Education Today and Tomorrow

Collaborative, competent care and health equity for all

Click HERE for News and Events

Educating the 21st Century Dental Team

Normandale Community College Dental Hygiene Program 

Deb Video Still

Education Today and Tomorrow

The Education Today and Tomorrow toolbox contains information to keep you up to date in the ever-evolving field of health education.  Here you will find resources to help you develop new or refresh competencies, keep you updated on best practices, and learn how to incorporate the latest technologies into your professional practice.

Addressing Health Disparities, Health Equity and Cultural Competency

In order to achieve the Triple Aim of Health Equity and assist all people in achieving the highest possible level of health, the 21st century dental and inter-professional team must embrace and embody the provision of 'equitable care'.  The illustration below contrasts the value of equity over equality.

"Interaction Institute for Social Change | Artist: Angus Maguire."


Health Equity is the attainment of the highest possible level of health, regardless of sex, gender identity, race/ethnicity, religion, culture, language, disability, or socioeconomic status.

We must unite our inter-professional ethical values, be grounded in principles of justice and human rights and be knowledgeable and competent to create an absence of health disparities.

Click HERE for video from the Oral Health Summit II (August 2017- Normandale Community College) presented by Dr. Bob Russell, "The Big Picture: Achieving True Medical-Dental Integration to Meet the Needs of Unserved America".

Resources are available to ensure cultural humility, health literacy and respect for racial issues in health and oral healthcare delivery.

Effective Communication and Health Literacy

Health Literacy Training, Minnesota Health Literacy PartnershipTraining and presentation materials to educate individuals and health care professionals about the importance of health literacy, health numeracy and teach back strategies.

Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Online training on the importance of health literacy and the health professional's role in providing health information and services and promoting health literacy.

Health Literacy in Dentistry, American Dental Association
Resources for increasing the dental team's knowledge about health literacy.

Health Literacy and Patient Engagement, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Advisory committee on training in primary care medicine and dentistry.  Recommendation to improve health literacy and patient engagement.

Improving Health Literacy: University of Michigan
Resources for training, evaluation, and writing for those who teach and advocate for health literacy in addition to sources of information on quantitative health literacy, research and methods.

Journal of the California Dental Association, April 2012
This entire issue from the CDA focuses on oral health literacy.

Minnesota Health Literacy Best Practices Conference
July 27, 2018

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the ability to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make good health decisions.  Health care professionals have a duty to provide information in simple, clear and plain language and to check that patients have understood the information before ending the conversation.  (Source: Minnesota Health Literacy Partnership Plain Language Campaign Talking Points & Key Messages)

Click HERE to access the conference video 


Administration and Management Practice

Organizations can use the Cultural and Linguistic Competence Policy Assessment to determine the needs and gaps in knowledge on cultural diversity. This tool is free to use, although the data from the survey cannot be used for research purposes.

Professional Development

MN Dept of Health logo

The Minnesota Department of Health held SEAL Minnesota: Minnesota's Comprehensive, Coordinated School Sealant Program Approach forum on June 22, 2018. The event included two parts, with Part I including MDH's plans and request for partnership input during development of SEAL Minnesota.  Part II was a dental sealant standardization/calibration hands-on lab simulation limited to dental hygienists and dental assistants who are currently working or soon to be working as a school sealant program clinical provider.  For further information contact the MDH Prevention Coordinator at 651.201.4230 

Click HERE for video 

May 18, 2018, Nancy Franke Wilson, Executive Director, Minnesota Oral Health Coalition, spoke at Normandale Community College about grant writing. 

Click HERE to download the PowerPoint presentation handout.

Click below to view the presentation of Grant Basics.

Oral Health Summit II- August 3, 2017

Minnesota 21st Century Dental Team: Toward Access for All

Normandale Community College, in collaboration with Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, hosted an event intended to move thinking about provision of oral health care in an interprofessional direction. Speakers described their vision and experiences in development of a "Minnesota 21st Century Dental Team" to improve access to care and reduce health disparities.  

