Moda, Inc. informed partners late in 2015 that its collaborative Dental Hygiene Program at the ODS College of Dental Sciences in La Grande will close in March 2017
January 25, 2016, La Grande, OR — Moda, Inc. informed partners late in 2015 that its collaborative Dental Hygiene Program at the ODS College of Dental Sciences in La Grande will close in March 2017. The program, an innovative collaboration of Moda Health, Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) and Eastern Oregon University (EOU), has offered degrees in Dental Hygiene since 2005.
The program was originally created in the La Grande location to fulfill the need for qualified dental hygienists to serve the region. While program enrollments tend to fluctuate, there was not a current concern on behalf of Oregon Tech. Through the past 10 years of the program, many highly-qualified dental hygienists have graduated and found jobs within the region, many serving the rural counties.
Oregon Tech and EOU shared this information with current students at the end of December. During this transition period for the school, all partners commit to fulfilling their responsibilities as the Oregon Tech faculty and EOU support staff for the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Dental Hygiene will “teach out” the current group of enrolled students. While no new students will be accepted into the La Grande program going forward, students studying pre-dental hygiene course-work at EOU are encouraged to continue their education and apply to Oregon Tech’s Bachelor Degree Program which is offered at both the Chemeketa Community College campus in Salem and at the Oregon Tech campus in Klamath Falls. Both Chemeketa and Klamath Falls locations continue to see high enrollment numbers and exceptional graduating classes.
“This innovative program combined the work of the public and private sector to address market needs in eastern Oregon,” said Sarah Witte, interim provost at EOU. “We’re committed to continuing working with students so they may complete pre-requisite courses here and access Oregon Tech or other programs in the tri-state area.”
The Dental Hygiene Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and will continue to participate in the accreditation process throughout the next 16 months.
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.