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COA receives seed money to launch dental assistance program – The Coastland Times

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COA receives seed money to launch dental assistance program

Published on Sunday, April 21, 2024 at 5:56 PM

College of The Albemarle (COA) has announced the receipt of substantial seed funding to establish a dental assisting program in partnership with East Carolina University’s (ECU) Dental Community Service Learning Center. The North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) recently allocated $239,746 to COA to address the critical need for dental education programming in Northeastern North Carolina.

“The College of The Albemarle Dental Assisting program is comprehensive and unique in its partnership with ECU’s Dental Community Service Learning Center and Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC),” according to a COA press release. “The ECU partnership provides invaluable resources, including laboratory training space and clinical site support, enhancing the quality of our program and our commitment to leveraging regional resources for the benefit of our students. College of The Albemarle has partnered with Catawba Valley Community College for the past two years to bring the program to our service area. We appreciate their cooperation and guidance in helping COA establish its program.”

“We are thrilled to receive this grant, which marks an important milestone in our efforts to bring sustainable dental education programs to Northeastern North Carolina,” said Robin Harris, COA dean of health sciences and wellness. “This funding will allow us to create a dental assisting program that meets the needs of our community while providing students with the skills and credentials necessary for success in the healthcare industry.”

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The seed grant will facilitate the purchase of essential equipment, including dental chair sets, to support hands-on training. In addition, resources will be allocated to curriculum development, teacher recruitment and program implementation. COA plans to begin its first dental cohort in May, with classes beginning May 6, 2024.

“This program represents a critical investment in the future of healthcare in our region,” said Dr. Jack Bagwell, president of College of The Albemarle. “By equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge, we are not only meeting the demands of the workforce, but also enabling individuals to pursue a rewarding career in dental assisting.”

The COA Dental Assisting Program provides students with a pathway to obtain a certificate of completion in Dental Assisting I and the opportunity to pursue additional qualifications through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and in partnership with employers. “With an emphasis on hands-on training and clinical experience, graduates will be well prepared to work as skilled dental professionals,” the press release said.

Prospective students interested in enrolling in COA’s dental assisting program are encouraged to stop by or contact Elizabeth England at 252-335-0821, ext. 2368 or ext. 2250. The number of seats is limited.