Dental Assisting Application Information Packet
(Revised March 16, 2016)
Curriculum leads to a Certificate of Achievement and eligibility to write both the California State
Board Examination as a Registered Dental Assistant and the National Certifying Board Examination
as a Certified Dental Assistant. Technical Standards/Essential Functions are available for your
review on the program’s website. They have been designed to give your more information about the
profession and important skills/functions. This information will be helpful to assist you in deciding
on your career path.
I. Length and Kind of Program
The program is three terms in length (Fall, Spring, and six-week Summer Session). General
education and Dental Assisting classes are scheduled on the college campus and clinical experiences
in patient care are scheduled at selected dental schools and private dental offices.
II. Admission Requirements
1. Academic requirements
a. High school graduation or satisfactory scores on the General Education
Development (GED) examination (given at most adult education centers).
b. A 2.0 grade point average in all high school and college courses. If high school
GPA is less than 2.0, at least 12 units of college course work with a GPA of 2.0 or
higher is required.
c. Completion of English 20 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher, or a score on
the Writing Proficiency test sufficient for placement in ENGL 52 or higher.
III. Application & Admission Procedures (to be completed in order as listed)
1. Applicants must submit to the Health Occupations Division Office the following items:
a. Completed application signed by the applicant and returned by May 15 (see
b. High school (or equivalent) and college transcripts of all work completed.
Unofficial transcripts can be submitted with application. Official transcripts must
be submitted prior to the completion of the first semester of the program.
c. Cerritos College English assessment test scores or indication by counselor that
English clearance has been met through equivalent courses or activities.
d. Applicants completing admission requirements during the spring session must
submit a final grade to the Health Occupations Division before May 30.
e. Verification of typing/keyboarding (computer) high school course with a “B” or
higher or college course with a “C” or higher. Alternative: applicants may
demonstrate competence through testing proficiencies verifying typing skills at a
speed of 45 wpm. This may be achieved concurrent with the program.
f. Verification of dental employment work experience (if applicable).
2. Applicants who meet the minimum admission requirements are assigned a number for
admission by a randomized computer selection process.
3. Notification of admission to the program will be done by mail after May 30.
4. Admitted students and alternates will be required to attend a mandatory orientation
meeting in July. During the orientation, information will be given regarding textbooks,
uniforms, registration procedures, required Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR),
immunizations and a physical exam. Students must provide their own “patients” to meet the
following required competencies: Radiology Full Mouth (6-7), Pit and Fissure Sealants (4),
and Coronal Polish (3). Details will be discussed during orientation and may incur additional
5. Health
a. Physical exam and immunization records must be completed after acceptance into
the program and returned prior to the first day of class. All costs are the
responsibility of the student.
b. A valid Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification must be obtained after
acceptance into the program and returned prior to the first day of class. It must be
obtained through the American Heart Association Provider. The CPR card must be
valid throughout the program. The cost to obtain the CPR card is the responsibility
of the student.
c. Applicant must present evidence of physical fitness and ability to perform tasks
required of a dental assistant. Employment in this field requires good vision,
hearing, and the ability to communicate verbally, nonverbally, and through written
word. Students must have the ability to comprehend, analyze, and evaluate patients’
charts in order to provide appropriate treatment. Students must be able to record in
the patients’ charts and have manual dexterity to use small instruments to provide
patient care. For further details see the Essential Functions section of the
department’s Web site at
d. The essential requirements of a dental assistant are used in consideration of
admission, retention and graduation from the Cerritos College program. Graduates
are expected to be fully qualified to enter the profession as an Assistant. It is the
responsibility of the student with disabilities to contact DSPS and provide
verification of the disability and resulting limitations. Students are responsible to
make advance request for those accommodations that he or she feel are reasonable
and needed to execute the essential requirements described above.
e. Pregnancy Advisory: all clinical affiliates require immunizations. All students must
be immunized to participate in clinical education. Pregnancy may affect
immunization and or other program requirements. If you are pregnant or planning
on pregnancy (while enrolled) Please consult with the Program Director. A
statement from the student health care provider will be required noting the student
may proceed through the program with “no limitations” will be required of all
pregnant students.
