Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Carl Woloszyk

Second Advisor

Dr. Louann Bierlein-Palmer

Third Advisor

Dr. Katherine Manley


This research study examined the use of the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) results for the Dental Hygiene Program at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dental hygiene programs must develop outcomes assessment plans through a 7-year accreditation cycle under the auspices of the American Dental Association's (ADA) Council on Dental Accreditation using pass/fail rates for program graduates.

T -tests and ANOVA statistical tests were used in this study to examine NBDHE results from the Dental Hygiene Program within Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) during the years 1998 to 2000 to answer four questions: (1) How did GRCC's dental hygiene program perform on the NBDHE compared to the national NBDHE averages? (2) Did any subject areas consistently bring GRCC's NBDHE scores down? (3) Did curriculum changes in GRCC's dental hygieneprogram impact NBDHE scores? and (4) Does a correlation exist between NBDHE scores and particular preparation resource and/or preparation strategies?

As a result of this study, it is recommended that: the NBDHE results be used to continuously monitor the performance of all dental hygiene programs as partof a comprehensive assessment plan, further research be conducted to determine if and/or how NBDHE results are used as a method of outcomes assessment by other dental hygiene programs, and a data-driven approach to evaluation be applied to all educational programs. The NBDHE results can provide both external and internal assessments on an ongoing, continuous basis, which can be used to develop action plans according to the results. Such plans for action should be substantiated by the data and monitored for program improvement purposes for all educational programs.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access