a collage of people having their teeth cleaned by dental hygienist.

Dental Hygiene

Carl Sandburg College offers an Associate in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. Our hands-on program prepares students to become dental hygienists in two years (including one summer). This limited enrollment program successfully prepares students to take the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination, the clinical dental hygiene board examination, and the examination for registration as a dental hygienist in the respective state.

Application Dates

Students MUST meet with a Dental Hygiene academic advisor to discuss admission requirements and determine application eligibility PRIOR to applying to the program. Students can then apply online to the Dental Hygiene Program from October 1 - February 15. The application deadline date is February 15 for fall enrollment. Applications submitted before or after this timeframe will not be accepted. 

Anyone interested in this program must first complete the steps to enroll to become a Carl Sandburg College student. Applicants should review the Limited Enrollment Programs page for detailed instructions.


About the Program

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Although it is not required, it is recommended that applicants complete some of the required Dental Hygiene Program general education courses prior to the start of the program due to the rigorous quality of the program. General education courses do not have to be taken at Sandburg, although course equivalences should be verified prior to enrolling in courses at other institutions. All courses, including all program courses and pre-requisites courses, must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.

All applicants must meet the following Dental Hygiene program admission criteria to be eligible for selection review. The Program Application Checklist outlines the admission requirements and all information that must be on file by the application deadline. 

  1. Have a minimum of 23 admission points as calculated on the Admission Points Worksheet

  2. The following courses from sections a) or b) must be completed with a grade of (C) or higher.

    a) BIO 101 – General Biology or equivalent AND CHM 100- Concepts of Chemistry or equivalent*
    b) BIO 211 – Anatomy and Physiology 1* AND BIO 212- Anatomy and Physiology 2*
    AND BIO 200 – General Microbiology *

  3. Fill out the online application. Applicants should review the Limited Enrollment Programs page for detailed instructions.

* All science courses must be less than seven (7) years old at the time of application.

There are 30 seats in the program annually. Of the 30 seats available each year, spaces are reserved for Carl Sandburg College, Spoon River College, Black Hawk College, Southeastern Community College, and Eastern Iowa Community College residents; any remaining spaces are available to include other districts. 

Carl Sandburg College reserves the right to postpone the start of a program or cancel the program based on enrollment numbers, clinical site availability, and/or instructor availability.

Special Note:

Students must complete a criminal background check prior to entering the program. Findings on the criminal background check may void conditional/full admission and prevent entrance to the program.

If an applicant has been convicted of a felony, he/she should consult the laws concerning licensure in the state or states in which he/she wishes to practice. This program requires CPR certification and Hepatitis B vaccination prior to entering dental hygiene classes. Details for this requirement are presented at the mandatory orientation meeting.

Although the COVID-19 vaccination is not an admission requirement, most healthcare clinical sites require vaccination against COVID-19. Students should check with their program coordinator for more details.

If a student is unable to participate in and/or complete clinical/practicum/internship courses required for the program due to a positive drug test which includes marijuana, they are not eligible for a refund of any tuition, fees, or other expenses incurred while preparing for admission into the program and while enrolled in the program.

Career and technical programs/courses are offered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or status in any group protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. Title IX Coordinator: 309.341.5258. ADA/504 Coordinator: 309.341.5262. Coordinator: 309.341.5262.

For additional information contact:      
The Welcome Center

Program Goals
  1. The dental hygiene student will complete all college requirements to attain an Associate in Applied Science degree.

  2. The dental hygiene student will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be a competent entry-level dental hygienist.

  3. The dental hygiene student will exhibit the values and skills necessary for life-long learning and self-improvement.

  4. The dental hygiene student will manage the ethical and professional responsibilities of the dental hygiene profession.


The dental hygiene program has been approved by the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The program is accredited by the American Dental Association 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 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611


Graduates from the dental hygiene program will be eligible to take the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination, the respective clinical dental hygiene board examination, and the examination for registration as a dental hygienist in the respective state.

The Dental Hygiene Program at Carl Sandburg College meets the state education requirements for a Registered Dental Hygienist license in the states of Illinois and Iowa. Carl Sandburg College has not determined if the Dental Hygiene Program at Carl Sandburg College meets the state education requirements in any other state, any U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia. Contact the state regulatory agency for Dental Hygiene in any other state for which this information is needed.


  • 2022 Written 72%  Clinical 80%
  • 2021 Written 75%  Clinical 100%
  • 2020 Written 85%  Clinical 99% 
  • 2019 Written 85% Clinical 96%
  • 2018 Written 94% Clinical 89%  



Schedule Example


Courses in this degree are offered face-to-face in the classroom and through clinical experiences in our dental hygiene lab.

Sample Schedule

Sample schedule for Dental Hygiene - Non-COVID format


Sandburg offers courses in a variety of formats to best fit the needs of our students. To determine the formats for specific courses, please refer to our course schedule.

