Bulletin of Dental Education

Georgia Highlands College Set to Welcome B.S.D.H. Candidates

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GHC_logoThis summer, Georgia Highlands College (GHC) will welcome students to a new program. In 2014, the college announced approval of a new Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene (B.S.D.H.) to be offered at GHC. Students who have earned an associate degree from an accredited dental hygiene program and hold an unrestricted license to practice dental hygiene in the United States may be admitted to the GHC program. 

This bridge program will accept up to 40 students each year. It is available 100% online with the exception of an internship course that can be completed in the student’s local community. 

“We are so very proud to add this program to our outstanding academic offerings at GHC,” says Renva Watterson, Ed.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs. “To be able to provide students the ability to continue on and earn their baccalaureate-level degree at an institution with our reputation for excellence is not only an asset for the students but also for the communities we serve.”

Janet Alexander, Ed.D., M.S.N., RN, CNE, Dean of Health Sciences, affirms that “an online bachelor of science in dental hygiene will offer an affordable, accessible and high-quality pathway for dental hygienists to attain a bachelor’s degree.” 

There are currently 14 dental hygiene programs that grant associate degrees in Georgia. Only two University System of Georgia institutions, Georgia Regents University and Clayton State University, offer the associate degree to bachelor’s degree bridge program for dental hygienists.

Donna Miller, RDH, B.S.D.H., M.S., Director of the GHC Dental Hygiene Program, adds, “The GHC dental hygiene program has experienced great success since the program’s inception. Now we have the opportunity to assist all associate-degree hygienists in achieving their educational advancement goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. This will allow them to make a difference in the dental hygiene profession by preparing them to take on additional positions of responsibility in a variety of health care, educational, research and community settings.” 

This marks the second bachelor’s degree to be offered at GHC. In the fall of 2013, the college began offering the RN-B.S.N. bridge program where registered nurses could earn their B.S.N. in nursing completely online. The B.S.N. program has been widely successful and graduated its first class in December 2014. 

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