*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Dental Assistants, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
What you need to understand about online or campus learning is that the amount of time it takes to complete courses entirely depends on your commitment to studying.
A typical associates degree requires 60 to 65 credits to complete the course, which can take around 2 years for full-time students. Students that already have an associates degree, could complete a bachelors within 2 years depending on the amount of courses and classes they take each semester. Online training usually takes 2 years but can take up to 3 years since most students only study part-time. In fact, most online schools have a time limit to complete programs, where they give you 4 years to complete the program and if you don't finish in that time you will lose credits earned toward your degree.
Another example is studying for a master's degree full-time on campus can take 2 years to complete, where studying online for the same course can take 3 to 4 years depending on how many courses you complete each semester. However, you should also be aware that, if you devote more time to studying than most on-campus students; if you complete courses during the summer and maintain a full course load each year, you will be able to finish your degree in less than 2 years.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
It is important to align your career goals with the school and program that you select. If you wish to enter a field like Dental Assisting, then you should select a school that offers coursework in Dental Assisting. Further, you can look for schools that provide hands-on experiences like internships and projects with real-world companies.
The two most prominent types of Diploma/Certificate levels in Dental Assisting are: Bachelor of Arts degree (BA degree) and a Bachelor of Science degree (BS degree). A BA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about Dental Assisting. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.
The Diploma/Certificate degree in Dental Assisting, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Bachelor of Science students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Bachelor's degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Bachelor of Science degree. You can find some sample classes for a Diploma/Certificate in Dental Assisting below:
Currently, students enrolled in two-year universities have less than a 50% chance of graduating within two years. Statistics vary from university to university, but many students are graduating closer to the 6-year range.
If you want to be one of the lucky 40% who do graduate in your second year, you'll need to make a few sacrifices. First, you'll have to take more than the minimum 12 credit hours per semester. Take 15 credits per semester, because you'll finish earning the required credits in around two years.
Go to school each summer session. Take at least one class per summer semester. Not only will you be sure to graduate on time, but you may also benefit with lower per-credit tuition charges, as well.
Declare a major as soon as you can. You won't be moving from major to major this way. If you have to work for gas or rent, work for the fewest number of hours per week that you can. Your studies are vital.
Your school's accreditation is an important aspect of getting your Diploma/Certificate in Dental Assisting degree. The two most common forms of accreditation are regional and national.
Regional accreditation is the most recognized and most prestigious available. Because of this label, these colleges often have higher tuition and have more competitive admission standards. Regional accreditation accounts for over 85% of colleges across the United States. There are 6 different regions, including:
MSA (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools)
NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges)
NCA (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools)
NAC (Northwest Accreditation Commission)
SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools)
WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges)
National accreditation is less common. National accreditation agencies oversee the accreditation process for career, vocational, and trade schools across the United States. As a result, these schools tend to be less expensive, require less general coursework, and feature a more practical, career-oriented curriculum. Because it is less structured, schools are only reviewed every 3-5 years to ensure that they still meet accreditation requirements.
Accreditation is an important part of the selection process. It adds value to a Diploma/Certificate in Dental Assisting degree by offering wider acceptance than degrees from non-accredited schools receive. Accreditation ensures employers and other reviewers of your educational background that you have a quality education in Dental Assisting. It informs potential employers that the graduate has the expected level of education and knowledge to perform work in today's high-paced, technology-driven environments.
The Department of Education designates regional and national accreditation agencies. It is also through this department that educational loans and grants are provided to college students. The federal policy is to limit student loans to schools and colleges with acceptable accreditation. Which means that, if your school isn't accredited, you will likely not be eligible to receive any financial aid. For many students, accreditation is key to getting funds to pay for the substantial costs of a degree in Dental Assisting.
A two-year degree in Dental Assisting is an investment into your future. The cost of tuition can vary widely depending on the academic excellence of the university and the specific field of study chosen. You can expect tuition for a Diploma/Certificate in Dental Assisting to cost anywhere from $8,000-$72,000 per year. The cost of tuition for online degrees is typically the same cost as on-campus. When talking about costs, it is important to factor in textbooks, technology, as well as room and board, as those costs are separate from tuition. These are average college tuition costs and does not include financial aid. It is important for each and every student to seek out financial aid options to help pay for their college tuition.
The cost of your education is worth every penny, because it is an investment in your future. You may feel that you are investing too much money in a degree but remember that it will all come back to you. Once you get the career that you've been aiming for, you will be to pay off your student loans and live a better life.
If you are going to spend a lot of time and energy to attain a Dental Assisting degree, you will certainly want some job placement assistance as you near graduation. Discuss this with your admissions counselor when you are considering the right program. In fact, you might want to broaden that discussion by asking about how your school handles internships and if co-op programs are available. Experiential learning can help you not only gain the skills needed to land a job, but you can also cultivate a professional network that will help you build the career you deserve.