Summit II speakers featured in the video:

  • KeynoteThe Big Picture -Bob Russell, DDS, MPH
  • Legal Strategies to Advance Oral Health - Jill Krueger, JD
  • Collective Impact PanelKey Stakeholder Groups
  • Collective Impact to Address Access to Care - Joseph P. Lally, JD
  • MN Health Equity Lens - Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, MD
  • MN Older Adults Basic Screening Survey -Megan Clare Craig-Kuhn, BA and Peggy Running, BSDH, GDH
  • Moving Towards Value Based Care - Margaret Langelier, MSHSA
  • 21st Century Dental Team - HealthFinders Collaborative

Click HERE to see video of the event

Click HERE for Summit II Agenda

Oral Health Summit I- August 4, 2016

Smiles@School Summit: Interconnecting Children's Oral Health and Learning 

The Minnesota Department of Health Oral Health Program, in collaboration with Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation and Normandale Community College (host site) brought together local and national experts to speak about supporting children's oral health and relating oral health to overall health and academic success. Policies and practices for incorporating or expanding oral health and dental sealant programs were discussed, to include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model and the national Sealant Workgroup Recommendations (2017). 

Smiles@School Oral Health Summit I - VIDEO

Click HERE for the Summit I Agenda

Degree Programs

Associate Degrees in Dental Hygiene
Earning an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Dental Hygiene provides the student with the practical knowledge, values and skills needed to pursue licensure as a dental hygienist. By combining liberal arts, basic and dental science coursework with clinical theory and skill development, the associate degree graduate is an astute clinical decision-maker offering competent patient - centered care.

Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Degree (BSDH)
As the student advances beyond the associate degree level with their coursework in the Bachelor degree program, they dig deeper into the profession of Dental Hygiene. Additional knowledge in areas such as leadership, patient and public advocacy, cultural competence, practice and project management, evidence-based decision-making, plus skills in restorative functions empowers the licensed hygienist for career advancement. Opportunities broaden for the licensed professional in public health and alternative practice settings, education, research and business.

Dual Admissions and Enrollment
As a dental hygiene student actively pursues an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, this student can also be completing on-line course work to obtain a baccalaureate degree in Dental Hygiene. This unique, seamless and simultaneous educational pathway allows one to graduate with a BSDH degree within one month of acquiring the associate degree. Completion of BSDH coursework is individualized and paced to encourage mentoring and student success.


1969- Normandale becomes the first Dental Hygiene program at a Minnesota Community College

2013- Dual admission and enrollment initiated by Metropolitan State University and Normandale Community College

2016- Partners added:  MN State Community and Technical College-Moorhead, Lake Superior College, and Century College

2017- Partner added: Rochester Community and Technical College

Dental Hygiene AS to Dental Hygiene BSDH- Normandale Community College

Dental Hygiene AAS to Dental Hygiene BSDH- Lake Superior College

Dental Hygiene AAS to Dental Hygiene BSDH- Century College

Dental Hygiene AAS to Dental Hygiene BSDH- Minnesota State Community and Technical College- Moorhead

Dental Hygiene AAS to Dental Hygiene BSDH- Rochester Community and Technical College

Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy Degree
The baccalaureate degree graduate who desires to expand their clinical competence beyond preventive dental hygiene care can pursue a Master's degree in Advanced Dental Therapy.  This degree involves coursework and clinical skill development that broadens the professional's scope of practice to assessment and evaluation of patient care and restorative services designed specifically to meet the dental needs of underserved populations. The impact of the dental therapist as a skilled, intraprofessional dental team member is significant to creating access and providing much needed dental care.


