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HOSTOS' DENTAL HYGIENE PROGRAM RECEIVES HIGH-RANKING RE-ACCREDITATION FROM THE COMMISSION ON DENTAL ACCREDITATION

Monday, February 27, 2012 (Bronx, NY) ­­– Since 1970, the Dental Hygiene program has established a stellar reputation for excellence that makes it an asset of inestimable value, not only to the college and The City University of New York, but also to the South Bronx and Upper Manhattan communities it serves. In terms of enrollment, it ranks in the top five.

Two weeks ago the Hostos Dental Hygiene Program received notification of its re-accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), granting the status “approval without reporting requirements”, which is an accreditation classification indicating that the program achieves or exceeds the basic requirements for accreditation. The Hostos Dental Hygiene program has continually received this top credit and has earned its reputation through steady diligence and excellence year after year.  The next accreditation site visit is scheduled for 2018.

“The CODA accreditation classification of ‘approval without reporting requirements’ confirms what we have known all along – that the Hostos Dental Hygiene Program is outstanding and produces top-notch dental hygienists,” said Professor Joyce Dais, Hostos dental hygiene program coordinator.

Hostos President Félix Matos Rodríguez said dental hygienists with an associate in applied science degree from the College are highly educated professionals in one of the fastest growing fields in the nation. “We are very proud of our graduates and this re-accreditation and top credit classification by CODA solidifies the reputation that already exists for the program,” he said.

Graduating 50 students annually, the Hostos Dental Hygiene Program is one of three such programs in New York City and one of ten in New York State. It is also the most diverse dental hygiene program in New York City and New York State, graduating the highest numbers of Latino and African-American students.

Dental hygienists with an associate in applied science degree from Hostos are highly educated professionals in one of the fastest growing fields in the nation.  Consequently, many are recruited before they graduate.  Their practical experience begins in our state-of-the-art dental hygiene patient care facility, which annually provides free services to over a thousand individuals of all ages, who otherwise would have no access to dental care.  The Hostos dental hygiene patient care facility is one of the few remaining cost-free facilities of this nature in the city.  At the patient care facility, our students screen for oral cancer; promote healthful nutrition; identify signs of eating disorders and diabetes; encourage smokers to quit; and help to prevent gum disease by providing non-surgical periodontal care.

Faculty of our dental hygiene program also conduct professional development courses for licensed dental hygienists, to prepare for certification in Local Infiltration Anesthesia and Nitrous Oxide Analgesia.  We are proud that our faculty includes several graduates of the program who serve as excellent role models for our current students.

The Hostos Dental Hygiene Program is affiliated with Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center/Dental Division and Harlem Hospital.  Additional information about the program can be found at:  http://www.hostos.cuny.edu/oaa/alh/desc_DEN.htm.

On May 6, 2010, Hostos held a celebration for the fortieth anniversary of the Dental Hygiene Program.  The event honored Dean Emerita Anita Carter-Cunningham, who was recruited as one of the founders of the program, and Dr. Geraldine Perri, an alumna from the class of 1979, who is now the President of Citrus College in Los Angeles.  Dr. Perri is the first Hostos alumna to achieve this distinction.

About CODA
The mission of the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) is to serve the public by establishing, maintaining and applying standards that ensure the quality and continuous improvement of dental and dental-related education and reflect the evolving practice of dentistry. The Commission, established in 1975, is nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit dental and dental-related education programs conducted at the post-secondary level.

The Commission functions independently and autonomously in matters of developing and approving accreditation standards, making accreditation decisions on educational programs and developing and approving procedures that are used in the accreditation process. It is structured to include an appropriate representation of the communities of interest.
Activities for the Commission would include formulating and approving accreditation standards by which programs are evaluated; establishing policies and procedures for conducting the accreditation program; determining and publicizing program accreditation status; and appointing consultants and site visitors to assist in accreditation activities.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York system, was founded in 1968.  Located in the South Bronx, the college currently serves nearly 7,000 students.  In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in the fall of 1970 to the spring 2010 enrollment of nearly 7,000 students.  The college also serves an additional 12,000 students through its Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.

Media Contact:
Soldanela Rivera - srlopez@hostos.cuny.edu
Phone: 718-518-6872 or 917-627-9097
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