New grad can’t stop smiling over her career
Some kids tuck a tooth under their pillow for the Tooth Fairy, but MaQuelle Chatman had no thought of that. Even as a child, she wanted to help people keep their teeth healthy and attractive. She took the first steps toward becoming a dentist in a predental program at a local four-year university, but it quickly became apparent that she was going to need to have more hands-on experience than was available there. Her decision to go to Washtenaw Community College not only gave her the necessary experience; it also gave her a number of other terrific benefits.
“Because WCC was so close to home, I saved time. And since it was more affordable than the university, I saved money,” she said. “Each of my classes at the university had so many students, it was hard to get the help I needed to grasp the material. The smaller class sizes at WCC allowed my instructors to give students more one-onone attention.”
Chatman said her “best decision ever” was her switch to WCC’s Dental Assisting program in 2013.
WCC, skills and hard work
Her hard work, time management skills and how WCC prepared her to enter her profession allowed her to graduate with a Certificate in Dental Assisting, her associate degree, become a registered dental assistant and land a job.
“The clinic where I did my first rotation loved me so much they decided to keep me,” Chatman smiled. “They were already fully staffed, but they created a position for me so I had a job to go to before my pinning ceremony.”
It’s a lot to celebrate in just three short years of school, but what does Chatman plan for her future? “I might go on to become a dentist someday,” she explained, “but right now, I really love what I’m doing. Working at the clinic feels just as wonderful as being at WCC; we do the same things that I learned in class. We have the same rules. I feel prepared to do my job every day and I really love that feeling. It makes me wish I would have started at WCC sooner.”
The Dental Assisting program at Washtenaw Community College prepares students for entry-level dental assisting positions in a variety of settings. The curriculum includes the required dental radiography classes that allow graduates to expose dental radiographs in the state of Michigan. The program also prepares students for the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination, which leads to the nationally recognized status of a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). Graduates of the program are also prepared to take the Michigan State Board of Dentistry examination, which gives recognition as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA).
Learn more at health.wccnet.edu/dentalassisting