Monday, May 25, 2015

Dental Hygiene Program

Accreditation Statement

The Southwestern College Program in Dental Hygiene is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the status of “approval without reporting requirements.” The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education and can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.

Dental Hygiene Program Directory
(619) 216-6665, Ext. 4862
Rm. 7103C

  • Vickie Kimbrough-Walls, RDH, MBA , Director
  • Kesa Hopkins , RDH , MS , Professor of Dental Hygiene
  • Terri Poulos , RDH, MEd, Professor of Dental Hygiene
  • Linda Lukacs, DDS, Professor of Dental Hygiene
  • Gabriella Castillo, RDA, AA, Clinical Facility Coordinator


The Dental Hygiene Program provides basic education and experience, to prepare graduates for licensure as dental hygienists. Accepted students will begin each fall semester and continue for two years.

Dental Hygiene classes are conducted at the National City Higher Education Center. Transportation is the individual student's responsibility.

Students generally have classes five (5) days per week.

General Description

A dental hygienist is a licensed, preventive oral health professional who provides educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to the public in a variety of settings.

As the preventive specialist of the dental healthcare team, the hygienist promotes and maintains oral wellness. Procedures include yet are not limited to oral health assessments, taking x-rays, dental health education, removal of soft and hard deposits from teeth, and adjunct therapeutic services such as sealants, fluorides, and antimicrobials.

Technical Standards

Candidates interested in applying for admission to the program should review these standards to develop a better understanding of the physical abilities and behavioral characteristics necessary to successfully complete the program.

Career Options

After graduating with an Associate’s Degree, the dental hygienist primarily provides preventive and therapeutic services in a dental office setting or clinic. They may also provide their services in public health settings, schools, skilled nursing facilities and mobile clinics.

Those with a baccalaureate degree or higher may also serve as an administrator/manager for community dental health programs or dental product companies; an educator in dental hygiene or dental school programs; or a researcher in a university or corporate setting.

Competency Document

The educational competencies for the Southwestern College Dental Hygiene Program include the preparation of graduates who possess the knowledge, skills, and values to begin the practice of Dental Hygiene. Interested students should review these standards to develop a better understanding of competencies needed for graduation.

Dental Hygiene Clinic

The Dental Hygiene Clinic serves as an educational facility to support the clinical learning needs of the students enrolled in the Dental Hygiene Program. Under the supervision of licensed dentists (DDS/DMD) and registered dental hygienists (RDH), the dental hygiene students provide oral health care education and dental hygiene services to the general public along with the Southwestern College community, including students, faculty, and staff.

To schedule an appointment, please call (619) 216-6663.