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 you to become a dental hygienist in two years (including one summer). This limited-enrollment program successfully prepares you 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

You can then apply online to the Dental Hygiene Program from October 1 to February 15. The application deadline date is February 15 for fall enrollment. The Dental Hygiene academic advisor is here to review admissions requirements and application eligibility prior to applying to the program.


About the program

Admission requirements

Although not required, we recommend you 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-requisite courses, must be completed with a grade of C or better. 

  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. Complete the online application. Applicants should review the Limited Enrollment Programs page for detailed instructions.

* All science courses must be less than seven 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.


  1. If you have not already done so, complete the steps to enroll to become a Carl Sandburg College student.

  2. Once you receive the email from the Welcome Center with your student ID, log into mySandburg to find the Apply for Limited Enrollment Programs tile, select the Dental Hygiene Application link, and complete and submit the application.
  3. Pay the $50 non-refundable application fee.

  4. Submit documentation of dental assistant certifications or work experience if applicable.

  5. Submit transcripts to verify prior degrees or courses required if you have not already done so.

  6. Submit official scores for TEAS/ACT/SAT for the points calculation. Note: TEAS scores are valid for two years, and SAT and ACT scores are valid for five years.

    The applicant's TEAS test score is a factor that contributes to eligibility for enrollment in this program. Students interested in Dental Hygiene enrollment can join the Sandburg PATH to TEAS Excellence program. The Sandburg Path to TEAS Excellence program may provide access to TEAS test preparation materials at no cost to the applicants. Students who successfully complete the practice tests are eligible for one official TEAS test reimbursement. This program has been made possible grant funding from the state of Illinois. Students may express interest in the program by completing this form. Funding will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

  7. Monitor mySandburg and your Sandburg email accounts for status updates for your application.

Background checks, vaccinations and drug screenings

You 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 you have been convicted of a felony, you should consult the laws concerning licensure in the state or states in which you wish 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. You should check with your program coordinator for more details.

If you are unable to participate in and/or complete clinical/practicum/internship courses required for the program due to a positive drug test, which includes marijuana, you 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

  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 lifelong 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.

Contact the Commission on Dental Accreditation 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.


  • 2023: Written 67% | Clinical 93%
  • 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%  



Postsecondary institutions participating in federal student aid programs are required to make certain disclosures to enrolled and prospective students, parents, employees and the public. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (34 §C.F.R. 668.43) requires disclosures by institutions regarding educational requirements for programs leading to professional licensure or certification regardless of modality. The institution must make readily available to enrolled and prospective students information about whether programs leading to professional licensure or certification meet educational requirements.

Click here to view licensure information by state for dental hygiene, medical imaging programs, medical assisting, and mortuary science. 

If Sandburg College has not determined whether a program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification outside the state of Illinois, you should contact the licensing entity to determine whether it meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the state you live or work. 

You may contact the Dean of Health Professions with questions: 

Tiffany Viggiano, Ph.D., M.Ed.
Dean of Health Professions
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.
Galesburg, IL 61401


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

View a sample schedule for Dental Hygiene.


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, you should have access to a reliable computer with broadband  (high-speed) 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.

View class formats.

Estimated cost

View the 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)  helps 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 see 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, the  Carl Sandburg College Foundation is able to award more than $100,000 each year in scholarship dollars to Sandburg students. High school, adult learners and returning students are eligible to apply between October 1 and March 15 for the upcoming year.

Frequently asked questions

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

Yes, if you are denied admission to a program and wish to apply for a subsequent academic year, you must repeat the application process in its entirety. No application files are carried over from prior years, which allows the evaluation process to begin anew on October 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 the 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 fee balance remains, the seat fee will be refunded to the student after any financial aid refund after the 100% 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 U.S. 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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Connect and engage

Meet the instructors

Meet our Program Coordinator  

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 




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 | skosier@sandburg.edu

View all student organizations.