Dental Assisting Student Requirements

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Students entering the Dental Assisting program at College of Western Idaho (CWI) must fulfill the following requirements prior to beginning and as part of their training throughout the program.

  • English Placement

    Students wishing to obtain an Intermediate Technical Certificate in Dental Assisting must complete or place into ENGL 101 Writing and Rhetoric I prior to beginning the program. 

    • ENGL 101 is a prerequisite for DENT 101 Dental Materials and Procedures.
    • Students who have not taken or who do not place high enough will need to complete ENGL 101 during the summer term prior to starting their major courses in the fall.

    Write Class Placement

  • CPR Certification

    To earn and continue certification through the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB), students must hold a current Basic Life Support (BLS) certificate for healthcare professionals and personnel.

    • Certification must be obtained through a provider approved through DANB.
    • Proof of your certification must be provided prior to beginning the Dental Assistant program. 

    Approved Providers

  • Vaccinations

    Certain vaccinations are required to participate in the Dental Assisting program. Proof of immunizations must be from a licensed physician, health department, or military service.

    Required Vaccines

    • Tuberculosis, negative
    • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
    • Tetanus (within the last 10 years)
    • Hepatitis B*

    *Please complete a Vaccine Medical Exemption Form to opt out of the Hepatitis B vaccination.

    Optional Vaccines

    • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
    • Influenza
    • COVID
  • Physical Ability

    Dental assistants need to be able to move quickly from room to room and be able to stand or sit in a small area when necessary. Clinical assistants need to be able to work with both hands at the same time during many procedures and have good hand-eye coordination.

  • Orientation

    Students are required to attend a mandatory orientation prior to the start of classes in August.

    • Non-attendance will disqualify you from beginning the program.
    • The day and time of the orientation will communicated.
  • Availability

    Dental Assisting classes are held at the Ada County Center Quail Building (AQUL) and various clinical sights. Students should plan to be available:

    • Fall semester: Monday – Thursday during the day
    • Spring semester: Monday – Friday
      • Two (2) days of the week will be spent in the classroom with three (3) days spent at clinical sites.
      • Hours will vary according to each site's business hours. 
  • Patients

    Dental Assisting students are required to recruit their own patients for specific tasks in lab courses.

    • Students will need two adult X-ray patients, patients to practice teaching oral hygiene with, and patients to place sealants and perform coronal polish on.
    • Approval from the each patient's dentist is necessary to participate.
    • No charge is made to the volunteer patients.


Photo of Elaine Holmes
Program Director/ Professor, Dental Assistant
  • M.Ed., CDA, EFDA, BS
Quail Building
Room: 1100