The role of the student professional association in mentoring dental hygiene students for the future.

Danielle Furgeson, Mary George, Samuel Nesbit, Charlotte Peterson, Diane Peterson, Rebecca S. Wilder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the role of the Student American Dental Hygienists' Association (SADHA) in mentoring/developing dental hygiene students for the future. This project also assessed attitudes and practices of SADHA advisors towards the utilization of SADHA as a mechanism for mentoring dental hygiene students' professional development to meet the oral health needs of the public, and the goals of the ADHA. These goals include promotion of education beyond the baccalaureate level to develop qualified faculty, encouraging dental hygiene research, and promoting leadership. The study also evaluated if geographic region and academic setting impacted the utilization of SADHA. After IRB exemption, a pilot-tested questionnaire was administered using Survey Monkey, an online survey website, to 277 individual contacts at Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited dental hygiene programs. A response rate of 68% was achieved with 186 individual responses. Eighty percent of respondents indicated offering no mentoring opportunities outside of the curriculum, while incongruously, 58.3% felt they actively mentor through SADHA. When asked what the main focus of SADHA should be, SADHA advisors ranked community service/philanthropy as number one. SADHA chapters at institutions that offer a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) degree completion program offer more mentoring opportunities (p= or <.001). Programs offering the BSDH offer a wider variety of topics from guest speakers (p=.038). SADHA chapters in Western states have a higher graduate membership conversion rate than other regions (p=.018). SADHA advisors do not agree on how SADHA should be utilized. The majority of SADHA chapters are not offering mentoring opportunities outside of the traditional curriculum for leadership and career development. What is clear is that both students and advisors desire more interaction with the local ADHA components and constituents. In order to address these issues, efforts should be made to provide networking support among SADHA advisors and increase faculty perception of the importance of the professional association and the role of students in its future. The ADHA should consider developing a mentoring program that builds strong partnerships among all state constituent and components and SADHA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of dental hygiene : JDH / American Dental Hygienists' Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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