Regardless of the course format, it is highly recommended that students have access to a reliable computer with broadband internet. All courses use online resources and require students to access course information through mySandburg. Accessing courses through a phone is discouraged. Both campuses have open computer labs for student use.

Click here for a list of the class formats.

Estimated Cost

Estimated Cost

Dental Hygiene cost sheet

Estimated Cost For Supplies


To apply for financial aid, visit our financial aid page for more information.


Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Contact the local office to inquire if you qualify for financial support. 

  • Hancock County 550 N. Madison St. Carthage, IL 217.357.6749
  • Warren/Henderson County 1025 S. 2nd St, Monmouth, IL 309.734.4745
  • Knox County Bondi Building, 311 E. Main, Suite 612, Galesburg, IL 309.343.9832
  • McDonough County 440 N. Lafayette, Macomb, IL 309.837.1280


Thanks to our generous donors, Carl Sandburg College Foundation is able to award over $100,000 each year in scholarship dollars to Sandburg students. High school, adult learners, and returning students - everyone is eligible to apply. Apply between October 1 and March 15 for the upcoming year. We encourage all students to apply. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am not admitted to the program or placed on an alternative list and no spaces are available do I have to apply again?

Yes, applicants who are denied admission to a program and wish to apply for a subsequent academic year must repeat the application process in its entirety. As a result, no application files are carried over from prior years, which allows the evaluation process to begin anew on Oct. 1 of each year. The $50 application fee is non-refundable and must be paid with each new application to the program.


How do you evaluate applications?

Admission to limited enrollment programs is competitive and selection is based on candidates’ overall academic performance. All prospective students for the dental hygiene program must submit all admission materials and meet admission requirements before their applications will be considered for review. The most qualified applicants who are residents of the Carl Sandburg College district or who are residents of a community college district participating in a cooperative agreement with Carl Sandburg College will be given preference for admission to the programs. Please refer to the Admission Selection Points Worksheet for ranking criteria.


When will I know if I am accepted to the program?

Applicants will be notified in writing within two weeks of the admission meeting of admission status. After the review of applications, each student will be offered admission, placed on the alternate list, or denied admission. Alternates will be offered conditional admission as positions on the conditional admission list become available. All students, including those on alternate lists, are required to attend a mandatory orientation meeting to receive program information and requirements.


How do I hold my seat if I am accepted? 

Applicants who are admitted (including alternates) to Dental Hygiene program must pay a $50 acceptance fee when notified of initial program admission status to guarantee a place in the program to the Carl Sandburg College Business Office. 


Will I receive credit for the $50 to hold my seat?

For the student fully or conditionally admitted to the Program, the $50 seat fee will be applied to your tuition. If no tuition or fees balance remains, the seat fee will be refunded to the student after financial aid refund after the 100 percent drop date for 16-week courses. If an entity other than the student paid the seat fee, the student will not receive a refund. Students who accept their seats and withdraw for any reason will forfeit the seat fee. Alternates who are not admitted will receive a refund.



Career Opportunities

Potential Careers


Dental hygienists may work in various capacities, including clinical practice, education, sales and marketing, research, public health, administration, or as an entrepreneur. Clinical settings require dental hygienists to follow strict infection control procedures to protect themselves and their patients from infectious diseases. Flexible hours are common.

Dental Hygienist


The employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2031. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly salary of dental hygienists was $37.41 in May 2021. Earnings vary by geographic location, employment setting, and years of experience. Flexible scheduling is a distinctive feature of this job. Full-time, part-time, evening, and weekend schedules are widely available. Hygienists are frequently hired to work only two or three days a week, so hygienists may hold jobs in more than one dental office. Dental hygienists work in offices that are clean and well-lit, and they must follow important health safeguards, including wearing safety glasses, masks, and gloves to protect themselves from bloodborne pathogens and infectious diseases. 

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Meet the Instructors

Meet our Instructors  

Stacy J. Kosier
Assistant Professor, Dental Hygiene
Coordinator, Dental Hygiene Program

Department of Health Professions                                                                                                
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.
Galesburg, IL 61401                                                                                                                    
Phone: 309.341.5299 



 Carla J. Eagen
Instructor, Dental Hygiene 


Student Organizations


Student American Dental Hygiene Association (SADHA) 

The Student American Dental Hygiene Association's purpose is to cultivate, promote and sustain the art and science of dental hygiene, to represent and safeguard the common interest of the members of the dental hygiene profession, and contribute toward the improvement of the oral health of the public. Students eligible are those students currently enrolled in the Carl Sandburg College Dental Hygiene program.

Advisor: Stacy Kosier 309.344.2595 or skosier@sandburg.edu

For a list of all student organizations, Follow the link