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Idaho State University

Success of New Early Admission Program at ISU Could Soon Spread

Students practicing at a dental hygiene clinic

Pocatello- A new pilot program for early admission in Idaho State University’s Dental Hygiene Department is showing initial signs of success. For the first time in Idaho, select high school students were able to start their college careers while already being accepted to the Dental Hygiene Bachelor of Science program at ISU. So far, officials are encouraged by the success of the students who were granted early admission.

Normally, students looking to become dental hygienists would have to wait until their second year in college to apply to the program at ISU. Under early admission, four high school students from Idaho and one from Montana were accepted before they even started classes at ISU. Those students’ seats in the program are secured as long as they successfully complete the required prerequisite coursework with at least a 2.8 GPA. Combined with ISU’s tuition lock program, eligible Idaho students can have peace of mind knowing they will be able to complete the entire program at ISU without facing tuition increases.

“Our faculty and staff are delighted to offer this new program to the best and brightest freshman honors students interested in obtaining a BS degree in dental hygiene from ISU,” says Jacqueline Freudenthal, Chair of the Dental Hygiene Department. “The early admissions program allows the faculty and students an opportunity to get to know each other to assist with any questions or concerns. Two of the students accepted through the program also serve as Career Path Interns so they have the additional opportunities to learn about clinic reception duties, dental management software and instrument sterilization processes. Based on our limited but very positive experience, we are dedicated to continuing this program.”

Another goal of the new early admission program is to increase the number of Idaho students who pursue further education after high school. As the inaugural group of students in this program continue their education, it’s possible that other academic programs in ISU’s Kasiska Division of Health Sciences could join in.

“Early admission programs are designed to give outstanding high school students the opportunity to lock in to their health science program of choice,” says Rex Force, Vice President of Health Sciences at ISU. “It’s a win-win: students have one less thing to worry about provided they keep their grades up, and our degree programs know they have a pipeline of great students. In the future, you will likely see more early admission opportunities from health programs at ISU.”

Students interested in the dental hygiene early admissions program can contact Jennifer Sterbentz at or (208) 282-3796.



Written by: Jake Dixon