On Wednesday, September 14, the Oxnard College campus community and leadership from the Ventura County Community College District gathered to celebrate the grand opening of our much anticipated, long-awaited dental hygiene and dental assisting facility. Funded by Measure S, this 9,617 sq. foot single story building will support one of California’s very best dental programs and help meet the growing demand for oral care specialists in Ventura County.
A building to support an excellent program –
This new, state-of-the-art patient care facility means so much more to our students and community than what’s immediately visible (though beautiful).
For starters, this building represents possibility – the possibility to have an excellent career. Dental hygiene is one of California’s soundest occupational paths. It is a growing profession, with low unemployment rates and high growth projection. It also pays very well. As of this year, the average salary for a dental hygienist in Ventura County is approximately $100,000; which is about $45 an hour.
What’s greater is that it doesn’t take a long period of training to start on this rewarding career path. After just two years of study, our dental hygiene graduates are able to settle right into their professions with little to no debt. This is because our classes are affordable at just $48 a unit – although most students have an added advantage of full fee waivers, and our training is excellent with a 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
It’s worth noting these two factors because they differentiate California community colleges from other private or public sectors of higher education in the state today. We provide high-value, high-quality technical training opportunities– like our dental programs – to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Our accessibility, affordability, and academic excellence really do help local students transform their lives by providing them opportunities for greater career prospects and financial prosperity… which then benefit us all in terms of stronger communities. This building is an investment to that end – to our continued excellence in providing quality job training.
Among CA’s very best in CTE programs –
Our dental programs – both dental hygiene and dental assisting – are among California’s most reputable and successful. Consistently, for years running, 100% of our dental hygiene graduates have passed all field-related state and national licensure board exams. And 100% find full-time employment in local dental offices and private clinics within the first six months of receiving their license.
The employment numbers are similarly impressive for students in our dental assisting program, which is a one year course of study. 95% are employed within the first six months of graduation.
While having a nice building certainly supports high-quality training, it’s the extraordinary teaching talent and technical skills of our faculty and staff that is the real factor to success. Dr. Armine Derdiarian, Dr. Margaret Newville, Dr. Richard Enriquez and their dedicated support team ensure our students excel and that our dental programs are strong year after year. We look forward to seeing some of the teaching and learning that will unfold in this new space!