f. Latex Advisory: the use of latex/latex based products may exist in the health care
universal precautions and in environments such as but not limited to the classroom,
labs, and clinical sites. Individuals with latex allergies should seek expert advice
from their health care provider so that they may receive information to make an
informed decision regarding their exposure to latex in the health care field.
g. Immunization Advisory: immunization is required in order to participate in
clinical education. Individuals with allergies to required immunizations should seek
expert advice from their healthcare provider so they may receive information to
make an informed decision regarding their exposure to infectious diseases in the
healthcare field. A statement from the student’s healthcare provider noting the
student may proceed through the program with “no limitations” will be required of
all students declaring an immunization allergy.
h. Infection Control Guidelines: Applicants are advised of the following Infection
Control Guidelines as outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC): The
prevention of cross contamination and transmission of infection to all persons,
including: patients, Dental Health Care Professionals (DHCP), faculty, students,
and non-clinical staff is the professional responsibility of all dental personnel.
Cerritos College Dental Assisting program has adopted policies and procedures
that represent a comprehensive and practical infection control program, based
upon federal guidelines (Center for Disease Control). A fundamental principle of
an effective infection control program is to exercise care, precautions and effective
control techniques that can keep infectious microbes within manageable limits of
the body’s normal resistance to disease. Individuals at high risk of infectious
diseases (HBV, HCV and HIV) among DHCP are those who perform tasks that
might involve contact with blood, blood-contaminated body substances, other body
fluids, or sharps should be vaccinated. Vaccination can protect both DHCP and
patients from infectious diseases and whenever possible should be completed when
DHCP are in training and before they have contact with blood. Compliance with
these policies and procedures are an ethical obligation and responsibility of all
participants in the delivery of care at Cerritos College. Guidelines for Infection
Control in Dental Health Care Setting – 2003, 12/19/03 52(RR17); 1-61.
IV. Expenses
1. See Cerritos College Catalog for complete list of Cerritos College enrollment fees and
out-of-state resident fees.
2. Students may expect to pay approximately $2,500 for dental assisting project fees,
uniforms, and books.
3. Students are responsible for their own living accommodations, including uniform laundry
and transportation to extended campuses.
4. Physical exam, immunization and CPR card expenses are the student’s responsibility.
5. Upon successful completion of program requirements, the student is eligible to take the
State Board Registered Dental Assisting exam and the National Certified Dental
Assisting exam (approximately $850 - costs incurred by student).
6. Upon successful completion of all program requirements, the student will be eligible to
receive and wear the Dental Assisting pin which is given at a graduation ceremony. The
cost of the pin is incurred by the student.
V. Attendance, Scholarship, Promotion
1. Attendance: Due to the nature of the Dental Assisting program all students are expected
to observe the attendance requirements set by the Dental Assisting department at Cerritos
College (see student handbook).
2. Scholarship and Promotion: Successful completion of all levels of course work is
necessary for completion of and graduation from the program. Students are required to
maintain a “C” or higher in each course in order to progress and complete the program.
This is whether enrolled in combined lecture/lab courses or clinical experiences. When
content is tiered, each level must be completed according to identified criteria. Upon
successful completion of all program requirements, students are eligible to receive either
the Certificate and/or Associate in Arts degree.
VI. Guidelines for Withdrawal, Dismissal, and Reinstatement
1. Withdrawal
a. Withdrawal “W” may be initiated by either the student or the instructor. Dates for
withdrawal without a grade are indicated in the Cerritos College Schedule of
b. When a student is failing clinically, he/she will be encouraged to withdraw from the
course. If the clinical failure is related to unsafe clinical practice, and the student
does not withdraw when advised to do so, the instructor shall drop the student from
the course. A student who has withdrawn or been dropped from a course may not
attend after the withdrawal date.
2. Dismissal (Failure) - Criteria for dismissal from course or program may include:
a. Final grade below “C” in required dental assisting course.
b. Failure to meet attendance requirements.
c. Behavior not consistent with Dental Assisting Code of Ethics and the department’s
“Code of Ethics and Responsibilities”
d. Failure to comply with established Cerritos Colleges or Dental Assisting
department regulations and policies.
e. Failure to meet stated objectives in the coursework.
f. Placing self or others in physical and/or emotional jeopardy.
g. In critical cases, such as unsafe clinical performance, dismissal may occur without
prior warning or probation. This action requires the concurrence of the Dental
Assisting Program Director, Instructional Dean of Health Occupations and/or Vice
President of Academic Affairs.
