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Dental Hygiene

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Graduate Dental Hygiene Online - Curriculum & Prerequisites*

Course Descriptions

Year 1, Fall 

  • DHYGRACK 687 - Foundations of Dental Hygiene, Education, and Health Care:  This course provides an overview of the current and future trends impacting oral health, dental hygiene, higher education, and health care services. The role of individuals and organizations in addressing health disparities, preparation of future workforces, and promoting change will be addressed. Students will begin to examine leadership roles and professional development.
  • DHYGRACK 693 - Research Principles and Application:  In this course students will attain an understanding of evidence-based practice, scientific methods and analysis of research findings.  Emphasis will be placed on types of research, formulation of research question and hypothesis, research planning and design, data collection, statistical concepts, and synthesis of the scientific literature.  This course will guide students through the stages of developing a proposal and will culminate with each student presenting a draft research proposal

Year 1, Winter

  • DHYGRACK 684 - Oral Health Sciences:  In this course students will focus on an integrated review of the literature in radiology, periodontics and oral medicine as related to dental hygiene teaching.  Analysis and application of oral health sciences in the dental hygiene curriculum is included.
  • DHYGRACK 692 - Evidence Based Practice:   This course builds upon foundational skills learned in Research Principles and Application.  Through judicious critical appraisal of current clinical and scientific literature, students will learn how to combine a thorough evaluation of the literature with their own clinical expertise in order to formulate best evidence-based patient care decisions.  The research thesis process will be elucidated such that each student will be prepared to commence their individual mater’s level research project.  This course will end with each student developing an individual research proposal.

Year 1,  Spring – Summer

  • DHYGRACK 689 - Educational Concepts and Strategies:  In this course will focus on the study of theory, principles, and research related to teaching and learning, development of ethical reasoning, critical thinking and reflective judgment, development of curricular frameworks, outcomes and competencies, and course delivery methods.
  • DHYGRACK 680 - Health Promotion and Disease Prevention:   This course focuses on social and behavioral science theories, research, and interventions aimed at promoting health of individuals and communities. Content will provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health and health behaviors. The impact of culture and health literacy will be factored into strategies for behavior change and health promotion initiatives. Students will examine and apply strategies for influencing health behavior change and facilitating individual and community involvement in disease prevention, health maintenance, and health improvement.

Year 2,  Fall

  • DENTED 630 - Practicum in Pre-Clinical/Clinical Teaching:  This course provides the student with guided experiences in teaching foundation and advanced clinical skills. The seminar will focus on the theory and practices of clinical instruction and clinical supervision, as they relate to psychomotor skill development, competency-based evaluation systems. In addition, CODA standards, dealing with students in difficulty, promotion of critical thinking/self-directed learning, faculty calibration, evidence-based teaching, and professionalism and ethics will be applied to the role of the pre-clinical and clinical instructor.
  • DHYGRACK 685 - Foundations of Oral Health Services:  This course examines issues and policies affecting health care and oral health services. Factors influencing access to care and provision of care to underserved populations are included. Elements of program planning and implementation in community health will be covered.

Year 2,  Winter

  • DENTED 631 - Practicum in Didactic Teaching:  This course provides the student with guided experiences in teaching foundation and advanced didactic teaching skills. The seminar will focus on the theory and practices of didactic instruction as they relate to cognitive, affective, and psychomotor development, using the principles of integrated course design as the platform for teaching design.
  • DHYGRACK 694 - Applied Biostatistics:  This second course in statistics is intended to provide students with the skills necessary to carry out statistical analysis commonly employed in health sciences. Students will identify the scientific objectives of their research projects and develop a statistical analysis and presentation strategy appropriate for those objectives. Various statistical software packages will be used to manipulate the data into an analyzable form.

Year 2,  Spring-Summer

  • DENTED 632 - Leadership and Administration:  There are many potential roles for the dental hygienist and this course is designed to provide the knowledge and experience for career advancement.  Students will apply leadership theories and models to a variety of educational and healthcare settings.  Emphasis is on the application of administrative concepts in organizations including program planning and development, advocacy, and managing change.  Students will also create a professional self-presentation ePortfolio.
  • DHYGRACK 688 - Thesis:  Independent research leading to the advancing of a new point of view. Students must complete the thesis and thesis defense prior to confirmation of the Master of Science in Dental Hygiene. This course is the final course in the thesis curricular thread of the MSDH program. It is designed to guide students through the development of the remaining chapters of their written thesis document as well as the other required sections of this work. This course also helps prepare the student for his/her public thesis defense presentation. Also included are modules focusing on publishing a master’s thesis research project and important authorship responsibilities. The course introduces the student to national and international research organizations and possible future advanced educational opportunities.

*Subject to change without notice.

Program Prerequisites

  • Certification in local anesthesia and nitrous oxide analgesia is a requirement and must be completed before year 2. This can be completed prior to enrolling in the Online Program or during the course sequencing, through Continuing Dental Education or through any other accredited dental hygiene program or continuing education program.
  • Students are required to complete a graduate level biostatistics or statistics course prior to beginning the program. A grade of “C” or better is required. Transcripts showing the course grade should be sent directly to the program director.
  • Biostatistics/statistics course must be approved by the graduate program director.

Rackham Cognate Course Requirement

Cognate courses are those that are in a discipline or area different from a student’s field of study, but are related or connected with some aspect of this field. Cognate coursework must be approved by the graduate program, and may be satisfied by:

  • Completing 4 credit hours of cognate coursework in approved graduate-level courses with a grade of B- or better. Courses outside of DHYGRACK meet the definition of a ‘cognate course.’
  • Visit the Rackham Graduate School website for additional information.