Select Page

dəxʷx̌ayəbus-Dental Therapy Program

Associate of Applied Sciences in Dental Therapy

THANK YOU for visiting dəxʷx̌ayəbus Dental Therapy Program. We will begin the recruitment process for the 2nd cohort starting around November 15, 2022. The Dental Therapy Program-specific application will be available starting in early January 2023. We look forward to meeting you soon!

The Skagit Valley College (SVC), in partnership with Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (SITC), developed the first Dental Therapy (DT) Education Program in the State of Washington to address the on-going oral health workforce disparities among underrepresented minorities specifically, the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. The name of the DT program is dəxʷx̌ayəbus, which is a Lushootseed phrase pronounced as dahf-hi-ya-buus and translates to a Place of Smiles. Lushootseed is a common language of coastal Salish tribes, made up of many local dialects of Native Americans throughout the Puget Sound region. This new dental professional education program is co-located at Skagit Valley College’s Mt. Vernon Campus and  Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s Dental Clinic. The program aims in delivering “smiles” because smiles are strong indicators of personal confidence as well as physical and mental health. When a person smiles with confidence, they exude a positive reaction to those around them and more importantly, within themselves.
dəxʷx̌ayəbus-Dental Therapy is a rigorous three (3) year curriculum focused on cultivating the learner in the scope of Dental Therapy and understanding the broader functions within a dental team. The program focuses on student-centered teaching and learning with a commitment to equitable student outcomes in areas of access, achievement, and community. The synergy between dəxʷx̌ayəbus-Dental Therapy and its partners is evident with the common focus on quality programming and equitable student success.

The mission of dəxʷx̌ayəbus-Dental Therapy at Skagit Valley College is to grow primary oral health providers who enhance a dental team through excellence in education, research, patient care, and community service. Its vision is to apply evidence-based practices for clinical excellence, rich in cultural humility, public health and community awareness, provider integrity, and a holistic health team approach.

Catalog Program Information and Program Map – Associate of Applied Science in Dental Therapy

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Dental Therapy program will be able to:

  • Develop clinical care through a holistic health team approach that is grounded in evidence-based practices, rich in cultural humility, public health, and community awareness.
  • Recognize the complexity of patient care and partner with patients to collaborate with other dental specialists and healthcare providers in managing patients’ comprehensive oral health.
  • Comprehend the oral health needs of underserved communities, specifically native communities, and become oral health advocates when leading community service-related activities.
  • Apply scientific knowledge when learning, researching, and delivering oral health care by utilizing critical thinking and evidence-based decision-making.

Dental Therapy Curriculum

The Dental Therapy program is designed to develop students into people who have the knowledge, values, and skills to practice of dental therapy. The objective for Quarters 1-2 is Preparation. The courses in these quarters focus on general education instruction, and fundamental concepts of biomedical and dental sciences. The objective for Quarters 3-4 is Processing. The emphasis is on the use of simulators where students apply preclinical skills in a lab setting. The objective for Quarter 5 is Application where students transition from preclinical to a clinic setting. The transition consists of skill consolidation activities and competency assessments to prepare students to provide patient care. The objective for Quarters 6-8 is Integration where students function as novice dental therapists in supervised clinical and community settings.  Students work toward completing competency assessments to be able to progress to the Quarter 9 preceptorship. The objective for the final quarter is Reflective Practice.  Students provide care within the scope of dental therapy, and reflect on what they are doing to synthesize, internalize and embody dental therapy skills.

Specialized Program Information


Upon successful completion of the AAS degree in Dental Therapy, graduates are eligible to be certified/licensed by regional certification/licensure boards.


The Dental Therapy program at SVC is offered at the Mount Vernon Campus and Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (SITC) Dental Clinic.

  • Mount Vernon Campus – 2405 E College Way, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
  • SITC Dental Clinic – 17395 Reservation Rd., PO Box 332, La Conner, WA 98257

Program Notes

For additional information about the Dental Therapy program, visit the Catalog Program Information page.

Inquiries can be sent to [email protected].

Dr. Rachael Hogan Dexxayebus Program Director Swinomish Dental DirectorDr. Rachael Hogan
dəxʷx̌ayəbus Program Director
Swinomish Dental Director
[email protected]

English language icon Spanish language icon Chinese language icon (Simplified) Chinese language icon (Traditional) Japanese language icon Vietnamese language icon Ukrainian language icon Korean language iconRussian language icon