HCN News & Notes

STCC Named Among Top Schools for Dental Hygiene

SPRINGFIELD — The dental hygiene program at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) has been named one of the best two-year associate degree programs in the country.

GradReports featured STCC’s program as part of its 2020 Best Colleges list. GradReports’ rankings are the first to be based on median early-career salary data of more than 5 million graduates from the U.S. Department of Education’s resource, College Scorecard. STCC’s dental hygiene program ranked highest in the state among community-college programs.

GradReports is a data-driven research product by Optimal, a research firm in Kirkland, Wash. In compiling rankings, GradReports factors in the cost of attending the college and debt students carry the first year after graduation. GradReports says the median salary for a STCC dental hygiene graduate is $57,500.

“We’re delighted to make GradReports’ list of best two-year associate-degree programs in the country,” said Meg Loadholt, program coordinator for dental hygiene.

Christopher Scott, dean of the School of Health and Patient Simulation, said the national ranking is a testament to the efforts of faculty, staff, and students. “Dental hygiene at STCC is a competitive program with rigorous standards. Our students put in long hours to get their degree. They should be proud to graduate from the highly acclaimed program.”

Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases, and provide other preventive dental care. The two-year program at STCC leads to an associate degree. Graduates must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene exam and regional clinical licensing examinations before being eligible for state licensure. The program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Assoc.

It’s not the only program in the School of Health and Patient Simulation to receive a top ranking. Earlier this year, the nursing program at STCC was listed among the top two-year programs in Massachusetts, according to Nursing Schools Almanac.