Dental Hygiene

Program Philosophy

The tradition of excellence and leadership in dental hygiene education at Idaho State University provides a strong foundation for a unique graduate education program designed to develop future educators, scholars, and leaders in the discipline. Because every graduate student is a unique individual, the online Master of Science in Dental Hygiene (MSDH) degree program is tailored to meet diverse goals, aspirations and talents of students regardless of geographical location. The individual life and professional experiences each student brings to the program, as well as international interaction with other graduate students, influences the path ultimately followed to develop specialized expertise in dental hygiene.

While the faculty appreciates and encourages the uniqueness of each student and accommodates their learning needs, students assume responsibility for their learning. The diversity and merit of our students' backgrounds are fostered within a supportive learner-centered educational environment characterized by free exchange, structured learning outcomes, independence, and creativity. Educational experiences are intended to match career objectives of each enrolled student. As innovators in online education, the faculty's commitment to excellence, professionalism, mentoring, curricular breadth and flexibility, a positive yet rigorous climate for learning, and overall student satisfaction has lead to the program's success since its initiation in 2004.

Specific aims of the Idaho State University MSDH program are to:

  • Provide flexible individualized, and self-directed learning opportunities.
  • Emphasize emerging theories, collaboration, communication, evidence-based problem solving, critical thinking, self assessment, life-long learning, and scholarly inquiry.
  • Offer advanced coursework focusing on core concepts and knowledge, emphasis areas of study, mentored individualized learning experiences, and research opportunities for translating science into practice and education (translational research).
  • Address present and future demand for dental hygiene leaders, educators, oral health promoters, administrators, and scholars.
  • Foster exchanges between students and faculty to develop innovative, intellectual professionals.
  • Support scholarly inquiry designed to bridge gaps between practice, education, and research and advance the discipline's scientific knowledge base.
  • Contribute to improved quality of dental hygiene education, advanced dental hygiene practice, and enhanced community/rural oral health programs.
  • Enhance the oral health and wellbeing of individuals and groups in communities throughout the United States and other countries in which our students reside and work.
  • Create a dynamic online learning community in which faculty, students, and other professionals engage in scholarly and professional endeavors.
  • Contribute to the mission and goals of the Department of Dental Hygiene, Division of Health Sciences, and Idaho State University, an institution accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.