Apr 29, 2012
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I have been working in the dental field for 3 years as a hygienist and this year, at the age of 25, I decided to return to school (online) to receive my Bachelors of Health Science degree from Nova Southeastern. I am doing this while planning on taking the remaining science courses needed to apply to dental school in the future. I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts about finishing a degree online with the thoughts of applying to dental school vs attending classes in person and how that would look on an application. According to University of Louisville and Nova they are more concerned about the science and core classes needed not being taken online. Nova is one of the only online BHSc degrees. I decided to go with BHSc instead of Bachelors of Dental Hygiene because I believe a BHSc degree is more well-rounded than the DH degree. I graduated from the IU School of Dentistry with an Associates of Science in Dental Hygiene and I have 111 credit hours, unfortunately we were all only awarded AS degrees. So my goal is to just get my BHSc while still in the workforce and completing the necessary science pre-reqs for dental schools. Any advice is much appreciated...especially from any Hygienists who went back to dental school :)
 
May 31, 2012
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I have been working in the dental field for 3 years as a hygienist and this year, at the age of 25, I decided to return to school (online) to receive my Bachelors of Health Science degree from Nova Southeastern. I am doing this while planning on taking the remaining science courses needed to apply to dental school in the future. I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts about finishing a degree online with the thoughts of applying to dental school vs attending classes in person and how that would look on an application. According to University of Louisville and Nova they are more concerned about the science and core classes needed not being taken online. Nova is one of the only online BHSc degrees. I decided to go with BHSc instead of Bachelors of Dental Hygiene because I believe a BHSc degree is more well-rounded than the DH degree. I graduated from the IU School of Dentistry with an Associates of Science in Dental Hygiene and I have 111 credit hours, unfortunately we were all only awarded AS degrees. So my goal is to just get my BHSc while still in the workforce and completing the necessary science pre-reqs for dental schools. Any advice is much appreciated...especially from any Hygienists who went back to dental school :)
DO NOT take online classes period!
 

Msmouth

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I agree, online will not demonstrate your ability to take a full course load and do well. I attempted an online degree years ago and it was way too easy and I ended up quitting before having my first child. Years later, I thought of going your route as I'm a dental hygienist too but in the end I wanted to show them that I could handle a biology degree.
Also consider the fact that most, if not all prerequisites have lab components...even if you took one course at a time you will be at school a minimum of 2-3 days anyway, you may as well get your degree while attending school.
 

UltimateHombre

Doc Holliday D.D.S.
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This is a interesting situation... most of the time online classes are not favorable, but you will be taking them from Nova, which is a reputable institution.

A couple questions, before i venture some advice.

1. Will the classes show up on your transcript as taken online?
2. Do you have to take your sciences classes online?
3. How many credits of online classes do you need to graduate?

However, the most important thing you could do, is call up all the dental schools you are interested in and ask them personally if this degree would suffice. I would venture to guess that many would accept it, since it is from a reputable school and you also have your AS from a brick and mortar school.
 
OP
D
Apr 29, 2012
19
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Pre-Dental
Let me clarify that I will NOT be taking any required science/physics etc courses online. All those required classes I will be taking in person. The only classes I will be taking online will be those to satisfy the Bachelors of Health Science degree through Nova which is around 21 credit hours and is designed only for licensed and registered healthcare workers who have been working in the field and graduated with an associates degree. I will be taking the online classes while also taking one science class per semester to fulfill the requirements for dental school and working a full time job as a hygienist. I feel that alone will show my discipline, drive and ability to carry a full schedule without an issue. My current GPA is 3.8 as well as 3.8 science and I hope to withhold that. Novas program seems to be one of the best around and I plan on applying to their DMD program in the future so I will call them and see what their suggestions are :) hard to get ahold of them sometimes.
 

Msmouth

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Let me clarify that I will NOT be taking any required science/physics etc courses online. All those required classes I will be taking in person. The only classes I will be taking online will be those to satisfy the Bachelors of Health Science degree through Nova which is around 21 credit hours and is designed only for licensed and registered healthcare workers who have been working in the field and graduated with an associates degree. I will be taking the online classes while also taking one science class per semester to fulfill the requirements for dental school and working a full time job as a hygienist. I feel that alone will show my discipline, drive and ability to carry a full schedule without an issue. My current GPA is 3.8 as well as 3.8 science and I hope to withhold that. Novas program seems to be one of the best around and I plan on applying to their DMD program in the future so I will call them and see what their suggestions are :) hard to get ahold of them sometimes.
Call them and few other schools on your radar and get back to us on what they say. I was looking at the same scenario as you but in the end I'm glad I chose to get my degree in person.
 
