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Bachelors degree and still can’t teach?

I have been a dental hygienist for 20 years. I just completed my bachelors degree in dental hygiene. I live in Ohio and the community colleges say that I need a masters degree to teach dental hygiene, clinical and didactic. Ok. That idea of getting a BS to teach hygiene is out the window. Then I was considering a masters in education (so that I can get a job teaching, anything!) but a friend of mine told me her professor told her that you can’t teach ANYTHING with a masters in education and that it is better to get a masters in dental hygiene, at least you can teach dental hygiene. At this point I would like to teach anything, does anybody know the best course of action to take to simply teach? I am interested in teaching at a middle school or high school. I am confused and frustrated. My advisors are dropping the ball and not providing me with any guidance.



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11 Answers

Well that’s very disappointing! I have been researching online BSDH degree completion program with hopes to do exactly what you did……to teach if I want when I don’t want to work in the clinical setting anymore.
Sorry, I do not have an answer for you. I hope someone will have the answer for the both of us.
I’m thinking more along the lines of business mgmt or psychology now.
I’ve been told years ago by a mentor who had her masters in public health that I did not need a bachelor in dental hygiene to get it in business or anything else. I just can’t remember why it wasn’t necessary…..just remember her trying to make a point about a BSDH and AAS DH etc….

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Thank you for your thoughtful answer. I believe this path will eventually lead the way. For every door there is a window. Dental hygiene is expanding and I plan on being one of the architects. I am considering a masters in education. It can’t hurt. Right?

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I was under the impression that to be a “clinic” instructor an Associates was fine. And to teach in the “classroom” you need a degree one above what the students you are teaching will be receiving. I’m in Oregon, so maybe this isn’t the same for Ohio?? I would contact your Dental Board for specifics as they should have a definitive answer. I’m so sorry your advisers are dropping the ball, that is frustrating! Good luck to you!

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@Kara. Thank you. Brilliant idea! I will contact the dental board. I am feeling slighted by my alma mater and other community colleges in my area. Maybe that is not the environment I will thrive in. I thought that’s what I wanted, to teach at my alma mater. Obviously that is not their plan. Hmmm. I will make the call nevertheless, out of pure curiosity. My friend teaches clinic in Boston without a bachelor’s degree. I am puzzled.

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I hate to say it but sometimes college counseling doesn’t know anything about individual professions..I would inquire directly with the department you are interested in teaching…

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My community college has a couple teachers with only bsdh, 2 of them even teach an actual class. One instructor only has an associates and she teaches in clinic.

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I was told by my instructors in college that you need your Masters to teach hygiene courses in the classroom. In the clinical side you have to have a valid current hygiene license so of course with that you have your degree whether it be bachelor’s or associates. I live in and went to college in Oregon so not sure what the other states require. Now when it comes to high school and such I believe you have to have a bachelor’s to be a substitute teacher (as a good friend of mine is) but you cannot be a full time teacher without your Masters in education. Hope this helps some.

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Currently working on BSDH and all my instructors have master’s degree in something and even a few have doctorates degrees. The masters seem pretty different: education, public health and DH. I know that all the students interested in teaching hygiene have been told to complete Masters. This is in Texas so not sure of that only applies here or is because the school just opened online DH masters program LOL!! Good luck!

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definitely depends on the school. you can teach with a bachelors, just maybe not there. i got my bsdh and most of my teachers had msdh but some also had masters in education/public health and a bachelors in hygiene. check with different schools and consider relocating somewhere where your skill and hard work will be valued.

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I know at the school I went to you need a masters to teach classroom courses but it could be a masters in anything. A
Masters in education would absolutely suffice from what I understand. At my school the clinic professors just needed their bachelor’s degree.

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When I was in school one of our didactic instructors was in the process of getting her Masters. I’m guessing that she was able to teach in the classroom due to no other available candidates. You should be able to teach in the clinic with just your RDH and certainly your BSDH. The school that I received my BSDH had courses specifically for those who wanted to teach clinical.

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