Dental Assisting: Occupational Certificate (OC)

Application Period for 2018 Fall Term: Jan. 8-April 13, 2018

Dental Assisting is a selective enrollment program that accepts a cohort of 12 students each fall term. All applicants must meet the minimum requirements to be considered for admission. Applicants are not guaranteed admission because they have met the minimum requirements.

Application Process

Complete the steps of the application process in this order:

I. Apply to South Florida State College.
II. Demonstrate competency in English, Reading, and Math.
III. Complete a Minimum Admissions Requirements (MAR) Review.
IV. Complete 16 hours of observation/working time in a general dental office.
V. Complete the online application to the Dental Assisting program.
VI. Attend new student orientation: Guide to Personal Success (GPS).

I. Apply to South Florida State College

  1. Complete a General Student Application to South Florida State College.
  2. Send official high school transcript or GED transcript to the Admissions Office.
  3. Send official transcripts from all the colleges or schools you have attended since high school to the Admissions Office.

If you need assistance completing the steps for admission to South Florida State College, visit the Admissions Office, Building B, Highlands Campus, or call 863-784-7105.

II. Demonstrate Competency in English, Reading, and Math

Applicants to the Dental Assisting program must demonstrate that they are competent in English, Reading, and Math. You may satisfy this requirement by completing any one of these three options:

  1. Demonstrate that you have passed Freshman English I and College Algebra with a grade of C or higher.
  1. Show that you have earned an Associate in Arts (AA) degree or higher.
  1. Earn the minimum scores on any one of these college placement tests:
  • Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE). Earn minimum scores of 10 in Math, 10 in English, and 10 in Language.
  • Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT). Earn minimum scores of 106 in Reading, 103 in Writing, and 114 in Math.
  • ACT. Earn minimum scores of 19 in Reading, 17 in Writing, and 19 in Math.
  • SAT. Earn minimum scores of 440 in the Verbal section and 440 in the Math section.

TABE and PERT exams are administered by the Testing and Assessment Center. If you need assistance scheduling your exam, email the Testing Center or call 863-784-7214.

III.  Complete a Minimum Admissions Requirements (MAR) Review

Applicants must complete a MAR Review before they are considered for admission to the Dental Assisting program. You are encouraged to complete your MAR Review as early as possible so that you may finish the additional steps in the application process before the application period ends.

During the Dental Assisting program application period, the health sciences specialist conducts MAR Reviews by appointment only Monday-Friday, 8 a.m-3 p.m. To schedule your MAR Review, call 863-784-7027 or email

 IV. Observation/Working in a General Dental Office

Applicants to the Dental Assisting program must spend a minimum of 16 hours observing or working in a general dental office. Time spent observing or working in a specialty dental office, such as orthodontics or denture clinics, do not meet this requirement. Complete the form Verification of Time Spent Observing or Working in a Dental Office or Clinic and submit it with your online application to the Dental Assisting program (step V).

Applicants are responsible for arranging their own observation sessions.

V.  Apply to the Dental Assisting Program

Complete an online application to the Dental Assisting program.

 VI. Attend New Student Orientation

All new students and students returning to SFSC after an absence of two or more years are required to attend new student orientation, Guide to Personal Success (GPS). After you submit your application to South Florida State College (step I), you will receive an email invitation that explains your options for attending orientation. You may select an orientation that is convenient for you; however, you must complete orientation before you can register for classes.

If you need assistance completing orientation, email the Career Development Center or call 863-784-7412.

Selection Process

Once applicants have completed all steps in the admission process and have been found to meet the minimum requirements for admission, they are accepted based on the date they submitted their online application to the Dental Assisting program. The first 12 applicants are accepted.

In May successful applicants receive an email that explains how they may reserve their seat. Any unclaimed seat is offered to the next qualified applicant. Once all seats are claimed, an email is sent to applicants who were not accepted.

Consult the College Catalog for more information about the ranking and selection process.

Program Compliance Requirements

All candidates accepted into a dental education program must submit to an official criminal history background check. Some providers of clinical experiences do not allow individuals with certain types of criminal history into their facilities, in accordance with Florida Statute 468.3065. You may review an explanation of Program Disqualification Due to Past Convictions or contact the Florida Department of Health for more information.

Candidates are also required to submit program specific admission documentation to a third-party compliance management company, Castle Branch.

Bloodborne Pathogens

During the Dental Assisting program, students may be exposed to hazardous materials, bloodborne pathogens, infectious diseases, and ionizing radiation. Program policies are in place to protect the student and patient from harm. The curriculum provides specific instruction on taking standard precautions; wearing gloves, masks, goggles and protective clothing to protect from infectious diseases. Students also follow safety procedures to minimize the risk associated with the use of x-ray machines.