Four Years in the Making—A Milestone for the Dental Hygiene Degree Program

September 8, 2010

September 2010 marks an important milestone for the Dental Hygiene Degree Program at UBC: this fall, for the first time, all four years of the Entry-to-Practice (ETP) option are on campus together.

Since the inception of the Dental Hygiene Degree Program in 1992 students have been dental hygienists with diplomas completing the Bachelor of Dental Science in Dental Hygiene [BDSc (DH)] degree. In September 2007, the Faculty of Dentistry began offering the four-year ETP option to become a dental hygienist also graduating with the BDSc (DH). Every year a new class—and curriculum for this option—was launched. In 2007 the first year commenced, in 2008 the second, in 2009 the third and now in 2010, the fourth and final year of the ETP option was created.

“After years of planning and creating new curriculum content, having all fours years of classes finally at UBC is a dream come true,” explains Prof. Bonnie Craig, director of the Dental Hygiene Degree Program. She has been instrumental in not only the vision and inception of the degree program at UBC but also in the development of its curriculum.

Milestone For DHDP

Prof. Bonnie Craig (third row, far right, yellow jacket) is seen with all four years of Entry-to-Practice classes in the Dental Hygiene Degree Program.

Previous to the degree program, UBC offered a diploma program in dental hygiene which was discontinued in 1986. Until 2007, when the entry-to-practice option was launched, there had been a void in the dental hygiene profession. To address a shortage of academic professionals UBC’s Dental Hygiene Degree Program fosters professionalism, knowledge skills development in classroom, community and clinical settings.

Obtaining a science degree in dental hygiene prepares graduates for community practice, clinical practice, administration, teaching, and research—limitless opportunities in a growing and global profession.

Craig explains: “Qualified dental hygienists holding a bachelor’s degree can continue and earn a master’s degree in a variety of disciplines.” Furthermore, she notes, dental hygienists holding a master’s degree are eligible for more advanced studies at the doctoral level.

UBC is unique in Canada when it comes to dental hygiene educational opportunities. It offers two options to earn the Bachelor of Dental Science in Dental Hygiene: Entry-to-Practice and Degree Completion. Click here for more information.

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