Breaking Barriers for Diverse Students

Ally Bush, Pacific University
Stephanie Hutchinson, Pacific University


This paper examines the barriers faced by underrepresented minority students (URM) in applying to dental hygiene programs. Underrepresented minorities make up approximately one fourth of the US population, a number which is not mirrored in the field of dental hygiene. Primary barriers faced by students when applying to dental hygiene programs were reported to be financial barriers and lack of confidence in filling out applications. The program was focused on identifying and eliminating the barriers faced by these students, in order to increase the diversity in the future workforce of dental hygiene.