Feb 28, 2024  
2011-2013 Catalog-EXPIRED 

Dental Assisting Certificate

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(Students should initially enroll in Code 322.)

Suggested GRCC Program:

Certificate or Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences

Few careers offer the diversity and flexibility that dental assisting does. There are opportunities for part-time and fulltime employment as chairside, office and laboratory work assistants. Most dental assistants work in private dental offices. Others, however, may work in dental schools, hospital dental departments, public health departments, dental laboratories, or public and private dental clinics. There are also opportunities to work in the offices of dental specialists such as pediatric dentists and orthodontists. Registered dental assistants are often in short supply, making GRCC graduates highly employable.

This curriculum allows students to qualify, in less than one year, for jobs as both Certified and Registered Dental Assistants. The GRCC program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (ADA) and approved by the Michigan Board of Dentistry.

The dental assisting program at GRCC can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. A full-time student is able to complete the program in ten months. A part-time student requires 20 months over a two-year period to complete the program.

Students learn through a three-way combination of classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences. Not only are the latest dental techniques stressed throughout the curriculum, but students also learn how to use computers in modern dental offices.

Following completion of the 10-month curriculum (fulltime), students may return to GRCC and earn an Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences degree by taking eight more courses in the liberal arts.

At the conclusion of their first ten months of training and education at GRCC, graduates will have earned a GRCC Certificate in Dental Assisting. The graduate is eligible to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board examination to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). The graduate is also eligible to sit for the Michigan RDA Examination to become a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in Michigan.

Requirements for licensure as an RDA in the state of Michigan are as stated in the Michigan Public Health Code, Public Act 368 of 1978. The new applicant for licensure will be asked about felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions resulting in imprisonment, and convictions for possession of controlled substances (including those involving alcohol related to motor vehicle violations). Previous convictions may prevent the applicant from receiving a license.

Program Requirements:

In order to be eligible for admission into the Dental Assisting program, students must:

  1. Be high school graduates or have passed the high school equivalency GED (General Educational Development) Test.
  2. Have a high school and college GPA of at least 2.0.
  3. Score at least 40 on the algebra or 76 on the Health arithmetic test.*
  4. Score at least 64 on the Health reading test.*
  5. Complete GRCC criminal background check process. A student will not be allowed to be placed on the ready/wait list until cleared by GRCC Campus Police.
  6. Candidates may apply for entry into the program at the end of their junior year in high school.
  7. To be eligible for graduation from the dental assisting associate degree or certification program, students must earn a C- (78%) in the prescribed dental assisting curriculum, and in each DAA and DXX course.
  8. An estimated cost sheet for the dental assisting program can be found at www.grcc.edu/dental.

Course Requirements for the One-Year Certificate:

Fall Semester

Total Credits: 18

Winter Semester

Total Credits: 20

+ (11-14 wks)


Total Credits: 9

Total Credits: 48

* CH = Contact hours: The number of class hours of attendance required per week.

Transfer Opportunities:

The Transfer Guide for many bachelor’s degree majors offered at Michigan colleges and universities is available at the Counseling and Career Center and online at www.grcc.edu.

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