The Dental Assisting program has enjoyed a strong, active relationship with the dental community and the Triangle community since 1989. Student involvement has included Give Kids a Smile events, local blood drive donations, the American Heart Association yearly Heart Walk event and other community activities.
Students are required to complete 12 hours of community service or professional development to graduate, and they provide more than 300 hours of community service each year.
Service learning is the integration of community engagement projects with student learning to provide real-world experiences that foster cultural and classroom understanding, critical thinking and civic responsibility.
Service learning meets the needs of adult learners by offering authentic, student-directed learning experiences as a form of experiential education that enhances the curriculum by extending learning beyond the classroom and allowing students to apply what they've learned.
Students who participate in service learning develop stronger chairside skills and are better prepared for Spring semester clinical rotations. A student who completes 30 hours of volunteer time outside the classroom receives a service-learning cord for recognition upon graduation.
The Dental Assisting program has partnered with Wake Smiles, a nonprofit, volunteer dental organization in Raleigh, since 2016, providing students the opportunity to serve patients who otherwise would not have access to dental care.