3. Reinstatement
a. Students applying for readmission to the Dental Assisting Program after withdrawal
or dismissal must write a letter requesting readmission, addressed to the Director of
the Dental Assisting Program.
b. Following information must be included in the letter:
1) Circumstances surrounding the withdrawal or dismissal
2) Activities pursued in the interim that demonstrate improvement in the problem
3) Reason for requesting readmission
4) School term for which readmission is requested
c. Student seeking readmission after one withdrawal/dismissal from the Cerritos
College Dental Assisting Program/course will be reinstated contingent upon lab
space availability in the priority order of date and time the readmission request is
received in the Dental Assisting Department.
d. Readmission request letters will be accepted only after letters from the program
director have been mailed acknowledging student withdrawal or dismissal. These
letters are mailed after the end of the school term in which the withdrawal occurred
and are mailed at the same time to all students who did not successfully complete
the term. All students requesting readmission will have equal opportunity to apply
for space available.
e. No student shall be reinstated after two withdrawals/dismissals from the Cerritos
College Dental Assisting Program/course. A student who has acquired two
withdrawals/dismissals shall have exceeded the repeat policy of the program and
shall have no further chance of re-entry.
f. A student who withdraws from the program for personal reasons (e.g. pregnancy,
illness, family crisis, financial difficulties, etc.) will be given additional
consideration through faculty review, upon the student’s request describing such
VII. Graduation
1. Graduation Requirement:
a. Completion of all Dental Assisting course work with a grade of “C” or higher
b. Verification of typing/computer proficiency.
c. Completion of ENGL 52, or equivalent, with a grade of a “C” or higher or
satisfactory completion of the English placement Process with eligibility for ENGL
d. Students who successfully complete the Dental Assisting Program will receive the
1) Infection Control and Dental Practice Act Certificate of Completion
2) Oral Radiology Course Certificate of Completion
3) Coronal Polish (part of the RDA program certificate)
4) Pit and Fissure Sealant (part of the RDA program certificate)
5) Dental Assisting Certificate of Achievement
6) Eligibility to apply for the State RDA exam and National Certification (CDA)
2. *Completion of the program does not guarantee licensure or employment.* The
RDA license includes a written, practical, law & ethics written exam as well as a
background check and fingerprinting. The practical examination is usually given in late
August/September. The RDA written section and the law & ethics exam is via computer
at various computer testing sites. Coronal Polish, Pit and Fissure Sealants are duties that
may only be performed with the RDA license. Students and graduates are responsible for
understanding the ethical and legal ramifications of performing duties they are not legally
allowed to perform even after completing the required educational courses for all RDA
duties. After graduation from the program you must have a current RDA license to
perform any RDA duties.
All students completing the program will have met the requirements for the 8 hours
infection control and 2 hours Dental Practice Act and may perform Dental Assisting
duties as assigned by the Dental Board of California.
VIII. Licensure
1. The State of California Board of Dental Auxiliaries requires all applicants for the RDA
Exam to:
a. Supply their U.S. Social Security Number
b. Complete a Livescan Fingerprint record
1) If the applicant has been convicted or plead guilty to any crime in the USA,
its territories, military court or foreign country which includes a plea of no
contest or any conviction that has been set aside or deferred pursuant to
sections 1000 or 1203.4 of the Penal Code, including infractions,
misdemeanors, and felonies must provide detail information regarding the
conviction to complete the processing of the application and the State will
determine if the individual does qualify to take the RDA exam.
IX Disclaimer
The program has made every reasonable effort to determine that everything stated in the
information sheet is accurate. Matters contained herein, are subject to change without notice by
the administration of the department for reasons related to student enrollment, level of financial
support or for any reason, at the discretion of the Program. The Program further reserves the
right to add, amend or repeal any of the rules, regulations, policies and procedures, consistent
with applicable law.
