately preceding the criminal history check, will preclude eligibility for admission.  In addition, all selected students must have a drug screening test prior to the start of the program.  A student's full record will be reviewed.  For details, contact the Dental Hygiene Department at 248.942.3267.

Dental Hygiene program webpage

Full Time - Dental Hygiene program plan example

Major Requirements
DHY 1140Dental Office Procedures3
DHY 1230Oral, Head and Neck Anatomy3
DHY 1240Dental Embryology and Histology3
DHY 1250Clinical Techniques5
DHY 1260Dental Radiography3.5
DHY 1281Clinical Dental Hygiene I4
DHY 1282Clinical Dental Hygiene II2.5
DHY 1283Clinical Dental Hygiene III5
DHY 1284Clinical Dental Hygiene IV5
DHY 1310Periodontics2
DHY 1330Therapeutics2
DHY 1350Local Anesthesia1.5
DHY 2210General and Oral Pathology3
DHY 2220Dental Public Health1
DHY 2240Dental Specialties2
DHY 2250Dental Materials3
DHY 2280Dental Health Education2
DHY 2320Dental Law1
Required Supportive Courses
BIO 15701Microbiology of Health and Disease 3
or BIO 2710 Microbiology4
BIO 2630Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIO 2640Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
CHE 13201Survey of Organic and Biochemistry 4
COM 16001Fundamentals of Speech 3
ENG 15101Composition I 3-6
or ENG 1510E Composition I Enhanced4
or ENG 1510S Composition I with Support6
HEA 15102Nutrition 3
PSY 25101Introduction to Psychology 3
SOC 25101Sociology 3
Recommended Elective
American Government 3
Total Credit Hours for Program-Related Courses81.5-82.5
General Education Requirements
Communication / English (3-credits)
Fine Arts / Humanities (3-credits)3
Mathematics / Science (3-credits)
Social Science (3-credits)
Written Communication (3-credits)
Total Credit Hours84.5-88.5

 Course may be used to meet General Education requirements.


HEA 1510 can be taken within the program before the third semester of the program but is not used for selection purposes.

A minimum cumulative 2.00 grade point average (GPA) overall is required for graduation.

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