Skip to content
Home ยป University of Illinois Chicago

University of Illinois Chicago

The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry has initiated the Dental Assistant Pathway Program (DAPP), thanks to a three-year grant from the Otho S.A. Sprague Memorial Institute. This innovative program is designed to create career advancement opportunities in dental assisting for young adults and community members interested in oral health.

Program Objectives and Funding

DAPP aims to address the critical need for skilled dental assistants in oral healthcare delivery within the college and the broader region. The Otho S.A. Sprague Memorial Institute, established in 1911, funds this program as part of its commitment to alleviate human suffering and disease in Chicago and surrounding areas.

Program Structure

The 15-week program blends asynchronous online instruction, in-person classroom lectures, and clinical rotations. Participants are employed at the UIC College of Dentistry as Extra Help Dental Assistant I โ€“ DAPP, receiving hands-on experience while completing their foundational training. This program equips them to take the National Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA) exam through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

Curriculum and Certification

The curriculum covers various areas, including dental terminology, general dental assisting, anatomy, infection control, radiology, laboratory procedures, chairside assisting, and dental ethics. Additionally, participants undergo specialty rotations in sterilization, radiology, and various dental specialties like orthodontics and oral surgery. Upon completion, candidates receive a certificate from UIC College of Dentistry and are eligible for the NELDA certification exam, with the cost ($400) covered by the college.

Application Process and Requirements

Candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent can apply, with no prior dentistry or healthcare experience required. The application process for the program involves submitting an online application, attending interviews, and undergoing employment clearances.

Participant Experience and Contact Information

Zamandra Calderon, a dental assistant and a participant in the DAPP pilot program, shares her positive experience, highlighting the program’s role in providing a strong foundation in dental assisting and offering a new career perspective.

For more information or to apply for the DAPP, interested individuals can contact the UIC College of Dentistry via email at [email protected].

Program InformationDetails
Program Duration15 weeks
Class SchedulesCombination of online instruction and in-person lectures
PrerequisitesHigh school diploma or equivalent
Location801 S. Paulina St., Chicago, IL 60612
Phone(312) 996-7555
Email[email protected]
Job PlacementNo
Online Classes?Yes (Part of the program is online)
Free Classes?Yes

UIC’s Dental Assistant Pathway Program is a significant initiative providing comprehensive training and professional development in dental assisting, contributing to the growth of skilled healthcare professionals in the dental sector.