Dental Hygiene

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Your journey to a rewarding career in dental hygiene starts right here! Known as a leading Dental Hygiene School in Texas, we provide a nationally recognized program that empowers you to promote oral health, transform smiles, and make a profound impact in your community.

Program Details

Learn more about our Dental Hygiene program and find course descriptions in the WCJC Catalog. Dental Hygiene students should have a strong science background; therefore, four hours of college chemistry with a minimum grade of "C" is strongly recommended. Special consideration for acceptance will be given to applicants meeting this recommendation.
The Dental Hygiene program prepares you for the field of dentistry through hands-on experience in our clinic and classroom lectures that focus on anatomy, nutrition, and best practices for those in the field. We’ll teach you the primary functions of a dental hygienist, including oral prophylaxis, taking and processing radiographs, and oral-health education.
Graduates from our Dental Hygiene program can explore a plethora of career paths. Whether in private dental practices, public health settings, correctional facilities, or sales representation, your degree will unlock diverse opportunities. Beyond clinical practice, a career in dental hygiene education is also within your reach. Learn more on Career Coach.
Dental treatment

Community Connection: Dental Hygiene Clinic Services

Program Requirements

The Dental Hygiene program requires that students complete a program application and purchase instructional supplies and materials specific to the program.

Program Application

In addition to applying to WCJC, Dental Hygiene requires a program application. Complete the application and return it to the Dental Hygiene department via email. A faculty member will follow up with you to schedule an orientation.

Please contact Cylinda Konvicka for information about the application process for Dental Hygiene or information about the Anna T. Harrison Dental Hygiene Clinic. 

Phone: (979) 532-6429

Estimated Program Costs

The following is an estimate of expenses during the two years of enrollment in the Dental Hygiene Program. These figures are estimates only and may change at any time. Do not purchase anything in advance without prior written instructions from your instructors.
  • Tuition & Fees - In-District: $1,505
  • Tuition & Fees - Out-of-District: $2,115
  • Books: $1000
  • Instrument Kit and Supplies: $900
  • Program Online Access Fee: $50
  • Physical Exam / Immunizations: $200
  • Scrubs / Uniform: $250
  • Drug Testing / Criminal Background Check: $100

Estimated Total: $4,005 / $4,615

  • Tuition & Fees - In-District: $1,931
  • Tuition & Fees - Out-of-District: $2,663
  • Books: $1,300
  • Instrument Kit and Supplies: $700
  • Program Online Access Fee: $50

Estimated Total: $3,981 / $4,713

  • Tuition & Fees - In-District: $316
  • Tuition & Fees - Out-of-District: $438
  • Books: $100
  • Program Online Access Fee: $50

Estimated Total: $466 / $588

  • Tuition & Fees - In-District: $1,595
  • Tuition & Fees - Out-of-District: $2,205
  • Books: $500
  • Instrument Kit and Supplies: $600
  • Program Online Access Fee: $50
  • Physical Exam / Immunizations: $200
  • Drug Testing / Criminal Background Check: $100
  • Testing Fee: $1,050

Estimated Total: $4,095 / $4,705

  • Tuition & Fees - In-District: $1,216
  • Tuition & Fees - Out-of-District: $1,643
  • Books: $300
  • Instrument Kit and Supplies: $300
  • Program Online Access Fee: $50
  • Testing Fee: $950

Estimated Total: $3,016 / $3,443

Attendance at student conferences is required 1 time during the 2-year program.  The estimated cost for the registration fee and the hotel is $500.  This fee has been added to the estimated total cost.

* The projected cost for the two-year (five-semester) Dental Hygiene Program is about $11,500 in the district with used books. This projection is an estimate and can change at any time according to the college catalog schedule of fees, price of books, state and national exams, and miscellaneous expenses

Dental hygiene care

Our State-of-the-Art Facilities

At WCJC, we pride ourselves on offering a learning environment that mirrors the professional world. Our on-site dental clinic, part of our Dental Hygiene Program, boasts cutting-edge facilities. With 24 modern dental units designed for both right and left-handed instruction, the clinic ensures a hands-on learning experience for all students.

The laboratory is equipped with the latest technology, where students learn advanced techniques such as teeth bleaching, the usage of the intra-oral camera, and digital radiography. In this dynamic setting, you'll be exposed to real-world experiences, preparing you for a successful career in dental hygiene.

Dental hygiene care

Student & Professional Organizations

At WCJC, we believe that learning extends beyond the classroom. The Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association (SADHA) provides an avenue for students to engage, network, and grow professionally. 

We also encourage involvement in national and state organizations. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the Texas Dental Hygienists’ Association (TDHA) offer expansive platforms for professional development and networking. Visit their websites at and to learn more about how these organizations can enhance your dental hygiene career.

Meet the Faculty

Our faculty members are seasoned professionals, passionate about dental hygiene and education. They're committed to guiding you to success, offering support and mentorship throughout your educational journey.

Carol Derkowski, RDH, MAIE

Director, Dental Hygiene

Ms. Derkowski received her AAS degree from WCJC and is a registered dental hygienist. She received her BAAS and MAIE from Sam Houston State University. Ms. Derkowski has 8 years of clinical experience and has been a dental hygiene instructor for Wharton County Junior College since 1977.

