Career Certificate (Clock Hour program)
This is a Limited Access program.
The mission of the Dental Assisting career certificate program is to create competent, ethical, and confident entry-level dental assistants who are prepared to immediately seek employment in dental offices in Northeast Florida and beyond. This is accomplished with a combination of classroom, laboratory, and clinical instruction at the College and clinical instruction in private dental offices and clinics in the vicinity. A primary goal of the program is to instill in our graduates a commitment to professional development through life-long learning and service to the community.
This program provides students with the theoretical, practical and clinical skills necessary to get an entry-level position in a dental office, including dental basic sciences, dental radiographic techniques, dental materials, sterilization and infection control, chairside assisting, office management, dental specialties, and expanded functions. The Dental Assisting program has been approved by the Florida Board of Dentistry to offer certification in expanded functions and dental radiology. One class is admitted each August.
A minimum grade of C or better must be achieved in all professional coursework.
Your clinical rotations are scheduled in private dental offices and clinics, including specialty practices such as endodontics, oral surgery, and orthodontics.
Dental assistants are versatile members of the dental health team who work alongside the dentist in providing patient care. The varying roles of the dental assistant include chairside assisting, front office management, and assisting in a dental specialty office.
There is a desperate need for talented dental assistants. New protocols help us retain our natural teeth through longer lifetimes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the dental assisting profession to be one of the fastest growing careers through 2022 with a projected increase of 24.5%.
The Dental Assisting program has been approved by the Florida Board of Dentistry at floridasdentistry.gov to prepare students for certification in expanded functions and dental radiology. Program graduates can immediately obtain their Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential by taking and passing the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examinations upon graduation. Learn more about the CDA credential at danb.org/en/Become-Certified/Exams-and-Certifications/CDA.aspx and the DANB examination at danb.org/Become-Certified/Exams-and-Certifications.aspx
The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the 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: ada.org/en/coda.
The Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) is a major criterion in a student's completion of the program. In order to earn the Career Certificate, students must achieve or surpass the designated exit score(s) on the TABE or qualify for a TABE waiver. Visit fscj.edu/assessment/available-assessments/tabe/tabe-certificate for program exit scores or bit.ly/TABEwaiver for the TABE waiver form. Students with prior coursework, test scores or licensing may qualify for a TABE waiver and can visit or contact any College Assessment and Certification Center to have the waiver processed and added to their individual student record. College Assessment and Certification locations and information can be found at fscj.edu/assessment. For students who do not meet the required TABE scores and need assistance in order to meet the exit requirement(s), the College offers remediation through the Applied Academics for Adult Education (8525) (N.C.) program. Remediation consists of tutoring, referral to online resources and/or completion of the following coursework in Reading, Mathematics and Language:
Students interested in this program should be advised by the instructor or Program Manager before enrolling in coursework.
To meet the minimum requirements for consideration and acceptance to the Dental Assisting program, students must:
- Complete a Florida State College at Jacksonville application.
- Complete a Dental Assisting application.
- Successful completion of the Background and Drug Screening process upon acceptance into the program.
- A physical examination will be required upon acceptance into the program.
- Complete an approved course in healthcare provider-level CPR with first aid prior to the start of class.
- Provide Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) scores or waiver.
- Submit one of the following:
- An official (unopened) High School completion transcript (no diplomas) or college transcript
- An official copy of GED® test scores (a copy will be made and the original returned to the applicant). Note: Florida State College at Jacksonville transcripts can be unofficial. Transcripts from outside colleges must be official (unopened).
GED® and GED Testing Service® are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education (ACE). They may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of ACE or GED Testing Service at ged.com. The GED® and GED Testing Service® brands are administered by GED Testing Service LLC under license from the American Council on Education.
Note: Admissions preference is given to fully qualified candidates who have met all entrance criteria, and have met the exit TABE requirements or have submitted a TABE waiver.
Applications are due on May 15 of each year with classes starting in the fall. Admission to this program is limited and is based on academic performance and other criteria. Students are accepted into the program (on a space available basis) until the first day of class. After that, students will need the written approval of the dental assisting instructor.
Need More Information? Contact:
Call (904) 646-2300
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