The Dental Hygiene program at Missouri Southern is working to make a transition from the current associate of science in dental hygiene to a four-year bachelor’s degree.

“Our timeline is to have the proposed curriculum and plan of study ready to propose to the School Curriculum Oversight Committee, the Academic Policies Committee and the Faculty Senate by September,” says Stacie Scrivner, chair of the department.

From there, the proposed bachelor’s program would go before the Board of Governors, the program’s accrediting body and the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

Scrivner says more states are adopting the Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner model created by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association – a program open to dental hygienists with a bachelor’s degree that allows them to become preventive specialists, clinical researchers and more competitive in sales and other areas.

“(Having a bachelor’s degree) will open more doors for our students and make them more marketable,” she says. “We want to get our students out there and ready to go if they want to get their master’s degree.”