Thanks to a grant from the state’s Training for Tomorrow initiative, Ozarks Technical Community College will be taking applications next month for a new hybrid dental assisting program.
The grant is being to write the Dental Assisting/Hybrid Track program and pay for the first year of offering it in the spring of 2012. Applications will be until Oct. 15, 2011.
The Training for Tomorrow initiative was launched by Gov. Jay Nixon to help Missouri community colleges create or expand training programs to serve additional students with training in high-tech fields.
The dental assisting program will be able to reach more students, said Janet Sell, program coordinator for dental assisting.
“We were looking for a non-traditional way of offering the program for those who work or have children. So, we began looking for alternatives,” Sell said.
The hybrid program, written by dental instructor Ida Guynn, will allow students to take classes online during the week and come to laboratory sessions on campus at night or on weekends. Guynn will be the instructor for the program.
“We were asking ourselves why can’t we do it online with labs at night or weekends when babysitting can be more easily obtained. It’s for young parents who have to work. They have to be self-motivators, too, since the classes are online,” Sell said.
The program will allow students to obtain a certificate in one year and offer the option of a second year in order to earn an Associate of Arts in Science degree. Clinicals will require students to do some 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. work.
While some dental assisting classes are already online, this will be the first program to offer a combination of online instruction and seated lab sessions in the same class. The online portion of the courses will also include videos of lab procedures and lectures instead of slide presentations.
“It will fit the students’ schedule better and make it more efficient for them,” Sell said.
For more about the program, go to http://www.otc.edu/alliedhealth/13458.php
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