OP
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Apr 29, 2012
19
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Pre-Dental
I talked to Nova today. They said the completion program would not look negative on my
Records for dental schools including theirs. They said the only classes they would not want to be completed online are core classes they recommend or require for entry into their program. They also agreed that taking the online bachelors completion for clinicians and working full time while also taking the core science classes I need would actually look very good on an application along with past dental experiences. They also said that they know the Nova bachelors of health science completion program is a great program and would look good on any application at any dental school. I forgot to ask if it shows it as completed online in transcripts. :/ calling back Friday and I will ask then! I will be talking with louisville school of dentistry on Friday also so I will let you know their opinions. Msmouth it seems like we have a lot in common! We should keep on touch through our jouney!
 

timmytim

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good luck getting into other schools with your online degree
 
OP
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Apr 29, 2012
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I already have 111 credit hours with 70 of those coming from within the Indiana University School of Dentistry. The online completion is what most hygienist end up doing in the long run. We will see what other schools have to say about the 21 credit hours.
 
OP
D
Apr 29, 2012
19
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Pre-Dental
I also just talked to the director of admissions to the DMD program at the university of louisville and she stated that the online completion program is perfectly fine and adequate for their admissions. She also stated several hygienists have chosen similar paths in the past and completed their bachelors online and were admitted into their program successfully. We will see what other schools I'm interested in suggest.
 
OP
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Apr 29, 2012
19
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Also remember I won't be taking any of the core classes such as the required science courses and their labs online. All those sciences will be taken in person one per semester.
 

doc toothache

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You are more interested in the validation of your decision than in obtaining opinions.
 
Jun 15, 2011
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Not having read a single post in this thread and only the title of this thread I will simply state that it is my opinion that:

online degrees are a total joke on the student/ 'graduate'

They just are.

If this were not so, the internet would be of most value if it were not anonymous. Think about it.

What is of value and matters is the development of in person relationships and knowledge communicated from trusted individual to another.

Think about it: if the last part of the last sentence were not true then the television would have become a great place to gather knowledge a long time ago. Obviously, its about the last place to trust as a source of reliable, meaningful knowledge.
 

timmytim

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I also just talked to the director of admissions to the DMD program at the university of louisville and she stated that the online completion program is perfectly fine and adequate for their admissions. She also stated several hygienists have chosen similar paths in the past and completed their bachelors online and were admitted into their program successfully. We will see what other schools I'm interested in suggest.
"adequate" does not equate to "competent"

I can't remember when was the last time dschools had left over seats to offer it to "adequate" candidates.

You have to remember you are competing against other "adequate" and more than likely highly qualified students with real degrees.

all i can say is good luck-you'll need it possibly more than others.
 
OP
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Apr 29, 2012
19
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Pre-Dental
Thanks everyone for your inputs. I'm now going to look into the bachelors in biology degree requirements from my previous university. I shouldn't take any shortcuts and then end up wasting time, energy and money. You're also correct...adequate is not good enough. I also have a problem relying on info heard over the phone. Even though they say it might be ok now...will it be in 2 years when I apply? Maybe not. Better go the safe route. :)
 

sacapuntas

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Feb 25, 2011
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Not having read a single post in this thread and only the title of this thread I will simply state that it is my opinion that:

online degrees are a total joke on the student/ 'graduate'

They just are.

If this were not so, the internet would be of most value if it were not anonymous. Think about it.

What is of value and matters is the development of in person relationships and knowledge communicated from trusted individual to another.

Think about it: if the last part of the last sentence were not true then the television would have become a great place to gather knowledge a long time ago. Obviously, its about the last place to trust as a source of reliable, meaningful knowledge.
Bill Gates has differing opinions:

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/postsecondaryeducation/Pages/massive-open-online-courses.aspx
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/gates-grant-to-help-georgia-tech-develop-online-co/nS7y6/

Also, I have to say Khan academy and Chad's Videos have changed my mind about online education and showed me how 1 fantastic teacher can teach millions of people instead of a few hundred.

It is awesome to think that kids all over the could have access to a high end education they can be proud of, for free, in our lifetime.
 

