John C. Calhoun State Community College

The dental assisting program at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama has a 35+ year history of preparing students for successful entry into the profession.  Theory and skills are taught in the classroom and campus laboratory and students obtain hands-on experiences in private dental offices across north Alabama.  Upon successful program completion, students are eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Dental Assisting Certification Examination and after one year of successful employment in a dental office in the state of Alabama the students can apply for the Alabama Dental Hygiene Program (ADHP).

Dental Assisting Student Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the dental assisting program the student will:

  •  Demonstrate clinical competencies of an entry level dental assistant.
  •  Function safely and efficiently as a member of the dental team under the direction and supervision of the dentist.
  •  Communicate effectively with patients, their families and healthcare team members.
  •  Provide dental services with respect and compassion for all clients regardless of individual, national, racial, cultural, faith, age, socioeconomic, health, or other differences.
  •  Exhibit legal and ethical behavior which adheres to professional conduct standards for dentistry.

Success Rates, according to Calhoun State

  •       75% or > of students admitted to the dental assisting program will graduate.
  •  80% or > of employers will rate the CCC DA graduate as being comprehensively prepared for entry into practice.
  •  80% or > of program graduates will indicate satisfaction with their preparation for entry level practice.
  •  75% or > of DA graduates seeking employment will be hired as a dental assistant within six months of graduation.
  •  25% or > of DA graduates will obtain the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential within one year of graduation.

Estimated Costs

Annual In-state Tuition                 $3,990

Annual Out of State Tuition          $7,260

Books                                                $400

Malpractice Insurance                         $20

CPR Certification                               $135

Uniform                                             $150

Lab Supplies                                      $100

Drug Testing and Background Check   $75

Health Exams, PPD, Immunizations   -Cost Varies-

DANB Exam Fee (optional)                 $375


A new class of thirty (30) Dental Assisting students is enrolled each fall semester. The program consists of three semesters of consecutive Dental Assistant Training courses which must be taken in sequence. Only students who have applied to the program and have been accepted are allowed to enroll in Dental Assistant Training courses.

Admission to the dental assisting program is selective as the number of students is limited by the number of faculty and availability of clinical experiences. Meeting minimal requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

The dental assisting coursework is 3 semesters in length. Students may complete the program with either a certificate or associates of applied science degree depending on the general education coursework completed. Students may elect to take the general education classes in any order or complete all classes prior to enrollment in the Dental Assisting program. General education courses must be taken and passed with a C or higher prior to graduating from the program.


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