Oregon Tech’s Selective Dental Hygiene program with Moda Health/ODS and EOU to graduate Final Class on Sunday, March 12 in La Grande

by Ashley VanEssen | Mar 10, 2017
12 graduates of the program are now qualified to apply for the top dental hygiene licensure in Oregon with an Expanded Practice Permit

Oregon Institute of Technology’s very selective Dental Hygiene program is proud to announce the graduation of its 2017 Class on March 12, 2017 in La Grande. The 12 graduates are now qualified to apply for the top dental hygiene licensure in Oregon with an Expanded Practice Permit.

This is the final graduating class for the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Dental Hygiene between Oregon Tech, Moda Health/ODS and Eastern Oregon University (EOU). The program was originally created in 2005 at the La Grande location to fulfill the need for qualified dental hygienists to serve the region. This is the 11th graduating class for a total of 227 graduation from the location.

Oregon Tech’s graduates have a lot to look forward as they enter the job market. The Class of 2017 will continue on to clinical board exams in April. The class had 100% pass rate for the anesthesia board exam and 100% pass rate for the Dental Hygiene National Board Exam. Oregon Tech also offers bachelor’s degree programs in partnership with Chemeketa Community College in Salem and on its Klamath Falls campus. Students from the La Grande program receive an associate degree and many are planning on completing their bachelor's degree online with Oregon Tech over the next few years

“It's been a joy and honor to work with these 12 incredible women,” said Dental Hygiene Associate Professor Suzanne Hopper. “The class consistently displayed compassion, kindness, and high ethical standards with all of their patients. They could not have transitioned from ‘student’ to ‘dental hygienist’ without our wonderful community of patients. I always appreciated how encouraging the patients were to our students. Our students will be successful healthcare providers because our faculty, staff, patients, and community were so supportive. I am proud to call all of our graduates my colleagues.” 

The Dental Hygiene associate degree prepares students with an intensive program including labs, dental hygiene patient care, local anesthesia, and nitrous oxide sedation. The students work on community health projects from inception, to seeking grants, to implementation. Students in the program have worked with patients from the La Grande community including veterans, low-income seniors and children, migrant farm workers and developmentally disabled adults to provide a variety of low-cost dental services over the past decade. Hundreds of graduates now work at dental clinics serving communities throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Hopper added, “I'd once again like to thank the community who were our patients. They have always been an important, critical piece of our students' education.” 

Dental Hygiene Graduation Ceremony Details:

Time: Sunday, March 12 at 1:00 pm

Location: EOU Campus, Loso Hall, McKenzie Theatre; One University Boulevard, La Grande, OR
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