This study identifies current dental hygiene faculty expectations for skills/qualifications considered important for future faculty. Not only do current faculty prefer new faculty to possess a master’s degree, it has been shown that clinical, educational and technological skills are also very important. It appears that current dental hygiene programs are unwilling to compromise their high standards when hiring future faculty, even though there is a clear indication of a dental hygiene faculty shortage nationwide. If imminent faculty vacancies are not filled with well-qualified individuals able to meet current student needs and advances in education delivery methods, there is a potential negative impact on dental hygiene education and the profession of dental hygiene as a whole.
The information found in this study has the potential to have a positive impact on dental hygiene education if, as a result, new educators with the skills to incorporate updated teaching practices are developed. The first step to achieving this goal is reporting the information found through this survey on current dental hygiene faculty perceptions’ on important qualifications in future faculty members.
Coplen, AE: The Need for New Qualified Dental Hygiene Educators. Access 2010; 24(8): 4-5.