Office: Wharton Campus, Johnson Building 206-B
Phone: (979) 532-6428

Gina Wilson, RDH, AAS, BS

Dental Hygiene Instructor

Ms. Wilson  received her AAS in Dental Hygiene degree from Wharton County Junior College. She later continued her education with a B.S. in Dental Hygiene. Ms. Wilson was a part-time instructor for 13 years while working in private practice for 27 years prior to becoming a full-time instructor. Ms. Wilson is the senior clinic coordinator and teaches Contemporary Dental Hygiene Care I and II, Dental Materials, Pre-clinic Dental Hygiene, and Clinical Dental Hygiene I, II, and III. 

Office: Wharton Campus, Johnson Building 110-H
Phone: (979) 532-6426

Franci Bay, RDH, BAAS

Dental Hygiene Instructor

Ms. Bay received her A.A.S. degree from Wharton County Junior College. She earned her B.A.A.S. degree from the University of Houston – Victoria with a major in Psychology. Mrs. Bay has been a part-time/full-time instructor for Wharton County Junior College since 1999. She currently teaches Clinical Dental Hygiene, Dental Materials, and Dental Radiology.

Office: Wharton Campus, Johnson Building 110-U
Phone: (979) 532-6448

Shelley Mayfield, RDH, MEd

Dental Hygiene Instructor

Ms. Mayfield has been a Dental Hygiene instructor at WCJC since 1998. She earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Science degree from the University of Houston at Victoria in 1984 and a Master of Education – Administration & Supervision in 2002. She teaches Community Dentistry, Practice Management, Pre-Clinic, and Clinic I, II, and III.

Office: Wharton Campus, Johnson Building 110-J
Phone: (979) 532-6427

Pam Dobbs

Dental Hygiene Instructor
Office: Wharton Campus, Johnson Building, 109

Additional Program Information

At WCJC, we ensure that our Dental Hygiene Program meets the highest standards of licensing, certification, and accreditation. We're recognized by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, a key regulatory body that oversees dental professionals in Texas. For more information, visit their website at and read the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Moreover, our program has esteemed accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation, a specialized body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more about our accreditation, please visit the American Dental Association's website at

Dental Hygiene SCANS Matrix 

Archived Administrative Master Syllabi

  • Carol Smolik, RDH, Private Practitioner
  • Larry Caldwell, DDS, Private Practitioner
  • Patti Roades, RDH, Private Practitioner
  • Kendahl Yanez, RDH, Private Practitioner
  • Byron Novosad, DDS, Private Practitioner
  • Nicole Clingingsmith, RDH Private Practitioner
  • Martha Malik, DDS, Private Practitioner
  • Danielle Lopez, RDH, Private Practitioner
  • Amy Lehmann, RDH, Private Practitioner
  • Rachel Pruitt, RDH, Private Practitioner
  • Tabitha Bowers, RDH, Private Practitioner
  • Brian Swenson, DDS, Private Practitioner
  • Laurie Rodgers, RDH, Private Practice

Wharton County Junior College offers its facilities for the CRDTS dental hygiene licensure examination.

The Dr. Anna T. Harrison Dental Hygiene Clinic is located on the Wharton Campus in the Johnson Health Occupations Center, on the first floor.

2024 Registraton Form

Parking: Parking is free and available in Parking Lot #6.  Participants should park between the white lines.

Building Hours: The building will be open each day from 6:30 AM - 5:00 PM.  No additional visitors will be permitted without prior permission from the site manager.

Site Fee: All candidates, including WCJC students, will be assessed a fee of $250.  This fee will include the use of the facility, equipment and miscellaneous supplies.  The Site Fee Form must be completed and returned with a non-refundable money order or cashier's check payable to WCJC. 

Site Photos:  

WCJC Dental Hygiene Clinic workstation     

WCJC Dental Hygiene Clinic, work station   

WCJC Dental Hygiene Clinic, work station

WCJC Dental Hygiene Clinic, work station

 WCJC will provide the following equipment: 

  • A-DEC dental unit
  • Surface disinfectant and barriers
  • Saliva ejectors, HVE adaptors and suction tips
  • Air/water syringe tips
  • Plastic cups
  • RDH Freedom (cordless) handpiece, prophy paste, prophy angle, dental floss
  • 2x2 gauze and cotton rolls
  • Tray covers, patient napkins and napkin holders
  • Densply and/or Hu-Friedy Ultrasonic scaler and handpiece 30 kHz compatible
  • Satalec or Hu-Friedy Piezo Scaler and handpiece with universal tips
  • 4 hole connection for slow speed handpiece
  • Quick connect for cavitron/Piezo if you choose to bring one

There is no repair service available for equipment the candidate brings to the site or a guarantee that such
equipment is compatible with the clinic facilities. Therefore, we encourage you to use the equipment
provided by our site. There is no additional charge. 

WCJC will not provide the following:

  • Protective eye wear for candidate.
  • Instruments
  • Appropriate clinic attire
  • PPE – Required gloves, masks, over gowns, and face shields

Personal Protection and Infection Control: 

Candidates must strictly adhere to all CDC guidelines concerning barrier protection and instrument/equipment
sterilization. It is the policy of the Wharton County Junior College Dental Hygiene Program that all students/candidates wear scrubs, disposable over gowns, protective eyewear with side shields, gloves, face
shield and face-masks while performing patient treatment. Each candidate is responsible for providing this equipment.  All instruments must be sterile and appropriately packaged.  Sterilization services are not available prior to or after the examination.

Local Accommodations:

Holiday Inn Express
1200 Hwy 59
Wharton, TX 77488

Express Inn
2393 FM 102
Wharton, TX 77488

Contact Carol J Derkowski, RDH, MAIE
Chair, Allied Health Division
Director of Dental Hygiene