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Our school

What is O’Hehir University Exactly?

O’Hehir University is an international, online institution founded specifically for the clinical dental hygienist who wants to complete a Bachelor of Science Degree. In the future, O’Hehir University will offer a Master’s Degree in Oral Health Promotion for Dental Hygienists currently holding a Bachelor’s Degree from another institution as well as those holding a Bachelor’s Degree from O’Hehir University. Dental Hygienists pursuing a BS or MA degree in preparation for faculty positions in traditional dental hygiene programs or research positions are not encouraged to apply with OHU. Those interested in teaching and research positions are encouraged to attend universities with programs specific to DH education or research. OHU focuses on clinicians and oral health promotion. Since OHU is a new educational institution, recognition of our degree has not yet been established by universities and colleges housing dental hygiene programs.

Who Can Attend O'Hehir University?

Dental hygienists with a diploma, certificate or associate’s degree who have graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program and hold a license or registration to practice dental hygiene are eligible for entry into O'Hehir University. Preceptorship trained dental hygienists do not qualify for our degree completion program.

Why Should an RDH Have a Bachelor’s Degree?

Graduates of certificate and associate degree dental hygiene programs have, by virtue of their education, earned the credits required for a bachelor’s degree. Completing a Bachelor of Science Degree through O’Hehir University provides dental hygienists with the problem solving, implementation and communication skills necessary to advance their clinical career while increasing their competitive advantage in the market place. Licensed/registered Dental Hygienists are not truly graduates of a “two-year program” as often perceived by other health care professionals. The curriculum required for an accredited dental hygiene program is in fact comparable to that of many other university bachelor degree programs. Dental hygienists should have a Bachelor of Science Degree as that does in fact reflect the entry level of dental hygienists today.

How Does O’Hehir University Work?

Students are assigned to a cohort of five to eight students meeting weekly to every other week for one hour in virtual video conference calls to discuss the state of oral health today, career goals and project development. This type of online interaction fosters discussion, mentoring and peer review. Students combine reflective learning and academic inquiry with their practical, professional experience to fulfill degree requirements.

Completing a SWOT Analysis of both oral health today and their career provides understanding of strengths and weaknesses and identifies opportunities and threats. This approach to education allows for practical application, better preparing dental hygienists to implement change in their clinical practice environments and in their careers.

Three textbooks are required: All You Need to Know About Action Research by Jean McNiff & Jack Whitehead and Health Behavior Change in the Dental Practice by Christoph Ramseier & Jean Suvan. The third is selected from a list of recommended reading on reflective writing. These books prepare students for a new and exciting experience in learning based on Reflective and Inquiry Learning Methods.

Students complete an Action Research Project and submit a written report. The research project implements a small change in their current work setting to achieve greater oral health for patients. This project is peer assessed and submitted as part of the requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree.

All BS Degree Completion graduates have the option of enrolling in the Post Graduate Certificate in Mentoring Program. Mentors work with a degree completion class under the guidance of an experienced teacher.

For students seeking a Master’s Degree, additional focus on clinical advancement, business planning and development are required. Candidates for a Master’s Degree will develop plans for departmental growth and management in their current work environments or plans for personal business opportunities in the Dental Hygiene field focused on prevention and oral health promotion.

How Long Does O’Hehir University BS Degree Completion Take?

The O’Hehir University’s degree completion program requires a six-month commitment with a cohort of five to seven students meeting for one hour every other week in an online conference with classmates, faculty and mentors. Since our students do not need additional courses, our format focuses on interaction and reflection within a small group. Rather than a semester or quarter approach, our cohort classes begin each month.