Excellence and Distinction


Goal 1
Provide a high-quality program that prepares dental hygienists to:
a. Model professional, ethical, and inclusive behavior in all aspects of patient care, community engagement, and personal conduct.
b. Foster a humanistic culture, open communication, and respect for diversity for all students, faculty, staff, and students.
c. Apply critical thinking to integrate current scientific principles and technology with the provision of evidence-based, comprehensive oral health care.
d. Perform to the level of clinical competency those legally approved oral health care services as defined by the West Virginia State Board of Dental Examiners and laboratory competency for oral health care services legally permitted in other states.
e. Coordinate and administer oral health services for all patients including disabled, medically compromised, marginalized population groups, etc. in a variety of practice settings.
f. Engage in intra- and interprofessional collaboration with community leaders and health care professionals to promote oral health awareness and manage the oral health needs of West Virginia and beyond through participation in professional organizations and service activities.
g. Provide didactic and clinical instruction in allied dental education programs.
h. Pursue professional development through self-study, continuing education, research, additional health care programs/degrees, and/or advanced/graduate education at the masters or doctoral levels.

Goal 2
Recruit, admit, and retain highly qualified students with diverse experiences and perspectives.

Goal 3
Create an environment conducive to faculty promotion, retention, and personal and professional growth.

Going First

Our goals are essential in meeting our motto - Mountaineers going first. 

We have the distinction of being the first integrated dental hygiene program in the country. We were pioneers in combining a degree program based in liberal arts and professional clinical curriculum. Nationally, other programs are modeled after what we have been doing at the WVU School of Dentistry for years.

Student participation in our Rural Health Initiative sets us apart from most dental hygiene programs. Each student attends a Rural Site Externship for eight weeks to obtain "real world" experience in a rural dental practice and the community.

Exceeding Expectation

We have a reputation of being fully accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. The most recent accreditation site visit was conducted in Spring 2016.
The Department of Dental Hygiene has the reputation for producing outstanding clinicians who are in high demand with a 100% job placement rate.  Additionally, our graduates are very successful in post-graduate programs including medicine, dentistry, business and law.

Revealing Research

Students design and implement a two-year research project, culminating in a formal presentation of their research during the dental school's alumni day.