What you will learn
A graduate has met the goals of the VCC Dental Hygiene Diploma program based on the Entry-to-Practice Standards and Competencies for Canadian Dental Hygienists* by reliably demonstrating knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the following domains:
Professional: Use elements of the arts and science of dental hygiene in the service of the public such as the application of codes of ethics and professional conduct, the development of safe practice environments, and the responsibility/accountability for decisions and actions appropriate for a self-regulating profession.
Communicator/Collaborator: Use effective verbal, non-verbal, visual, written, and electronic communication methods in the exchange of ideas, opinions and information relevant to dental hygiene practice. As well as influence and work with others to improve the health and well-being of the public.
Critical Thinker: Invoke systematic inquiry, reasoning, problem-solving and decision-making strategies in the provision of all dental hygiene services.
Advocate: Speak, write, or act in support of causes, policies, individuals, or groups that aid to reduce inequities in health status or improve access to health services.
Coordinator: Support client needs and outcomes through the coordination and management of services, actions and resources.
Clinical Therapist: Provide primary, interceptive, therapeutic, preventive, and supportive care procedures that enable individuals and groups to achieve optimal oral health that contributes to overall health.
Oral Health Educator: Apply teaching and learning principles to facilitate the development and expansion of skills, attitudes, knowledge and behaviour which support oral health and general health.
Health Promoter: Use health promotion principles and strategies to enable individuals and groups to increase their control over and to improve their health.
* Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA). Entry-To-Practice Competencies and Standards for Canadian Dental Hygienists. Ottawa, ON: CDHA, 2010. Available from: https://www.cdha.ca/pdfs/Competencies_and_Standards.pdf
What to expect
Graduates of VCC’s Dental Hygiene diploma program are eligible to write the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB) examination. NDHCB certification is required to become a Registered Dental Hygienist through the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia (CDHBC) and practice dental hygiene in B.C. (additional fees apply).
The Dental Hygiene Program integrates the Entry-to-Practice National and Provincial standards and the National Competencies. These support the dental hygiene process of care by more clearly articulating the abilities inherent in the assessment, diagnosis/decision-making, planning, implementation and evaluation of dental hygiene services.
There is a focus on biomedical sciences, dental hygiene theory of practice, and behavioural sciences in the program. Instruction builds upon the knowledge and abilities of the first year university pre-requisite courses and introduces more advanced community and client care entry-to-practice level concepts in the final year.
Learning is fostered through seminars, lectures, labs, clinical practice sessions, group work, independent study, problem based learning, community outreach, and clinical rotations.
Students have opportunities to apply knowledge and practice various abilities while working with the public in the VCC Dental Clinic. In addition, rotations to a wide variety of health care and community facilities are organized for students to learn and apply abilities and knowledge in context.
Course work focuses on the development of informed decision making skills, communication skills and intra- and interprofessional teamwork strategies; as well as proficiency in self and peer evaluation. Other important curriculum threads are development of evidence-based inquiry skills, critical thinking and problem solving abilities. This focus is designed to foster the development of professionalism, a commitment to life long learning, and dedication to a self-regulating helping profession.
Admission to the Dental Hygiene Program is through a competitive selection process.
- Applicants must have completed the following first year university transfer credit courses
With an overall grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better:
- Human Anatomy & Physiology (including labs) (6 credits)
- Chemistry (including labs) (6 credits)
- English (6 credits)
- Psychology (6 credits)
- Introductory Statistics (3 credits)
- Elective (3 credits)
Applicants are advised to ensure that all academic work is transferable to a BC University and constitutes a complete university academic year or 30 credits.
Where the academic standing of applicants who have completed 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year courses in the required subject(s) is higher than that of the 1st year courses, the higher grade will be considered.
- School of Health Science English Language Proficiency Requirement.
If English is not your first language, successful completion of six credits of University transfer English courses (C+ grade or higher in each course), or completion of an English language assessment is required. Acceptable tests and score requirements are posted on the VCC Web site.
If your educational documents are not from a Canadian or American institution, you must submit an evaluation of foreign credentials. You may contact the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) located at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) or other approved credential evaluation services.
As a comprehensive evaluation of your education is required, you must provide an ICES VCC Dental Hygiene Supplemental Report or equivalent.
- A current “C” certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- A current certification in Emergency First Aid
- A Criminal Records Check (CRC) is required in accordance with the Criminal Records Review Act. All individuals who work with vulnerable adults and/or children must complete a Criminal Records Check through the Ministry of Justice. Applicants to this program should be aware that some practicum placement in hospitals and schools may require completion of a Criminal Records Check indicating no relevant criminal record. After submitting an admissions application, applicants will receive by email a web link and unique college access code to apply and pay for a Criminal Record Check online. Conviction for relevant offenses may preclude registration with the College of Dental Hygienists' of BC after graduation.
