The field of Dental Health is growing rapidly. As the need for qualified dental office personnel increases, the need for training also increases. One area of rapid growth and expansion is in the current practice of Dental Assistants. Under new law, the role of Dental Assistants has been expanded to include a variety of added functions which a Dental Assistant is allowed to perform. This program has been designed as an intensive study of the basics of restorative dentistry for the Dental Assistant in the role of an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA). The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry's rules and regulations will be presented and reviewed as they pertain to Expanded Functions. The essential functions taught in this course include, but are not limited to, placing and removing rubber dams, carving and finishing of amalgam restorations, coronal polishing, application of fluoride, pit and fissure sealants, and placement and finishing of light-cured composite restorations and crown and bridge temporary restorations. These skills are attained through lecture presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on technical laboratory sessions.
A full-time EFDA certificate program, leading to an associate degree, is now being offered as a partnership between the GACTC and Mount Aloysius College. After completion of the required course work, lab hours, and clinic hours, each student will receive a diploma from the GACTC and will then be eligible to sit for the PA State Board of Dentistry's EFDA certification exam. Following the completion of the first year, students will be eligible to matriculate to Mount Aloysius College into an Associate of Science degree. These transferrable credits create a base to continue on to a bachelor’s degree or gain employment in the dental field.
Dental: 573 hours
Clinical: 480 hours
Year 2 (optional through Mount Aloysius College)
General Education: 34 credits
The Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Veteran's Administration, and Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. It is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The GACTC is also an ISO 9001: 2008 certified school.
PA State Board of Dentistry
The mission of the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Continuing Education Office is to provide occupational specific education to adults in collaboration with business, labor, and community in preparation for the demands of the 21st Century. The Continuing Education Office further believes that vocational technical education should be an integral part of lifelong education with a dual purpose; (a) to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to enter employment or to pursue further education; and (b) to assist in the economic development of the area by providing business and industry with productive, adaptable, and competent workers.
The Continuing Education Office subscribes to the philosophy that it can enrich an ever-expanding community by providing educational programs to help each individual student grow as a person, as a worker, and as a citizen. By accepting all persons, each at their respective level of development, GACTC asserts that it believes in the best possible educaion for all Americans, regardless of race, creed, national origin, and past development. This institution recognizes that an ever growing number of persons are in need of experiences that will allow them to compete in and contribute to the rapidly changing technological society. To this end, the Continuing Education Office believes that it must provide an occupation oriented education for the training and retraining of both young and mature adults in order to meet its responsibility to local, state, and national needs for skilled workers who are sufficiently flexible to respond to changing demands and sufficiently creative to find new means of meeting these demands. The Continuing Education Office believes that education is a continuing need for every citizen. It stands ready to provide training and enrichment for all members of the community, both through formal instruction in all areas of adult needs and interests, and through informal means by its involvement in community affairs. The area school firmly maintains the position, both through its philosophy and its action, that education should be the leaven in the loaf of community life.
In sum, the Continuing Education Office believes it is uniquely fitted through its diversified, yet united programs to contribute to the development of the individuals within the geographic area it serves and thus, the development of the area itself. It believes that, to function in a society marked by rapid technological advance and vast diversification and specialization, the individual needs to acquire an understanding both broad and deep of the great inherited body of knowledge and the democratic tradition. It believes that it has a responsibility to help all people toward the fulfillment of their desire to be "more intensely human, more greatly good."
Tuition for full-time programs is set each year by the school's operating committee.