ATLANTA–Georgia State University has received University System of Georgia Board of Regents approval to offer an online associate degree (A.S.) to bachelor of science (B.S.) degree completion program for registered dental hygienists.
“This new degree program will provide a way for our students and professionals around Atlanta to gain the knowledge that will expand their career opportunities,” said Wendy Hensel, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “The A.S. to B.S. completion online degree reflects our commitment to grow high-quality online academic programs that meet market demand and our region’s workforce needs.”
With an aging population and research continuing to link oral health to overall health, the market demand for dental services will increase. This program helps fulfill the needs of dental hygiene educators and practitioners. Housed in the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions, which has nursing and several health professions programs, the program will also be unique in offering an interdisciplinary education.
Earning a B.S. degree in dental hygiene opens additional career opportunities for hygienists beyond direct patient care in a dental office. With a bachelor’s degree, graduates may manage a dental practice or a public health clinic. They may become more in demand in private dental clinics or teach dental hygiene in a technical college. The degree is also a stepping stone toward a graduate degree for those interested in research or teaching at the university level.
The new bachelor’s in dental hygiene results from a collaboration between Georgia State’s Perimeter College and its Lewis College.
Georgia State is the first tier-one research university and the second college or university in the Atlanta metropolitan area to offer an R.D.H. (registered dental hygienist) to B.S degree completion program.