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J Dent Hyg. 2017 Feb;91(1):24-29.

Admissions Criteria that Influence Dental Hygiene Students' Performance on Board Examinations.


Purpose: The purpose of the study is to assess which dental hygiene program admission variables contribute to the selection of students who are successful in passing the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) and a clinical dental hygiene board examination.Methods: A retrospective study was conducted by investigating 121 educational records and application forms from graduates through the years 2008 to 2011 from one educational institution. Predictor variables included re-application status, student GPA, age, race/ethnicity, type of school attended for pre-requisite coursework, number of times the pre-requisite courses needed to be retaken, course load while taking the pre-requisites, previous degrees obtained, American College Test (ACT) scores and student participation in the university's lower division (LD) or upper pre-placement (UPP) program. Graduate success is defined by NBDHE scores and clinical board scores.Results: The data was analyzed using univariate analyses and multivariate regression statistical techniques. Univariate analyses did not identify any predictor variables to be significantly associated with the dental hygiene student's clinical board score. However, the variables of ACT scores and type of student, specifically the UPP students, demonstrated a significant relationship with NBDHE scores.Conclusion: ACT scores are a variable that is positively associated with higher NBDHE results. Results indicate that UPP students benefit from participating in supportive educational services while fulfilling requirements for admissions in the dental hygiene program. Results also indicate that there were no significant variables identified to predict clinical board scores.


National Dental Hygiene Board Examination; admissions criteria; clinical board examination; dental hygiene education; student success

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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