SES0112

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Mar 29, 2011
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Bill Gates has differing opinions:

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/postsecondaryeducation/Pages/massive-open-online-courses.aspx
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/gates-grant-to-help-georgia-tech-develop-online-co/nS7y6/

Also, I have to say Khan academy and Chad's Videos have changed my mind about online education and showed me how 1 fantastic teacher can teach millions of people instead of a few hundred.

It is awesome to think that kids all over the could have access to a high end education they can be proud of, for free, in our lifetime.

I agree. I thought it was a joke until I decided to pursue my masters. I was accepted into 3 programs however only one option allowed me to cover tuition with government loans, i.e. not private. So I went for it (Univ. of South Florida, M.S. Medical Science). It is not a joke. It was rigorous, they tracked when you logged in, if you downloaded, etc. There were case study's weekly, weekly assignments, 3 10 page papers, and exams. Each exam was timed extremely fast, there is no way you could cheat. My last semester they required a webcam to run while taking the exams. It was very real and never "a joke".
 
Jun 15, 2011
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Bill Gates has differing opinions:

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/postsecondaryeducation/Pages/massive-open-online-courses.aspx
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/gates-grant-to-help-georgia-tech-develop-online-co/nS7y6/

Also, I have to say Khan academy and Chad's Videos have changed my mind about online education and showed me how 1 fantastic teacher can teach millions of people instead of a few hundred.

It is awesome to think that kids all over the could have access to a high end education they can be proud of, for free, in our lifetime.
Bill Gates is an absolute sell out tool.

I agree Chad's videos are amazing but he is not free. Khan is...eh and 'free'.

If the total cost to the average person is calculated beginning to end Kahn wouldn't be free either. There are infrastructure costs to technology that Gates et al (including the general public) pick ups and Gates, through clever accounting gymnastics (e.g. 'non profit' tax exceptions) says he is paying for it but his global plantation workers are (you and I when all is done and said).

So why go to dental school, or any school at all? (rhetorical question) We should all just sit down in front of a computer for four years with a knife and bar of soap, huh? Oh for SES1102 I guess he/she'd be cool with it as long as there is a webcam, too :laugh:

There is a physicality (time, inconvenience, location) and price (often monetary such as in Chad's videos) to high quality education that if removed can't remain high quality. High Quality demands exclusivity as well. E.g. Chad's videos have recently gone up in price recently I believe.

One of the things I have noticed going back to undergrad at a major university to do predent work is the quality of education has gone down. The logistics of all this techno-crap computer technology gets in the way. Basically, half the effort that went into teaching-learning now has been dumped into coordinating/ trying to get wrinkles out of a burdensome technologically cumbersome computer system.

I have one professor who didn't use any of the online crapola. Students flock to his courses because of the high quality instruction in the subject matter.
 
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sacapuntas

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Bill Gates is an absolute sell out tool.

I agree Chad's videos are amazing but he is not free. Khan is...eh and 'free'.

If the total cost to the average person is calculated beginning to end Kahn wouldn't be free either. There are infrastructure costs to technology that Gates et al (including the general public) pick ups and Gates, through clever accounting gymnastics (e.g. 'non profit' tax exceptions) says he is paying for it but his global plantation workers are (you and I when all is done and said).

So why go to dental school, or any school at all? (rhetorical question) We should all just sit down in front of a computer for four years with a knife and bar of soap, huh?

There is a physicality (time, inconvenience, location) and price (often monetary such as in Chad's videos) to high quality education that if removed can't remain high quality. High Quality demands exclusivity as well. E.g. Chad's videos have recently gone up in price recently I believe.

Just for clarification, when I said 'It is awesome to think that kids all over the could have access to a high end education they can be proud of, for free, in our lifetime.' I meant this doesn't exist yet, but I believe it will in our lifetimes.

I believe it is ideal for most people to be in a classroom setting, but situations are not ideal for most people. The majority of our world's population is not able to attend a brick and mortar institution for various reasons that I am sure you are aware of. Online education can give access to these less fortunate people, both domestic and abroad, in a way our world has never seen before.

However, this discussion does not really pertain to the OP. The first link I posted about Bill Gates does show that some of the best institutions in our country see the value of online education and that does apply to the OP. The view of online education has improved drastically in the last 10 years and I believe will continue to improve in the eyes of both the general public and dental school admissions committees as time passes; especially programs that combine online delivery and traditional classrooms when appropriate (i.e. labs).
 

