The BSDH online degree completion program offered by East Tennessee State University is one of the oldest and most successful of its kind. The Tennessee Board of Regents and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission granted final approval for the BSDH Online allowing acceptance of the first class in the fall of 2001. As of 2015, the program has 165 graduates in 26 states. The completion degree is designed for students who have earned an Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene and want an expanded knowledge base in their chosen profession. Students completing this program will gain additional expertise in current approaches to supportive periodontal therapy and soft tissue management, meeting the needs of geriatrics and other underserved populations, community and rural health program design implementation and evaluation, pain management, teaching strategies for health professionals, and skills needed to responsibly build an evidence-based practice.
Additionally,students become part of a community of lifelong learners enriching each other's learning experiences. The program is research and writing based, giving students the opportunity to build oral and written communication skills as well as technology skills that will benefit them as practitioners, in advancing or changing career paths, or furthering their education. Prospective students must meet the requirements of the university for graduation with a bachelor's degree. In other words, all general education core requirements must be completed in addition to the online dental hygiene courses. Courses from other universities and colleges may be transferred to ETSU.
Five of our BS completion degree students have presented posters at national conferences having been chosen as student merit award winners by the American Association of Public Health Dentistry. They are Laura Teran and Barbara George who each presented in Little Rock, AR in 2006, Cathy Holtman who presented her poster in Pittsburgh, PA in 2011, Angela Haynes who presented in 2013 in Huntsville, AL, and Jessie Hewlett who presented at Kansas City, MO in 2015. Laura's award winning project was a bilingual dental education program for a multi-cultural kindergarten. Barbara re-invigorated a smoking cessation program for young adults at a Job Corp and Cathy provided an outreach dental education project for underserved young moms. Angela's target audience was a group of developmentally disabled adults for whom she provided dental screenings, hygiene services, patient education, and worked with a local dentist to provide all the participants the treatment they needed on an on-going basis. Jessie provided dental screening and education and coordinated volunteers to provide treatment services for a group of women battling addiction and/or domestic violence. We are proud to have our students' outstanding work in their communities recognized nationally.
Please read what our graduates are saying about us.