1. Do I need to complete all my prerequisites before I apply?
Yes, all prerequisite courses must be completed prior to application. In-progress transcripts or courses will not be accepted. The dental hygiene semesters have 11 to 14 units and will have students in class upward to 30 hours.
2. Can prerequisite courses from other schools be used?
Yes, if the school is WASC accredited and if the course is equivalent to our requirement. Check with a Southwestern College counselor. If the course can be substituted, forms must be submitted to the dental hygiene program to complete the substitution process.
3. I took some of my science courses over 5 years ago, will they apply to the prerequisites for the program?
No. All science prerequisite courses must be within 5 years. If courses are over 5 years or getting close, we recommend trying to audit the course as a refresher.
4. Do I have to meet with a counselor before applying?
It is highly recommended to establish a Student Education Plan (SEP) at Southwestern College. This plan helps students confirm all AS Degree Dental Hygiene required course work is complete. Counseling appointments can be made by calling (619) 216-6665 (Ext. 4851) or in-person at the Higher Education Center at National City, Student Services. You must obtain a Southwestern College Student ID number to make an appointment. Apply to the college online to obtain an ID number.
5. How do I apply to Southwestern College?
Click the Apply Now link on the college home page.
6. Is there an Advanced Placement option in the Dental Hygiene Program?
No, there is option in place for the DH program to accept students transferring from other DH programs.
7. Is California residency required for admission to the Dental Hygiene Program?
No. See the Admissions and Records web site for detailed information on Residency requirements.
8. How do I request an application to the Dental Hygiene Program?
Applications and instructions can be downloaded from the Admission tab on the Dental Hygiene webpage. Application period will open in January with a February deadline for submission.
9. Is there a waiting list to get into the Dental Hygiene Program?
The wait list is ending as of fall 2014. See the Wait List tab for more information on the changes to the waitlist and the Admissions tab for changes to the admissions process.
10. When does the program start?
The Dental Hygiene Program starts once a year, every Fall semester. However, the program has undergone extensive curriculum revision and one of the core dental hygiene courses will be taken during the first summer session prior to the fall semester. Incoming students receive current information at orientation.
11. Approximately how much time must one devote to the Dental Hygiene Program once enrolled?
Total hours, including study time, is approximately 60-65 hours per week.
12. What is the estimated cost of program?
The cost for the 2-year program is approximately $12,000. This cost includes instruments, materials, supplies, textbooks, uniforms, etc. It does not include replacement materials or equipment, national and clinical board examination cost, or living expenses.
13. Do I need dental office experience?
No. Any office experience will give you a better idea of the dental hygiene career. If you can volunteer or observe in a dental office it would provide more information to ensure you have chosen the right career.
14. I am a dental school graduate from a foreign country. Do I have priority for admission to the dental hygiene program?
While we value your past education and degrees, we are unable to give you advanced standing. Prerequisite courses must have been taken within the past five years. Additionally, you must meet with a SWC counselor to ensure you have met all general education requirements.
15. If I am a graduate of a dental assisting program, do I have to take all course offered in the dental hygiene program.
YES. The Mesa College dental assisting program and SWC dental hygiene have had an agreement regarding radiology courses. However, most students find it easier to remain in the course versus missing a lab or missing information. Incoming students may want to meet with the program director for more detailed information.
16. Do I have priority having been or being an RDA?
Persons with a dental assisting certificate or RDA license are not given priority placement in the program.