NDPitch

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Jan 30, 2009
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I agree that technology can get in the way sometimes. But I don't think sacapuntas was suggesting that dental school could be administered online eventually, but just that there are things happening in today's technological world that are making it easier for someone to receive a solid and diverse education without having to pay tons of money.
 

UltimateHombre

Doc Holliday D.D.S.
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May 10, 2010
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Just for clarification, when I said 'It is awesome to think that kids all over the could have access to a high end education they can be proud of, for free, in our lifetime.' I meant this doesn't exist yet, but I believe it will in our lifetimes.

I believe it is ideal for most people to be in a classroom setting, but situations are not ideal for most people. The majority of our world's population is not able to attend a brick and mortar institution for various reasons that I am sure you are aware of. Online education can give access to these less fortunate people, both domestic and abroad, in a way our world has never seen before.

However, this discussion does not really pertain to the OP. The first link I posted about Bill Gates does show that some of the best institutions in our country see the value of online education and that does apply to the OP. The view of online education has improved drastically in the last 10 years and I believe will continue to improve in the eyes of both the general public and dental school admissions committees as time passes; especially programs that combine online delivery and traditional classrooms when appropriate (i.e. labs).
Well said :thumbup:

I also think that it is important to note that the degree in question that the OP is talking about is from Nova. It is not from Devry or Universtiy of Phoenix... it is from a reputable brick and mortar school.

I know at my undergrad uni, they have made a big push to online classes. It is nearly impossible to not finish your undergrad and not take a few. Also, when you do take a class online, it is not even noted on your transcript... you could get your entire BS from my school online and nobody would ever know. I wonder if this is the case for the degree in question.
 
OP
D
Apr 29, 2012
19
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Pre-Dental
Well said :thumbup:

I also think that it is important to note that the degree in question that the OP is talking about is from Nova. It is not from Devry or Universtiy of Phoenix... it is from a reputable brick and mortar school.

I know at my undergrad uni, they have made a big push to online classes. It is nearly impossible to not finish your undergrad and not take a few. Also, when you do take a class online, it is not even noted on your transcript... you could get your entire BS from my school online and nobody would ever know. I wonder if this is the case for the degree in question.

If I were to pursue the online completion program, it would NOT be noted on my transcripts that it was an online degree completion. I also agree that there are courses that should be taken in person (science and core courses required for admittance) and then there are online courses that are perfect for an individual like me, who is just looking to complete a bachelors in a health related degree so I can have it under my belt. There are several courses now that are "online only" for some subjects. Essentials of Nutrition was one of them when I was in college and now there are many more! As I had previously stated, unfortunately a lot of Dental Hygiene programs like mine (Indiana University) only grant their graduates an Associate of Science degree, then you have an option to stick around another 2.5 years to complete a Bachelors in DH...that is crazy! Almost 7 years of schooling, including all the undergrad work prior to getting accepted into the hygiene program...think about the people who didn't get in on their first try? That's why MOST Bachelors of Dental Hygiene degrees are completed online while the hygienist can still work clinically. BUT Nova is the only program right now that offers the Bachelors of Health Science degree to practicing hygienists, PA's etc. You must be a Licensed clinician to be granted admittance to the program. They also offer a Masters completely online... There are many other online completion programs for hygienists, including Masters (which is ONLY offered online)...http://www.adha.org/resources-docs/71615_BA_MS_Distance_Programs.pdf
But these only grant a bachelors or Masters in DH...I would rather have a BHSc. If I were to take the traditional route and go back to school to finish my Bachelors, in person, while still working as a hygienist. It would take me approx 3-4 years, maybe more, to complete the required science courses and a number of meaningless (meaningless to me) classes, just to obtain my bachelors, which would include core courses I have absolutely NO interest in. Whereas; Nova's program or any other online degree completion program for hygienists actually pertains to something I WANT TO KNOW and LEARN about and will advance my knowledge clinically and in my career paths. Here's the link to the program... http://www.nova.edu/chcs/healthsciences/bhs/index.html

I realize my circumstances are different than a traditional applicant and dental hygiene programs that don't grant hygienists a Bachelors this day in age is ridiculous, but I have to deal with what I have right now and do what works best for me in the long run. I agree that just an "online degree" can have a negative connotation automatically, but I feel that my circumstances are quite different and this isn't just some online degree from Phoenix etc...this is a great program offering for someone like myself and other clinicians who want to advance their careers. If I decided to go with Nova...I would be able to complete the BHSc within 1.5yrs WHILE completing the necessary science courses in person through IU and working compared to going through with a bachelors at IU, which would take me much longer.

