Citrus College Dental Assistant Program Earns Seven-Year Accreditation Status
Citrus College’s Registered Dental Assisting Program has been accredited for another seven years by the American Dental Association, earning praise for effectively demonstrating positive student achievement outcomes and maintaining its upward trend in program completion.
The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) granted Citrus College – which has been offering the dental assistant program since 1966 – with an accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements,” meaning that the program achieves or exceeds the basic requirements for accreditation.
“Our dental program has enjoyed a long-standing reputation for excellence in the dental community since its inception almost 50 years ago,” said Superintendent/President Geraldine M. Perri, Ph.D. “It has taken great work to get to this point, and I congratulate the faculty and staff for receiving this outstanding validation of their efforts from the Commission.”
The evaluation of the program was conducted earlier this year by a CODA committee, which noted in its report that Citrus College has seen positive student achievement trends and is working to identify how to increase course completion rates and student retention.
The visiting committee praised the college for making enhancements to its program based on student achievement and data collected, including instituting student counseling and support recommendations for those who demonstrate low assessment test scores; developing an alternative part-time program; and developing assessment tools to identify those students who are at risk of not completing the dental assisting program.
“With the employment rate for graduates of the college’s dental program at 85 percent, it speaks volumes about the high quality education that we are providing,” said Susan M. Keith, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees. “I want to commend our dental faculty and staff for maintaining such a well-respected dental assisting program at Citrus College, for continually building on its success, and for identifying creative ways to strengthen the program as we continue to be a College of Completion.”
There are currently approximately 55 students in the Citrus College Registered Dental Assisting Program, which graduates between 25 and 35 students annually.
The program is presented in four, eight-week modules that prepare students for the Dental Assistant National Board Examination and the California State RDA Exam, which are taken when students graduate and receive a Certificate of Achievement.
Citrus College’s average pass rate on the State Board Exam is 100 percent on the written exam and 93 percent on the practical exam – the state average is 80 percent.