As a student in the College of Western Idaho (CWI) Dental Assisting program, you will receive a quality education in a state-of-the-art facility for a career in a growing field where your influence and expertise will positively affect patient lives on a daily basis.
The CWI Dental Assisting program includes classroom and hands-on skills training to support dentists with various types of patient care, office duties, and laboratory work. This training at CWI is accredited nationally through the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Your training will qualify you for examinations to become a Certified Dental Assistant, a certification that is recognized nationally.
The Dental Assisting program at CWI offers you two pathways for your future career as a Dental Assistant:
- An Intermediate Technical Certificate (ITC) where you complete a semester of pre-requisites then two semesters of Dental Assisting classes.
- An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree where you complete the ITC with an additional summer class and semester of courses, to receive an AAS in addition to the ITC.
Review the Plan of Study for your desired pathway or talk to a Student Success Advisor for details
- Typical annual earnings in Idaho for a Dental Assistant - $35,303 – Idaho Department of Labor
- The Dental Assistant field is expected to grow by 11% between 2020 and 2030. – Bureau of Labor Statistics
Want to learn more about this program and other healthcare programs at CWI? Join a Healthcare Information Session to learn about the programs, what you can do to prepare for the programs, meet advisors and instructors, and ask questions.
Classes beginning August 2023 – Applications will be accepted from January 1, 2023, through April 30, 2023.
- Complete CWI Associate Degree or Technical Certificate application and be accepted to CWI.
- If you have completed a bachelor's or master's degree, submit a Bachelor's Degree Transfer Credit Request form.
- Verify your prerequisite coursework by:
- Complete the Dental Assisting Application and submit by the due date.
For help or questions regarding the Dental Assisting Program Application, please contact:
Statement of Accreditation
The Dental Assisting Intermediate Technical Certificate (ITC) at College of Western Idaho is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611-2678
CWI's Dental Assisting Program provides students with the knowledge and skills to succeed as a dental health care professional. As a Nationally accredited program, we promote learning, leading to credentialing in dental assisting.
The Dental Assisting program officially starts once a year in the fall semester. However, there is a “soft start” option for our spring semester. Our “soft start” option allows you to ease into the program by taking DENT 108 while continuing to complete your required general education courses (COMM 101 and/or ENGL 101, GEM 3 [Mathematical Ways of Knowing], & PSYC 101).
We encourage you to submit your Dental Assisting application at any time throughout the year. Once your application packet is reviewed, the Program Director will contact you and discuss your next steps.
Requirements and Costs
Degrees and Certificates
Important Dates for Credit Programs
|Spring 2023||Summer 2023||Fall 2023|
|Priority Registration Begins1||November 14||n/a||April 10|
|Open Registration Begins||November 21||February 27||April 17|
|Financial Aid Priority Deadline||December 17||May 13||July 29|
|Admission Deadline2||January 7||May 27||August 12|
|Last Day to Register for Classes||January 13||June 2||August 18|
|Tuition and Fees Due||January 13||June 2||August 18|
|Classes Begin3||January 17||June 5||August 21|
|1 Priority registration is limited to continuing students. Students are assigned a registration time based upon their cumulative credits earned. Students should check myCWI and their CWI email to learn their assigned registration time. Students may register online anytime on or after their assigned registration time.|
|2 The admission deadline for international students is earlier than the deadline for non-international students and is only available during the fall and spring semesters. Please consult the Academic Calendar for the international student admission deadlines for the fall and spring semesters.|
|3 Some classes begin before or after this date. Please refer to the Registration and Refund Deadlines by Class Section Dates (located beneath each semester) of the Academic Calendar for more information.|
Skills, Traits, and Prep Classes
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- A desire to serve others
- Manual dexterity
- Exactness and precise attention to detail
- Computer Literacy Skills
- Health-oriented professional image
Navigating your way through college can be confusing, especially if you try to go it alone. CWI offers advising assistance to help in deciding which courses you need to take to reach your education and career goals. Visit Advising or contact One Stop Student Services for more information.
How do I get started in the Dental Assisting program?
First: Complete the admission requirements for College of Western Idaho.
Then: Submit a Dental Assisting Application Packet, located under the Resources Tab to the left, to a One Stop Student Services location before being accepted into the program. Incomplete application packets will not be accepted.
You must complete the following courses before you can graduate with an AAS from the Dental Assisting program at CWI: a GEM 1 (Written Communication) course, a GEM 2 (Oral Communication) course, a GEM 3 (Mathematical Ways of Knowing) course, and PSYC 101 (counts as a required GEM 6 [Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing] course). You must complete the following courses before you can graduate with an ITC from the Dental Assisting program at CWI: a GEM 1 (Written Communication) course OR a GEM 2 (Oral Communication) course, a GEM 3 (Mathematical Ways of Knowing) course, and PSYC 101 (counts as a required GEM 6 [Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing] course). However, if you haven’t completed all of these courses, you can submit your Write Class Placement and Math Diagnostic pack and scores with your application. Our faculty is available to advise and assist you on the correct path to admittance to our program.
Once you submit your Dental Assisting Application Packet, the Program Director will contact you and discuss your next steps.
Connecting With Ideas
Connecting With Ideas (CWI 101) is the first semester student success course designed to help CWI students become engaged members of the academic community and cultivate habits for lifelong achievement and success. Each semester, students can select from a variety of themes. More information about next semesters CWI 101 themes
Look beyond your degree at CWI and plan for continuing your education by working closely with CWI advising and representatives of your intended transfer school. Planning before you transfer can save you time and money. Visit Transfer Information for more information or contact One Stop Student Services.
Financial Aid Available
Did you know that as a student in this program you may be eligible for financial aid? Through grants, scholarships, and loans, more than 60 percent of first-time, full-time CWI students receive some form of financial assistance. To learn more about financial aid options and whether you may be eligible, visit Financial Aid.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition for a full-time CWI student averages half the cost of a state university and a third of the cost of a private college. Tuition and fees vary based on program and residence. Visit Tuition and Fees for more information.
Dental assisting is a rewarding career that can offer a great deal of personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Entry-level positions include dental assistant positions in general and specialty offices. For those who invest energy and effort into their roles as dental assistants, there are excellent opportunities for advancement.
Program Department Chair
- Administrative Specialist
- Advanced Mechatronics Engineering Technology
- Automotive Technology
- Bookkeeping and Accounting
- Cisco Networking and Security Technologies
- Collision Repair Technology
- Computer Support Specialist
- Dental Assisting
- Drafting Technology
- Education, Early Childhood
- Fire Service Management
- Fire Service Technology
- Heavy Duty Truck Technician
- Heavy Equipment Technician
- Horticulture Technology
- Law Enforcement
- Machine Tool Technology
- Marketing Communications
- Medical Administrative Support
- Medical Assistant - Credit
- Network and System Administration
- Nursing, Practical
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Physical Therapist Assistant
- Powersports and Small Engine Repair Technology
- Professional Truck Driving
- Software Development
- Surgical Technology
- Swift Programming
- Unmanned Aerial Systems
- Welding and Metals Fabrication
- Wildland Fire Management