Robin - Academy of Health Professions (Dental Assisting)

How do you recruit students into your program?
Most of the students come into the dental program after completing career exploration.  I highlight how much fun they will have working as a dental assistant and the importance of the dental profession and other career paths within the profession. 

How do you encourage your students to take and complete the program? 
When students enter the program they immediately learn the importance of the dental profession and how we are the glue that keeps a dental team together. Dental assistants can work with a dental specialty that suits them as a person. I let them know that there is a place for them in the profession, but they must work hard and be willing to learn.
What strategies are you using to recruit underrepresented populations into your program? 
I let students know that it is not always about your GPA. The first step to being a good dental assistant is to be a sincere and caring person, and that's where the learning starts.  I let my students know that these qualities are more important than one's socio-economic status.  It's who we are inside that really counts.    

What do you do to make your program stand out from the rest?
My motto is finish what you start. I make sure that students in the dental program understand the importance of having fun while learning because working as a dental assistant is a fun and exciting profession. 

What certifications, industry credentials, and /or college credit are your students earning?
Students can earn the Radiation Health and Safety Certification, the Infection Control Certification, and the Expanded Function Certification after taking the Dental Assisting National Board exam for each area.  Last, but not least, I train students in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).  After completing the training, they will receive their CPR card.

What are your students doing after completing your program and graduating from high school?
Many of them will become employed in the dental profession, while attend community college, some are going to pursue dental hygiene and ultimately some want to become dentist. 

What partnerships have you formed in the community and how do they help your students?
The dental assisting program has developed numerous partners in the dental community who are willing support our students endeavors to grow within the dental profession.  Our partners provide internships, career shadowing, donations and participate as members of our Program Advisory Committee (PAC).

How are you maintaining your professional growth? 
As a Certified Dental Assistant, I must obtain 12 continuing education credits every year. One of those credits must be with OSHA for bloodborne pathogens and two must be in Infection Control.  I work with an accrediting agency where I serve as an accreditor for dental assisting programs. I wrote the curriculum for Prince George’s Community College and teach as their lead adjunct instructor for the dental assisting program. I volunteer as a book reviewer for new textbook editions with Elsevier. I train individuals in CPR in my spare time, and most of my training focuses on training the dental community.