Program Description

The Dental Assisting curriculum prepares the student to take on significant responsibility as a member of the dental health care team. Employment positions are available in dental offices, hospitals, clinics, dental schools and professional sales. Dental Assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in delivery of quality oral health care. A career in dental assisting offers many challenges and a variety of procedures. Specific tasks may be performed such as: assisting with and providing direct patient care, taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays), sterilizing instruments, taking impressions, and performing office management tasks. Dental assisting offers variety, flexibility, excellent working conditions, and personal satisfaction. Students successfully completing the program will receive the following certificates for courses approved by the Dental Board of California: Radiation Safety, Pit and Fissure Sealant, Coronal Polish, Ultrasonic Scaling for Removal of Orthodontic Cement, Dental Practice Act and Infection Control. Participation of all off-campus assigned sites are required for program completion. Students must provide their own transportation to off-campus sites. Some off-campus sites require homeland security screening and verification of legal status. A selected uniform, malpractice insurance, and instrument kit rental are required for the program participation.

The dental assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association and approved as a Registered Dental Assisting Program by the Dental Board of California. Upon successful completion of the program and meeting board exam eligibility requirements, the student can take the following exams: Dental Assisting National Board examination to obtain a certificate as a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) and the California Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) examinations to obtain a license as a Registered Dental Assistant. Upon completion of the advanced Orthodontic assistant class, the student qualifies to take the California Orthodontic Assistant Exam (OA).

Fingerprinting is mandatory with the RDA examination.

The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “Approval without reporting requirements”.  The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.  The Commission’s web address is:

Dental Board of California

A Certificate of Achievement is awarded upon completion of all required courses with a grade of C or better.

Program Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate technical skills and abilities, safety and infection control procedures as outlined by the California Dental Practice Act. (DA 100, 108, 110, 123A, 123B, 125, 127, 135, 140, 142).
  2. Exhibit professional growth, behavior, knowledge and development; foster empathy and concern; and work toward a commitment of excellence at all times (all DA courses).
  3. Exhibit communication and conflict skills and strategies that are effective with individuals and groups who are diverse in age, gender or culture (all DA courses).

This program is designed to be completed in months.

This program will cost if completed within normal time. There may be additional costs for living expenses. These costs were accurate at the time of posting, but may have changed.

Of the students who completed this program within normal time, the typical graduate leaves with of debt.

License requirements:

For more information about graduation rates, loan repayment rates, and post-enrollment earnings about this institution and other postsecondary institutions please click here:

This program has not passed standards established by the U.S. Department of Education. The Department based these standards on the amounts students borrow for enrollment in this program and their reported earnings. If in the future the program does not pass the standards, students who are then enrolled may not be able to use federal student grants or loans to pay for the program, and may have to find other ways, such as private loans, to pay for the program.

 Career Snapshot

Requirements for Admission into the Dental Assisting Program are:

  1. Graduation from an accredited high school or equivalent with a 2.0 grade point average. Satisfactory completion of College level courses.
  2. Grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 for all college work.
  3. Two sets of high school and college transcripts.
  4. Completed application of admission to the program.
  5. Current CPR/Basic Life Support (BLS) card, which must be maintained while in the program. CPR training can be obtained from the American Heart Association. 
  6. After acceptance into the program, submit a completed health data form evidencing good health including required immunizations/chest x-ray or Mantoux test.

The Application Process:

Applications are accepted on a year-round basis. Students interested in the part-time Dental Assisting Program or additional program information should consult with the program director.

Recommended Preparation:

Eligibility for English 100 or equivalent.

Additional Courses Required for the Associate in Science Degree:

Consult with a Counselor to determine which classes qualify to receive credit in the general education categories of Natural Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, Language and Rationality, American Institutions, Health Education, and Physical Activity for the Associate in Science degree.

Requirements for the Certificate of Achievement

Required units: 37.5

  • DA 100 - Dental Materials (3)
  • DA 108 - Infection Control in Dentistry (2)
  • DA 110 - Introduction to Dental Essentials (3.5)
  • DA 111 - Applied Human Behavior (2)
  • DA 123A - Chairside Techniques (4.5)
  • DA 123B - Advanced Chairside Techniques (4)
  • DA 124 - Office Administration (3)
  • DA 125 - Clinical Experience (6.5)
  • DA 127 - Clinical Experience (4)
  • DA 135 - Registered Dental Assistant Techniques (3)
  • DA 140 - Oral Radiology (4)

Recommended electives:

  • DA 142 - Advanced Oral Radiology Techniques (0.5)
  • DA 149 - Orthodontic Assistant (2.5)
  • DA 150 - Clinical Experience in a Specialty Practice (0.5)
  • DA 160 - Comprehensive Dental Assisting Skills and Techniques (0.5)
  • DA 200A - Dental Assisting Lab (1)
  • DA 200B - Dental Assisting Technical Skills Enhancement Lab (1)

Download Requirements

Earn an Associate of Science Degree With Your Certificate of Achievement

An AS Degree prepares you with the unique skills needed to enter a specialized career field. Earned in conjunction with a Certificate of Achievement, it will open up further opportunities for career advancement.

To earn your AS degree, you will need to complete the general education requirements for an AS degree in addition to the above listed Certificate of Achievement Requirements.

Download AS Degree Requirements

Catalog Year
This information reflects the information from the 2020-2021 catalog. If you have questions about a previous version, please review our Catalog Archives and/or speak with a Counselor.