Dental Assisting

Health Sciences

The Dental Assisting curriculum is career-oriented. It prepares the student, as a member of the dental health team, to assist the dentist in all phases of dentistry. The program includes chairside procedures associated with general and specialty dentistry, radiology, laboratory and business office assistance. Clinical experience is an integral part of the educational program with rotations through various dental facilities.

Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the Iowa Dental Board state registration exams to become a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA). Graduates are also eligible to take examinations prepared by the Dental Assisting National Board to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). Graduates have the flexibility of being employable nationwide. Dental assisting offers some of the most ideal working conditions and attractive hours of any of the health professions, while demanding a high degree of interaction between staff and patient.

Award: Diploma
Credits: 45.25
Locations: Peosta
Entry: Fall

Paying for the Program

Financial Aid Eligible

Out-of-State Tuition & Fees: $10,046*
Program Supplies: $1,009

Financial Aid Info

Career Outlook

$20,494 - 63,716

Estimated annual salary range for Health Sciences graduates based on EMSI. Salary range represents 10th percentile - median annual wage for related occupations ​within a 100-mile radius from the center distance between Calmar and Peosta Campuses.

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  1. Apply for admission.
  2. Submit official high school, high school equivalency and/or college transcripts to the Admissions Office of the campus you plan to attend.
  3. Complete ACCUPLACER® reading and writing assessment and ALEKS® math assessment for course placement. Assessments may be waived based on previous college coursework or submission of valid ACT®, ACT Compass® or ALEKS® test scores. ACCUPLACER® scores are valid for three years, and ALEKS® scores are valid for 18 months.

In addition to the College enrollment process, applicants must be a high school graduate or equivalent and achieve a minimum ACCUPLACER® reading score of 70. ACT® or ACT Compass® scores are also acceptable.

Health sciences programs have additional admission requirements including background checks, health records and training requirements. Please review these requirements for program admission.

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2019-2020 Dental Assisting Class Schedule


DEA:203 Applied Anatomy and Physiology OR 1.5
* Science Elective 1.5
DEA:250 Dental Science 4.5
DEA:310 Dental Radiography I 2.25
DEA:410 Dental Materials I 1.5
DEA:511 Principles of Dental Assisting 5.25
SDV:179 The College Experience 3.0


DEA:261 Dental Science II 2.25
DEA:321 Dental Radiography II 2.0
DEA:418 Dental Materials II 3.0
DEA:570 Dental Clinic Internship 1.5
DEA:571 Dental Externship I 1.75
DEA:601 Dental Specialties 4.75
* Communication Elective 3.0


DEA:563 Dental Externship II 4.0
DEA:704 Dental Office Procedures 2.0
PSY:111 Intro to Psychology OR 3.0
PSY:112 Psychology of Human Relations 3.0


Communication Electives: COM:723, ENG:105, SPC:112
Science Electives:  BIO:157; or BIO:158; or BIO:168 and BIO:173

Note: To graduate from this program, students must complete all required coursework with a "C-" grade or above and earn a minimum 2.0 grade point average. Students may be required to take some courses on an online or hybrid format.

Commission on Dental Accreditation logo.

The Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements." The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312.440.4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. View the Commission's website.

Gainful Employment Information

View gainful employment information for this program.

American Dental Assistants Association

Students will have the opportunity to become student members of the American Dental Assistants Association, which also provides membership in the Iowa Dental Assistants Association and the Dubuque District Dental Assistants Society.

MSDS Information

Northeast Iowa Community College is committed to protecting the health of students, staff, visitors and patients. Any person enrolled in a healthcare program with a clinical component may be exposed to environmental hazards and blood and body fluids. NICC complies with all OSHA standards and follows CDC Guidelines for Standard Precautions during all patient contact.

Dental Assisting Clinic

Dental Assisting students have the opportunity to put learned skills into practice under the direction of volunteer dentists and NICC faculty in the  which provides services to referred patients.

The Dental Assisting program maintains formal transfer agreements with the institutions listed below. Students are encouraged to speak with their transfer college or university to verify that their planned courses at NICC will meet necessary requirements. Learn more about transferring from NICC.

Dawn Klosterman

Dawn Klostermann
Dental Assisting Program Director

  • Email:
  • Phone: 800.728.7367, ext. 227
  • Location: Peosta
Jeni Kohlmeyer

Jennifer Kohlmeyer
Dental Assisting Faculty/Clinical Coordinator

  • Email:
  • Phone: 800.728.7367, ext. 304
  • Location: Peosta