Program Highlights: Dual Admissions and Enrollment in Dental Hygiene


Advancing Dental Hygiene Education: What does research tell us about the future of dental hygiene?
The Journal of Dental Hygiene
October 2018

                                Colleen M. Brickle, RDH EdD

Click HERE to learn from Colleen Brickle how dental hygiene education can be innovative and responsive to current and new workforce models in order to meet the demands of all populations seeking oral health care.


The Journey to Opportunity 
Dimensions of Dental Hygiene
April 2017


                                   Debra J. Sidd, RDH RF MEd

Click HERE to learn from Debra Sidd how dental hygienists who embrace change, reflect on their professional status and goals, and unite with colleagues are poised for professional growth. 

Rachel Primus began her college journey, she wanted to work in the health field in a position that was hands-on and would allow her to connect with people.

Rachel started out taking her generals at a university and realized that dental hygiene was the career she wanted to pursue. Once she made that decision, Rachel started doing research to find the dental hygiene program in the Twin Cities that was the best fit. Read more...

Dual Admissions and Enrollment in Dental Hygiene - Student Testimonials

Minnesota State Launches Innovative Dual Admissions Dental Hygiene Bachelor's Program

Education Partnerships: From Associate to Bachelor

Normandale Student Testimonials


Resources Education Today and Tomorrow

The Minnesota Department of Health held SEAL Minnesota: Minnesota's Comprehensive, Coordinated School Sealant Program Approach forum on June 22, 2018.

This forum introduced participants to SEAL Minnesota, a state-wide systematic approach to school-based dental sealant programs. The morning session included content experts who discussed opportunities and challenges and addressed how collaborative practice dental hygienists reduce health disparities and increase access to oral health care through school-based dental sealant programs.

The afternoon session was a sealant calibration hands-on lab simulation that included dental hygienists, dental assistants and dentists who either were or were soon to be part of a school-based dental sealant program. 

For further information, contact the MDH Prevention Coordinator at  651.201.4230 

SEAL Minnesota video

SEAL Minnesota School Sealant Programs/Evidence-Based and Best Practices Forum

Sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health | Oral Health Program

Click HERE to access the SEAL Minnesota Forum video


Click HERE to download "MetroConnect" a resource guide outlining the dual admissions and enrollment procedures between Normandale Community College and Metropolitan State University. Transfer and admission arrangements are described to maximize the ease with which students may progress from an associate's to a bachelor's degree.

Dental Therapy Toolkit: A Resource for Potential Employers

Developed for the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Rural Health and Primary Care by a partnership between Normandale Community College/ Metropolitan State University, the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, and MS Strategies. This project is part of a $45 million State Innovation Model (SIM) cooperative agreement, awarded to the Minnesota Departments of Health and Human Services in 2013 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Hiring a Dental Therapist or Advanced Dental Therapist:  Enhancing Your Oral Health Team - Toolkit.

Developed by Normandale Community College/Metropolitan State University and the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. The project was funded by the Otto Bremer Foundation to inform others about dental therapy and advanced dental therapy.

Dental therapy practice patterns in Minnesota: a baseline study  

Blue, C., Kaylor, M.B., 2016.

Smiles for Life: a National Oral Health Curriculum (3rd Edition)

Conains educational resources to ensure the integration of oral health and primary care.

Growing Old With a Smile: Oral Care for Older Adults in Long-Term Care

This video series and workbook helps long-term care facilities improve the quality of oral care provided to residents and to assist in compliance with federal and state nursing home regulations.  Developed by the Minnesota Department of Health and University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

Teaching Oral Health Care for Older Adults  

In a significant expansion of the NLN's signature Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors (ACE.S) program, four new teaching strategies in the critical area of oral health have been added to an array of free resources for nurse faculty. Created in partnership with the Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP) program at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University, they include:

  • Importance of Oral-Systemic Health in Older Adults
  • Oral Health for the Older Adult Living in the Community
  • Developing Inter-professional Education and Practice in Oral Health
  • Performing Oral Health Assessments

Click HERE for National League for Nursing teaching strategies