- Submission of a negative TB skin test. If the skin test is positive, proof of a negative TB chest x-ray is required. For further information about Health requirements click here.
- Current certification in Emergency First Aid.
- A complete immunization record (forms may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office)
Immunizations in the following are strongly recommended and may be required for practice placement in the program:
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
- Varicella Vaccination (Chicken Pox)
- Influenza Vaccination (required on an annual basis)
- Hepatitis B
Information specific to the Dental Hygiene program is available online at www.vcc.ca.
- This program is available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. See program options for international students at VCC International.
- Applicants must be 16 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school. (Some exceptions may apply.)
- Applicants must submit official transcripts and educational documents as required by their course or program.
- Interest in people and a career in a health profession.
- Ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written English.
- Good overall health, musculo-skeletal health, including good eyesight, hearing and manual dexterity, including fine psychomotor skills.
- Positive self-image with high standards of personal integrity and maturity.
- Desire to help others to be successful.
- Ability to attend to detail, to work accurately and neatly, and to manage time effectively.
- Ability to take initiative and handle responsibility.
- Ability to manage a full-time commitment to an academic program.
- A caring personality style.
Cautions: Students must be physically and psychologically healthy and be able to perform fine psychomotor skills to practice as a dental hygienist. The physical and mental demands of the profession may worsen back, wrist or shoulder problems. Materials used in oral health care may affect persons living with conditions such as latex sensitivity or other allergies.
Note: Students are expected to have regular access to email and internet services and the capability to print necessary documents. In addition, some vehicular travel is required between VCC Downtown campus and community agencies for rotation requirements.
Students will be required to submit proof to the department of a recent dental examination from a licensed British Columbia dentist. It is preferred that your dental and dental hygiene healthcare be complete and current.
Program general hours
Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the exception of community outreach experiences. Students will be advised of their community outreach hours once registered and attending the program.
|DHYG 2114||Dental Hygiene Care 1||7.5|
|DHYG 2124||Clinical Foundations||6.5|
|DHYG 2134||Professional Practice 1||6|
|DHYG 2144||Oral Health Sciences 1||7|
|DHYG 2214||Dental Hygiene Care 2||8.5|
|DHYG 2224||Clinical Practice 1||8.5|
|DHYG 3244||Oral Health Sciences 2||8.5|
|DHYG 3254||Health Sciences||9.5|
|DHYG 3314||Dental Hygiene Care 3||8|
|DHYG 3324||Clinical Practice 2||6.5|
|DHYG 4344||Oral Health Sciences 3||6.5|
|DHYG 3364||Community Foundations||7|
|DHYG 4414||Dental Hygiene Care 4||8|
|DHYG 3424||Clinical Practice 3||9|
|DHYG 3434||Professional Practice 2||8.5|
|DHYG 4464||Community Practice||8.5|
* This information is intended as a guideline only. Program and course details are subject to change with the approval of VCC's Board of Governors.
Fees and other costs*
|Fee description||Fee Amount||Notes|
9640 - Year 1
9640 - Year 2
0 - Year 3
0 - Year 4
|Materials||259||not including textbooks|
|Medical & Dental||550|
|Program-specific extra fees||0|
- Textbooks – approx. $2,000
- Student kits – approx. $10,000 + tax
* Fees are approximate and subject to change with the approval of VCC's Board of Governors. Students are required to pay any applicable fee increases. Application and assessment fees are non-refundable. Tuition fees include a $300 non-refundable deposit.
Fees listed are for domestic students. For international programs, visit VCC International.
Any refunds are issued according to VCC's refund policy.
The Dental Hygiene program is an annual selection based program. If you are applying for the September 2022 program, you must meet all educational requirements, any in progress courses must be completed in the winter term (January to April 2022), to be eligible for selection for September 2022. Applicants that do not meet the educational requirements cannot be assessed for selection and their application will be cancelled.
Applications for September 2022 will open on June 1, 2021 to February 18, 2022 at 4 p.m. Final transcript and in progress transcripts must be received in the Registrar’s Office on or before February 18, 2022, please send your transcripts to email@example.com. Final transcripts for in progress courses in the Winter 2022 term (January to April) must be received by the Registrar’s Office on or before May 20, 2022. Those attending their UT courses at VCC do not need to provide transcripts.