I still haven't decided what route I want to take, but I have advising appointments with a few schools I'm interested in and hopefully they will offer some more insight. From over-the-phone conversations, the consensus has been that I'm a non-traditional student applicant and that an online completion program would not affect me negatively as long as I'm not taking the core science courses online........ Still contemplating...
 
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Msmouth

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It may not say online on the transcript but on the AADSAS application you have to indicate online or not.
 

sacapuntas

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:thumbdown: Bummer...I just keep going back and forth on what to do...
The vast majority of your degree is at a traditional institution in the classroom. I would not let this be a definitive reason not to pursue the classes at Nova online. What I would do is call all dental schools you are interested in applying to, even if that is 20 schools, and ask about your situation. Make sure they know the online school is an established institution and that the majority of your credits, including all pre-reqs, are from the traditional classroom. Let their answers be what helps you make your difficult decision.

FWIW I had 4 classes I indicated as online (14 credits) on my AADSAS and I received 0 questions or comments pertaining to these courses at any interview I went to.
 
OP
D
Apr 29, 2012
19
0
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Pre-Dental
The vast majority of your degree is at a traditional institution in the classroom. I would not let this be a definitive reason not to pursue the classes at Nova online. What I would do is call all dental schools you are interested in applying to, even if that is 20 schools, and ask about your situation. Make sure they know the online school is an established institution and that the majority of your credits, including all pre-reqs, are from the traditional classroom. Let their answers be what helps you make your difficult decision.

FWIW I had 4 classes I indicated as online (14 credits) on my AADSAS and I received 0 questions or comments pertaining to these courses at any interview I went to.
Thanks so much for your advice! Good to also hear someone who has taken online courses. It is such a small percentage of my total credits I wouldn't think it would play a major factor. Just don't want to take any chances I might regret in the future. Planning on calling a handful of dental schools on Friday as well as meeting with a few in the near future. Nova is one of them on my list. So they should know about the reputable program and have some insights on what their school and other dental schools might think of the program. Thanks again!
 

UltimateHombre

Doc Holliday D.D.S.
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Thanks so much for your advice! Good to also hear someone who has taken online courses. It is such a small percentage of my total credits I wouldn't think it would play a major factor. Just don't want to take any chances I might regret in the future. Planning on calling a handful of dental schools on Friday as well as meeting with a few in the near future. Nova is one of them on my list. So they should know about the reputable program and have some insights on what their school and other dental schools might think of the program. Thanks again!
To be honest, i think one thing that is being overlooked is the standpoint of time. If it will take you 3 years to finish an undergrad degree from you local state school, you could finish the online degree and a masters in that same amount of time.

So i think it is worth the gamble to finish the online degree, apply with that and see what happens. You could always do a 1 yr science based masters at your local state school if you don't get in. Then you would have a BS and an MS in the same amount of time it would have taken you to get the traditional BS.

Just a thought that hadn't been brought up yet.
 
OP
D
Apr 29, 2012
19
0
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Pre-Dental
To be honest, i think one thing that is being overlooked is the standpoint of time. If it will take you 3 years to finish an undergrad degree from you local state school, you could finish the online degree and a masters in that same amount of time.

So i think it is worth the gamble to finish the online degree, apply with that and see what happens. You could always do a 1 yr science based masters at your local state school if you don't get in. Then you would have a BS and an MS in the same amount of time it would have taken you to get the traditional BS.

Just a thought that hadn't been brought up yet.
Absolutely, that is the main reason for doing this...time. I figure I go ahead and get the Bachelor's through Nova, take my science courses in person one per semester...maybe two during one of the semesters, if I can manage it, work as a hygienist, take the DAT, and apply within the next 2-3 years...if I don't get accepted...then I will have already gotten all the pre-reqs done and BHSc...so I would then be able to decide if I wanted to pursue a Masters in Health Science OR take the required courses left to get my Biology degree at IU and then have a Bachelors in Biology and Health Science. AND, what if I do get in?? :) I feel if I can just get to the interview portion I will be good to go...that's where you can explain the reasoning of why I chose to go that route versus the traditional route and who knows, they might not even care about that! My boyfriend is a Pediatric DMD who graduated from Nova and goes down to the school and hospital to teach residents frequently in surgery. He is there this week...I told him to get some info and opinions from some of the professors and administrators throughout the dental school :) I will let you know their thoughts too.

