Nevada Public Radio Listen Live

"Discover New Programs"
Facebook Twitter Follow Nevada Public Radio

Support Nevada Public Radio
March 23, 2004
Podcasts

ARCHIVE: CCSN 4-year degree

Listen

Efforts to pass a legislative mandate that the Community College system offer 4-year programs failed last year. But the colleges have always had the option of starting 4-year programs to fill a niche in education with the governing board's approval. For instance, the Great Basin College for instance has four-year degrees for Integrated Applied Science and Management Technology. KNPR's Ky Plaskon reports on the first 4-year program at CCSN and its approval last week has some staff grinning.

PLASKON: Surgeon generals since the year 2000 have warned of a crisis and epidemic related to oral health in America. One sign of that epidemic according to CCSN Vice President of Academic Affairs Bob Palinchak is that 60 percent of elementary school children all across rural Nevada have dental problems. There are plenty of people trained to clean those mouths, but Palinchak says challenges like that for today's dental hygienists go beyond cleaning teeth.

PALINCHAK: No that would be too easy, no it might be how to serve 42 thousand square miles with a bus?

PLASKON: CCSN has a bus called Mile for Mile that travels around these 42 thousand miles addressing rural dentistry. Solving widespread issues like this is just one of the many new roles hygienists can fill. Today they can find cancers and tumors, manage pharmaceuticals, logistics and prevention. But CCSN couldn't train Nevada's hygienists because it only offered a 2-year dental hygiene certificate. Meanwhile the field of dental hygiene developed even broader dynamics: Medication, marketing, business, funding structures and acquisition for public agencies, managing large-scale operations, the ethics of surgery, ancient history and even the evolution of the mouth. CCSN didn't stand by idly. For more than a quarter century the faculty worked on a curriculum for the state's first Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. Palinchak pulls it out.

PALINCHAK: Here we go, the kinds of classes that we will have, reasoning and critical thinking. One will be dental anthropology. Your teeth are very different than my teeth, and some people have some very unusual formations, and growth and hidden teeth and some pop out and some don't pop out and so if you study the human condition back to Neanderthals you see patterns and learn about the place of teeth in the human body and that is changing over the years.

PLASKON: Another challenge medical professionals face are the ethics and costs. Palinchak says there's a proposed class on that too.

PALINCHAK: This country is very sensitive to the morality and ethical behavior of its professionals so it is everywhere and so in the dental field we hope we will be among the first to where we are going to look at professional ethics, what does it mean to be a dental hygienist, what does it mean to charge certain amounts for business, what does it mean to work with the government and Medicare it means you have to be straight laced, it means you gotta know your teeth.

PLASKON: Palinchak says CCSN shopped this curriculum to traditional universities in Nevada but they didn't have the facilities or staff to do it. But UNLV considered a Masters program in dental health and that would leave an education gap between the two-year dental hygiene program at CCSN and Master's program at UNLV. On Friday the Board of Regents recognized the need and approved filling that cavity by approving CCSN's curriculum for the 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene.

PALINCHAK: And now we are giving the next layer, the next layer is a professional dental hygienist.

PLASKON: Palinchak says CCSN's Bachelor of Science students will be on the cutting edge but he admits jobs for graduates of the program aren't well defined.

PALINCHAK: Well that's sort of tricky, because a lot of them are word of mouth.

PLASKON: In order to get into the program students must already be licensed hygienists - meaning they are in the field and will know the job prospects. Of 800 hygienists surveyed around the state by CCSN, half were interested in an advanced degree like this mainly so they can move up in their careers. Chair of CCSN's governing board of regents, Stavros Anthony, said this program signals an evolution of CCSN's role in serving Nevada's workforce.

ANTHONY: Things in society are getting more complicated, fields are getting more complicated and that means we need people who are more educated and that means we are getting into more of a situation where people need a four year degree in order to get into the workforce properly.

PLASKON: Board member Tom Kirkpatrick had a lot of questions. He was concerned it is too broad for CCSN. But he said the idea was put together very well and the board should be prepared to consider more four year programs at community colleges.

KIRKPATRICK: We are going to get requests for other programs at other community colleges across the state and we will have to be very careful to make sure that we only approve programs that are appropriate for that particular location.