DA 51 Applied Dental Science I 4
DA 52 Dental Radiography I 2
DA 53 Introduction to Chairside Assisting 3
DA 54 Introduction to Operatory Procedures 4
DA 61 Applied Dental Science II 3
DA 62 Dental Radiography II 2
DA 63 Advanced Chairside Assisting 4
DA 64 Dental Office Management 2
DA 65 Clinical I Dental Schools 3
DA 75 Clinical II Cooperative Office Training 5
(b) Meet all required coursework for certificate of Achievement
(c) Verification of typing/keyboarding (computer) proficiency
(d) Achieve a satisfactory score in English on the College Placement test or clear deficiencies
(May be taken prior to or following Certificate of Achievement)
Meet all the requirements as listed for the Certificate of Achievement in Dental Assisting. For an
A.A. Degree, a student must also take electives and General Education to achieve a minimum of
60 units. Recommended electives for students interested in Dental Hygiene Program: CHEM
100, MICRO 200, A&P 200 A&P 201, and HO152.
The Dental Assisting Program integrates well into the educational philosophy, mission and
vision of Cerritos College. The program promotes both students’ clinical and academic
excellence to prepare them to become competent dental professionals. The program collaborates
with faculty, administration, and the advisory committee to produce successful and proficient
dental assistants to meet the needs of the dentist, patient, and the community it serves.
To provide a high caliber curriculum that adheres to the current dental healthcare standards
and business office management procedures in the dental field.
To develop a sense of sense of responsibility in graduates to practice within the laws and
regulations of California and the ethical principles of the American Dental Practice Act and
Dental Assisting Code of Ethics.
To create a faculty focus on student success through effective teaching practice in both
didactic and clinical activities and to provide learning opportunities incorporating modern
equipment based on professional trends, self and peer evaluations on pre-clinical and clinical
competencies, oral, written research projects and various community activities.
To prepare the student for employment as a safe, competent, and regulation-compliant dental
health care professional.
To graduate individuals with the academic knowledge and skills to qualify for and
successfully pass both the National Board and State Board examinations.
To lay the foundation and allow graduates to continue to plan, attain, and evaluate their
educational and career goals regardless of age, gender, cultural and socio-economic status or
To develop effective written, verbal, and non-verbal communication skills for the benefit of
patients, colleagues, and other members of the health care team.
To provide broad-based education that lays the groundwork for advancement into a variety of
dental assisting careers.
To provide students the opportunities to develop competencies in the use of safety
techniques, exposing, developing and mounting radiographs.
To build in graduates a commitment to lifelong learning, a dedication to fulfillment of
personal and professional potential, an a sense of dignity, value and personal worth.
To provide students with the following certificates after satisfactory completion of relative
course work:
o California State Radiation License
o Coronal Polish Certificate;
o Pit and Fissure Sealant Certificate
o Infection Control Certificate
o Dental Practice Act Certificate!
Date __________________________________ When completed, return to:
Cerritos College Student Number___________ Health Occupations Division
Cerritos College
11110 Alondra Blvd.
Norwalk, CA 90650
English Clearance ____ yes ____ no Test name _____________________Score _________
Placement Test has been taken ____________________(place) ________________(month, year)
I plan to take the placement test _________________________________ (date)
Typing/Computer Clearance ____ yes ____ no
High School grade: ________ College grade: _________ Verification: _________
Typing/keyboarding proficiency WPM: _________
Name: __________________________________________________________________________
(Last) (First) (Middle) (Other names used)
(Number and Street) (City) (Zip)
Home Phone ( ) ______________Work Phone ( ) ____________Cell ( ) _____________
E-mail __________________________________________________________________________
Why do you want to enter into this field? _______________________________________________
List any special abilities or skills which you believe would make you an asset to this profession:
Related Work Experience: (Submit letter to verify work experience if applicable)
Dates Job Description Employer
A. High School (list last high school attended and submit high school transcript)
Name Grade completed Year graduated
Address City State Zip
B. Colleges: Number of units completed _______________ (submit transcripts)
Number of units in progress _______________
1. ___________________________________________________________________________
Name Major Degree/Units
Address, City, State Date G.P.A.
2. ___________________________________________________________________________
Name Major Degree/Units
Address, City, State Date G.P.A.
3. ___________________________________________________________________________
Name Major Degree/Units
Address, City, State Date G.P.A.
4. ___________________________________________________________________________
Name Major Degree/Units
Address, City, State Date G.P.A.
I have read and understand the admission requirements and procedures for application.
It is understood that withholding information or giving untruthful answers to questions on this
application could be cause for non-acceptance or dismissal from the program.