While acknowledging that the term “accredited” is thrown around quite a bit within the world of education, it is common to give little thought to what that actually means.
Yet we still might know that it is something we want in a college offering dental assistant training.
The definition of the word “accredit” found at dictionary.com says, “to certify (a school or college) as meeting all formal official requirements of academic excellence, curriculum, facilities, etc.”
So, a college that is accredited has voluntarily been accessed to prove that they meet significant standards of academic excellence as well as notable prominence throughout the rest of the range of services they offer.
Who Decides If a College Can Be Accredited?
Have you ever wondered how a college receives the status of accreditation?
From country to country, accreditation standards vary, but assuming you are searching for an accredited dental assisting college in the U.S., a look at how it is done here is appropriate.
The United States government does not directly accredit colleges although The Secretary of Education deems agencies equipped to do the job – there are six regional agencies throughout the country that are responsible for giving accreditation.
So, even though accreditation is not done directly by the government, they appoint the agencies that will – the Secretary of Education has the legal responsibility of publishing the list of the agencies that do accredit colleges for your dental assistant education, and also offers a database of all legally accredited schools and colleges in the United States.
If, for any reason, you feel compelled to verify the accreditation of a college you are considering, you will easily find your answers by utilizing your favorite search engine. The bottom line is, it will behoove you to choose an accredited college.
Willingness To Offer Information & Answer Your Questions
Having an idea of any particular area of dental assisting that you would prefer to specialize in is beneficial, but not a necessity.
Counselors should be informational and eager to help you decide if you fit best into a generalized dental assistant program or one that targets a specific variety of training.
You are the one shopping to find the right dental assistant college for you. Well-trained intake counselors should be readily available to you, with answers to your questions and any information needed to address concerns that arise.
They want your business, so shop for a school that shows that they do.
Remember, you are the consumer, looking to make an investment through becoming educated for a career in dental assisting – a college is an educational institution, certainly, but they also want your business, and you should feel like a valued customer in all their dealings with you.
Online and On-Campus Choices
There is no need for worry about finding a dental assisting college that can provide you with the curriculum that you need; that’s the easy part. But you have exciting choices to make.
You decide if it is best for you to get in your car and show up for a face-to-face learning experience, or if meeting your requirements from home, in your pajamas, if you choose, sounds more like your style – there is much to be appreciated in either online or on-campus settings. The quality of the experiences and information that you will obtain can realistically be considered equal.
Whether you choose the online or on-campus setting is simply and individual choice that you make after weighing what each one brings.
Comparing Campus Experiences to Online Learning
Campus: When you choose a campus environment for your training as a dental assistant, you meet face-to-face with your instructor.
Online: If you are a student online you will find that instructors are committed to their communication with you, often providing numerous means for contact and what to expect in the turn-around time for answering you.
Campus: When you choose on-campus classes, you meet and interact with the other classmates, are able to get others’ take on information presented, and chances to help each other.
Online: Most online classes require interaction with each other by means of a discussion board where students exchange ideas, comments, and questions through posting. These discussion boards are valuable in providing an avenue for students to enhance the experience for each other.
Campus: Professors often provide visual aids and lectures that can assist you in understanding the covered material.
Online: Professors of online studies provide methodically thorough instructions as well as media links (audio and video) to enhance your learning experience.
Campus: Some students acknowledge that they need the added commitment of physically showing up at a given time in order to stay abreast with deadlines or goals. They feel that they know themselves well enough to determine that the campus experience is necessary for their success.
They believe that they can commit to being present at the designated time and place, and that the logistics of attending class are doable for them. They plan to take advantage of on-campus child care options. They believe that the campus experience will bring the enrichment they desire.
Online: Others are confident about their own time management and commitment to their education and want to be free from day to day to choose which hours they dedicate to that goals.
The online student chooses the flexibility of receiving instruction in the wee hours of the morning or by burning the midnight oil. They benefit from wear and tear on the car and saving gas.
They also choose to fulfill their scholastic commitment during hours that their children are asleep or at school, or simply when they can find time to focus. The online student is committed to a more independent learning style.
How Are Labs and Exams Handled Online?
All common varieties of testing are utilized through online courses – multiple-choice questions, true and false, matching, short answer, and essays may be encountered in an online class.
Most online classes provide the means to fulfill quiz, test, and exam requirements through the learning website utilized at the particular college.
Occasionally a professor will require a trip to campus for an exam or final, but that is more the exception than the norm. If that ever is required, a student is notified well in advance (usually, weeks) to make arrangements to attend, and generally several allotted time options are available.
Yes, online courses with labs have been perfected too – for instance: in a biology class that entails a lab, the instructor gives you the details for obtaining a lab kit.
The kit provides you with necessary materials needed to complete your experiments. A submission may be made through photographs of different stages of your project or in another way the professor chooses.
Having Your Cake and Eating It Too!
You don’t even need to be committed to all online or all on-campus education for your dental assistant training! Many have found their optimum experience in utilizing both.
Colleges are incredibly ready to provide you with the help to get started, including help with financial aid – you may qualify for Pell Grants, (that are not paid back) or student loans, if you wish.
Either way, getting educated to become a dental assistant has been so simplified for you that you can easily get started today. You know your options. A large portion of your work is now behind you. Sign up today and move into making your dental assisting career a reality!