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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Dental Hygiene’s Bachelor’s degree online program is in demand

December 8, 2020
Dental Hygiene’s Bachelor’s degree online program is in demand header

San Joaquin Valley College enjoyed another milestone earlier this year when the Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) program was launched online.

This new Bachelor’s degree program is designed for those Registered Dental Hygienists who want to take their career aspirations higher and who realize that an advance degree will better position them to progress in the career field they already enjoy.

As online faculty for the Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene program, Brenda Kunz had considerable input into the scope and structure of the program’s coursework. “One of the most important ways I can make a contribution to my profession is by helping to properly educate the next generation of dental hygienists.”

She is aptly prepared. With an Associate’s, Bachelor’s and most recently a Master’s degree in Education Technology, coupled with 34-years in the industry as a Dental Hygienist and education specialist, Brenda has enjoyed a well-rounded career as patient advocate, education faculty, Program Director and colleague to other dental and medical healthcare professionals.

Brenda joined SJVC’s Dental Hygiene program leadership almost a year ago. “San Joaquin Valley College always had a good reputation, and it is important in our profession that you can communicate effectively with other professionals, she says.” Respectful interaction at conferences resulted in the official collaboration between the Associate degree, on-ground Dental Hygiene program and the bridge to the BSDH program.”

The strength of the coursework is a major attraction for students who wish to cast themselves into plum career positions. “I put a lot of heart and soul into course development to make the dental hygiene courses comprehensive and at a high level of learning,” says Brenda of online curriculum. “To have excited students, out of the gate, have the inquiries and intense discussions that were so healthy and robust – the students were engaged and had tremendous drive and energy.”

Her ‘classroom’ has the full participation of students there to get to the top of their field. “They’re engaged and asking very high level critical-thinking questions and trying to apply it to their professions. It is exciting.”

“Brenda bridged her professional and academic experience in her course development of the Dental Hygiene program,” says Tammi, eLearning Curriculum Manager. “In doing so, she ensured key learning of core areas occurred by best aligning content to course components to make the material engaging, industry-aligned, timely and comprehensive.”

Brenda wants each of her students to realize the level of professionalism that is required of them once they complete their BSDH program and assume the full mantle of responsibility within the profession.

She fully expects career doors to fly open for her graduates. “I want our students to synthesize everything they’ve learned and be able to apply it to the next phase of their professional growth. These courses can take them down many different pathways. They can become managers or leaders in their dental offices or clinics. I hope to intrigue some to get excited about teaching. I would like to help in the development of the next generation of educators.”

Brenda has a lot of experience, expertise and wisdom to draw upon. “This profession has treated me well and opened so many doors. I want that for others. I want our hygienists to know that they don’t have to just be one-on-one with patients for all of their career. They can do many other things within this profession. If you continue learning, you will expand and grow.”

Brenda started her career path with modest ambitions. “I thought I was going to stop after my Associate’s degree – that was all I aspired to at that time. But I got out into the profession and when you find something you love the motivation comes easier. I always see myself as a life-long learner and growing in the profession.”

Brenda believes that there are many pieces to the puzzle of everyone’s life and potential for success. Parents, spouse, siblings, colleagues are all important pieces there to nudge, inspire and support your dreams. She is happy to be counted among them for so many others whose ambitions she nurtures.

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