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Your path to a rewarding career


Your path to a rewarding career


Your path to a rewarding career

Contact Us

If you are a high-school student interested in this program, please contact Lynette Brower for more information.
If you are a college student interested in this program, please contact Valerie Thompson for more information.

Lynette Brower, Dean of Students 
Northwest Career & Technical Academy
360.848.0706  ext. 4005 or  [email protected]
NCTA website:  www.nwtech.k12.wa.us

NCTA Office Closed Summer Qtr - Please Contact:
Valerie Thompson, Office Assistant
Skagit Valley College
Nelson Hall Room N-210
360.416.7662  or [email protected]

Information Sessions

Information sessions are scheduled by the Dental Technology program faculty (located on NCTA campus).  Please call or visit the campus for more information. Contact information listed above.


The Dental Foundations program is taught at the Northwest Career and Technical Academy (NCTA). The program provides entry-level Dental courses for students attending Skagit Valley College. This is a three-quarter certificate program designed to provide entry-level skills and education to college students and co-enrolled high school juniors/seniors interested in a future career as a dental professional.

Program Options

The estimated program length is based on full-time enrollment. It is the student’s responsibility to discuss sequencing and work out their individual schedule with a counselor or program advisor. Any developmental coursework a student may be required to complete may increase the program length. The certificate program is not intended for university transfer.

Certificate Options

You May Study

  • Dental Terminology
  • Oral Anatomy
  • Radiography
  • Microbiology
  • Instrument Identification & Use
  • Dental Materials
  • Bite-wings/Full Mouth Series
  • Preventative/Restorative Procedures
  • Chair-side Procedures
  • Front Office-Reception Responsibilities
  • OSHA Standards/Sterilization & Infection Control

Program Entry Requirements

Students must apply to Skagit Valley College. Students must enter this program Fall Quarter only.

Apply to Skagit Valley College

The following are requirements for this program:

Drug Screen and Criminal Background Check: During the first quarter of the Dental Foundation program will be required to pass both an Illegal Substance-Illegal Drug Screen and Criminal Background check. This is based on medical industry standards and Washington State laws protecting vulnerable populations (RCW 43.43.880 and 43.43.842). This practice is common among colleges and universities in Washington State and is required by clinical agencies where students complete their clinical practicum. Students who have something show up on the background check or drug screen may need to meet with the department chair to determine if they will be allowed to continue the program. Students must complete this process before registering for winter quarter classes.

Immunizations: Prior to, or during the first week of the semester, students must provide the instructor with documentation/evidence of current immunization status. The following immunizations must be current:

  • Tdap vaccine (within the last five years) – includes tetanus and pertussis
  • 2 MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccinations or positive titer
  • Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine series (at least the first two shots, and the third within 6 months)
  • TB skin test (negative) or chest x-ray

Additional immunizations may be required if recommended by instructor or required by clinical placement:

  • Flu Vaccine
  • Varicella Vaccine

Career Opportunities and Job Search Information

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is the nation’s primary source of occupational information.  The O*Net Online database is an interactive research tool for exploring and searching occupations.  The database, developed by the US Department of Labor, contains information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors and provides a variety of FREE Career Exploration Tools.

O-Net Online: www.onetonline.org 
Soc 31-9091.00 – Dental Assistant

Employment of dental assistants is expected to grow by 31 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will continue to increase the demand for preventive dental services. As dental practices grow, more dental assistants will be needed.  In the Northwest Workforce Development Area, which includes Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties, Dental Assistants are listed as an “in demand” occupation on the Demand/Decline Occupations list. Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student participation in internships and employment in this industry.

For more detailed information about Washington State healthcare employment trends, wage rates, employment opportunities, job tasks, etc. search the websites listed below:

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