Dental Hygiene Frequently Asked Questions

Advising Questions:

Q: I am applying from a Washington college, does CHEM121 and CHEM131 fulfill the admissions requirements?
A: Yes!

Q: Should I retake a class to earn a high grade?
A: It depends on the situation. Remember, each time an applicant repeats a required biology or chemistry course there will be a one point deduction. So, working out the math, if you earned a “B” in CH104 you would earn 3 points (A=4, B=3, C=2). But you think to yourself, “I should retake CH104 and earn an A!”. That’s wonderful, but, even if you earn an “A” we will deduct 1 point, leaving you with 3 points. As you can see, in this situation it was not beneficial to retake the course.

Admissions Questions:

Q: Everyone who gets accepted has a 4.0 GPA right?
A: We get this question a lot—the answer is no! Good grades are important to be successful in the program, but we look for applicants that are well-rounded—displaying high levels of community engagement, responsibility, a strong commitment to ethical behavior, professionalism, and a history of academic success. Remember, the program is only as competitive as the people applying, and the people applying change from year to year.

Q: Do I put down +/- on my prerequisite course planning sheet?
A: No, we do not count + or – grades. A grade of a “B-” is a “B”.

Q: Do I need to have worked in the field prior to applying?
A: No work experience is needed in order to apply, however applicants do need to have a minimum of 20 hours shadowing/observation time in a dental setting. Check the admissions guide for more information. Applicants who have previous dental care experience can earn points at the time of interviews based on the type and length of experience.

Q: My adviser said I tested out of reading when I first applied to college. Do I still need to test or take a reading class?
A: This is a very important question! More students are incomplete over this requirement than anything else. Applicants must place into RD117.

Q: This doesn’t seem fair, why do I have to complete a reading class or test if I have completed a college writing class?
A: We cannot overemphasize the importance of being a critical reader who can quickly evaluate, synthesize, and extract information from complex text. Having these skills are essential to being a good candidate and completing our rigorous curriculum. Successfully completing a writing course is not proof of these skills.

Q: Do you think I will be accepted?
A: The Dental Hygiene program has many outstanding applicants and the reality is we can only accept 18 (believe us, we wish we could accept more!). While it is competitive, we urge you to apply with us and other colleges in the area—especially if this is what you want to do.

Q: My transfer coursework from Clark College is already listed on my PCC transcript. Do I really have to get a Clark College transcript?
A: Yes!

Q: Why do I have to get a transcript from every college I have attended? All of my direct prerequisites were completed at one college.
A: There are two reasons:

  1. We award points based on GPA (college or high school). If you only give us the transcript listing all your “A” grades then that’s the only transcript we can use to award points. Not very fair or accurate, right? Yeah, we didn’t think so either.
  2. Say someone was previously admitted into Clark College’s Dental Hygiene program and they were dismissed because of patient misconduct. We have a legal (and moral) obligation to find out and discuss the situation and possible ramifications for admitting this student into the program.

There are absolutely no exceptions regarding transcripts. We need an official (sealed in an envelope) transcript for every college you have ever attended, regardless of relevancy, program of study, program length, or any other reason. If you do not submit all your transcripts, you will automatically be disqualified from the application process.

Q: I have a specific question about my application, who should I contact?
A: If you have a question about applying to the program, the application materials, or the process, please see Katelyn Goslin, Dental Hygiene Admissions Evaluator during open hours. Sessions are offered from 2-3 p.m. in room AC2256 (the Student Services Conference Room inside Student Services). Visit for session dates.

Program Questions:

Q: Can I work while I am in the program?
A: The program is extremely rigorous. It is strongly advised to not work while you’re in the program. If you must work, let us help you make an action plan to see what’s appropriate for your situation. Students are also advised to not make large life changes while you’re in the program (i.e. getting married, have children, etc.) due to the time commitment need to be successful.

Q: Is there a part-time program option?
A: Not at this time.

Q: What happens if I fail a class?
A: Let us first say that this happens extremely infrequently. We work hard to insure a student gets assistance should their academics be substandard. Students do not have the opportunity to repeat core dental hygiene coursework—at all. This is why we maintain such stringent admissions standards. With students unable to repeat coursework, we have to know you can handle the rigor of this program: academically, mentally, physically, etc.

Q: I have been accepted into the program but am planning my honeymoon in Jamaica the week of orientation. This isn’t going to be a problem, is it?
A: Yes, it is a problem. All of the accepted students are required to attend the orientation. This is your time to choose: Jamaica or program?

Q: Based on the physical demands of the program and profession, I have a health problem that could impact my ability to be successful. Who should I talk to about this?
A: It’s important to be honest about any physical challenges you face. The last thing we want to see is a student go through the program only to find out this is not a profession that is well-suited with their physical abilities. Contact the Program Director, Raye Ann Yapp at if you have specific concerns.

Q: I went to jail/prison for a misdemeanor/felony, can I still be admitted into the program?
A: We strongly encourage potential applicants in this situation to contact the American Dental Association ( prior to starting their prerequisites and applying to the program. Even if you are accepted into the program, you will want to check to make sure you can get licensed and find employment. Each dental office will have different hiring criteria.

© 2014 Mt. Hood Community College | 26000 SE Stark St. | Gresham, OR 97030 | 503-491-6422
 Last Modified: 7/2/2015 12:46:44 PM