Ultimately, I believe everyone has their own circumstances and they need to follow through with something that works for them the best in their current situation. It might not be the "ideal" route, but let's face it...is there an ideal route for every single individual who became a dentist?? I'm willing to bet a few took online classes, withdrew from one class because of circumstances, might have even failed a class, didn't have the highest GPA...I feel the admissions committees take everything into consideration when reviewing candidates...I went to school to be a hygienist, not a dentist, and soon found out after working in the field, I wanted to accomplish more and provide more to my patients. I can sit back and ponder on why I didn't go through with dental school in the first place (everyone at the time telling me to) but the reality is, at the time, I did what I WANTED to do, not what everyone was telling me to do. I don't regret that at all and I still LOVE my job and LOVE hygiene. Working within the field has given me so many opportunities to see every single aspect of dentistry. I do all the marketing and advertising for our private practice and I love it! What works for one geographical area, doesn't work for others. I love the business part of dentistry, which so many applicants seem to forget about. So, if it doesn't pan out for me...I'm still within a career that I am completely happy with...but still at the age of 25, I feel I still have enough time to make it happen and become a dentist...it just might not be the "ideal" route :)
 

Msmouth

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Absolutely, that is the main reason for doing this...time. I figure I go ahead and get the Bachelor's through Nova, take my science courses in person one per semester...maybe two during one of the semesters, if I can manage it, work as a hygienist, take the DAT, and apply within the next 2-3 years...if I don't get accepted...then I will have already gotten all the pre-reqs done and BHSc...so I would then be able to decide if I wanted to pursue a Masters in Health Science OR take the required courses left to get my Biology degree at IU and then have a Bachelors in Biology and Health Science. AND, what if I do get in?? :) I feel if I can just get to the interview portion I will be good to go...that's where you can explain the reasoning of why I chose to go that route versus the traditional route and who knows, they might not even care about that! My boyfriend is a Pediatric DMD who graduated from Nova and goes down to the school and hospital to teach residents frequently in surgery. He is there this week...I told him to get some info and opinions from some of the professors and administrators throughout the dental school :) I will let you know their thoughts too.

Ultimately, I believe everyone has their own circumstances and they need to follow through with something that works for them the best in their current situation. It might not be the "ideal" route, but let's face it...is there an ideal route for every single individual who became a dentist?? I'm willing to bet a few took online classes, withdrew from one class because of circumstances, might have even failed a class, didn't have the highest GPA...I feel the admissions committees take everything into consideration when reviewing candidates...I went to school to be a hygienist, not a dentist, and soon found out after working in the field, I wanted to accomplish more and provide more to my patients. I can sit back and ponder on why I didn't go through with dental school in the first place (everyone at the time telling me to) but the reality is, at the time, I did what I WANTED to do, not what everyone was telling me to do. I don't regret that at all and I still LOVE my job and LOVE hygiene. Working within the field has given me so many opportunities to see every single aspect of dentistry. I do all the marketing and advertising for our private practice and I love it! What works for one geographical area, doesn't work for others. I love the business part of dentistry, which so many applicants seem to forget about. So, if it doesn't pan out for me...I'm still within a career that I am completely happy with...but still at the age of 25, I feel I still have enough time to make it happen and become a dentist...it just might not be the "ideal" route :)
You're preaching to the choir here. I worked as a RDH for 13+ years and then decided to take the plunge. People encouraged me to to dental school way back when but I didn't listen, I had to figure it out on my own. I'm much older than you, so to me you are a baby! You have plenty of time.
I started the online degree years ago through a school that is affiliated with UMDNJ. The degree was for an RDH. I think I did 3 or 4 classes and they were incredibly easy. I was working full-time and was able to easily get A's in all of them. I never finished it because A. I was about to have my first child and B. I wasn't fulfilled to just get that degree.
Now that I'm in undergrad as a Bio major, I'm getting a real feel for what higher level classes are like. I am challenged and fulfilled by my experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Just think it through before you go through w/ it. You might also want to consider taking higher level bio classes besides just the core prerequisites. In the end, the amount of time you will be spending on campus, you may as well just do the full load there. That's my thinking.