Once the doctor at that office didn’t want to house the program any longer, it ended. Now, the college will have full control of the program and provide the equipment necessary for certification. Mott said the dental assistant program is a collaboration between the college’s departments of health sciences and workforce solutions. “It has been a focus for the college to look at programs like this that will get people out into the workforce very quickly,” Mott said. Henson shared her personal story on becoming a dental assistant, and said she hopes others will take interest in the career field. “Dentistry has given me a lot of ways to improve myself. I didn’t go the regular pathway out of high school into college. I got married, had children and then went to school, and dentistry gave me a way to become a professional,” Henson said. “To me, it helps people go from getting a job to going into a profession.” She added that the 15-week course will be intense and cover a lot of material, but after certification, completers can expect a median pay of nearly $37,000 annually. Henson currently works for Dr. Michael Jennings, who will be a speaker during the course. Classes will begin next week and are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 until 9 p.m. A 50-hour externship during the course is also required. Prerequisites include a high school diploma or GED, and the cost of the course is $1,400 plus books. “We looked at this program and it was also a recommendation from our community advisory council several years ago to look at dental assisting, because there was such a need for employment of dental assistants in the community,” Mott said. “When you have that community need for people to be able to complete a one semester program and be able to go out and get a job, that’s really a win for the college and a win for the students who can become employed very quickly after just completing a one semester program like this.” To get on a waiting list for the program, call Dental Assisting Coordinator Bonnie Barton at (205) 387-0511, ext. 5941.