PLASKON: CCSN anticipates the BS in Dental Hygiene will serve students all over the state and beyond. Classes will be available on the Internet and after completing the program they can teach dental hygiene anywhere in the nation, and for the first time Nevada will have produced its own professional dental hygienist capable of teaching here.

See discussion rules.

Archives

Apr 4, 2009 | Drug Donation Program
Nevada lawmakers are debating the creation of a program that would help cancer patients get expensive prescription drugs for less.

Mar 13, 2009 | Budget Wrangling
As state lawmakers wrestle with Nevada's multi-billion-dollar budget deficit, there are several plans afoot aimed at softening the next economic bust.

Mar 2, 2009 | Autism
The cost of treating children with autism can be $24,000 to $40,000 per child per year according to the Autism Coalition of Nevada. A bill before the Nevada Legislature aims to help families pay for the care.

Feb 16, 2007 | Chinese New Year
This weekend marks a celebration of Chinese New Year. KNPR's Rick Andrews reports on how the holiday is being celebrated by the valley's growing Asian community.

Dec 7, 2006 | Food and Beverage
The economy of scale for food and beverage operations in Las Vegas means any edge in efficiency is real money. Rick Andrews reports on a software product scoring with food and beverage managers looking at the bottom line...and what you're likely to order.

Nov 15, 2006 | Global Gaming Expo
The Global Gaming Expo trade show and conference got underway Tuesday in Las Vegas. Vendors showcase their latest wares including new slot machines.

Nov 1, 2006 | Stardust Memories
When it opened in 1958 the Stardust was the world's largest hotel. Now, after more than 48 years, it's closed.

Sep 27, 2006 | Nevada Northern Railway
The 'Nevada Northern' is celebrating its centenial anniversary. News 88.9's Rick Andrews went on a tour of the museum with executive director Mark Bassett.

Jun 30, 2006 | Standing Up for Ringo
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley tells the story of how she saw the Beatles in Las Vegas in August 1964.

Jun 29, 2006 | Sports Supplements
From fortified cereals to energy drinks to serious sports nutrition, people are willing to spend lots money to supplement their diets. Rick Andrews reports on the business of sports supplements.

May 25, 2006 | Love
Wednesday Cirque du Soleil provided a glimpse of their much anticipated show based on the music of the Beatles. Flo Rogers reports on Love.

May 24, 2006 | Telecommunications
A Senate telecommunications bill currently being considered includes provisions on most everything, but some worry that controversial measures will derail the entire package.

May 16, 2006 | Nanotech
Universities across the country are spending millions to expand nano technology research...manipulating molecules 10,000 times smaller than a human hair. Rick Andrews reports on nano research at UNLV.

Apr 24, 2006 | Earthscope
Hualapai Mountain Park, near Kingman, has been chosen by the National Science Foundation to be home to a seismic monitoring station. Gillian Ferris Kohl reports.

Apr 18, 2006 | Anatomical Donation for Science
In the second of two reports exploring innovative medical facilities in the Valley, Rick Andrews visits the Medical Education and Research Institute of Nevada in Henderson.

Apr 12, 2006 | Immigration Reform Stalled
Immigration legislation in the U.S. Senate is at a standstill. Many in the Republican Party blame Nevada Democrat, Senator Harry Reid for the impasse. Jill Morrison reports from Capitol Hill.

Apr 1, 2006 | New Plans for Nellis
The first of April brings news that a large piece of military land in Las Vegas may be redeveloped.

Mar 28, 2006 | Test Site Worker Compensation
Senator Harry Reid is trying to get compensation for Test Site workers who were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, but never compensated.

Feb 27, 2006 | StoryCorps - Alice Keys
Alice Keys has been active in the African American community for decades and known through her association with the Moulin Rouge Casino. Here's her recollection of meeting one of the great African Americans of the last century.

Feb 21, 2006 | StoryCorps - Alan Morel and Mike Genoshe
When close friends interview each other, the stories are often more intimate and revealing than talking to a reporter. A case in point is Alan Morel and Mike Genoshe talking about their hopes for their adopted son.

© 2014 NEVADA PUBLIC RADIO   
Web hosting facilities provided by Switch.