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March 10, 2000

ULM Department of Dental Hygiene receives highest marks in reaccreditation

The Department of Dental Hygiene at the University of Louisiana at Monroe has been notified by the Commission on Dental Accreditation that it has received the highest status recognized in the Commission's reaccreditation process.

The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

Following a site visit on Oct. 12-13, 1999, the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association submitted their report and recently informed ULM President Lawson L. Swearingen, Jr., in a letter that the program was granted the status of "approval without reporting requirements."

"We are very proud to have received the accreditation status of 'approval without reporting requirements,'" Mrs. Beverly B. Jarrell, Head of ULM's Department of Dental Hygiene, said. "This is the highest status recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. We appreciate the efforts and support of the students, faculty and administration. It is our goal to provide and maintain an excellent dental hygiene program so that we might graduate well-trained hygienists who will be able to provide comprehensive care to the patients they serve."

ULM's Dental Hygiene Program was initiated in 1972 and since that time has been an approved program. This was the Commission's fourth site evaluation, accreditation lasts seven years, and ULM will not be visited again until 2006.

"This accomplishment is a reflection of a successful program that results in high quality patient care," Dr. David Irwin, Interim Dean of ULM's College of Allied Health and Rehabilitation Professions, said. "I would also like to acknowledge the administrative support from Dean Bill Bourn (College of Pharmacy), Provost Arlen Zander and President Swearingen for their involvement in the site visit and their support of efforts to provide a high quality education and have one of the best dental hygiene programs in the country."

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Arlen Zander said that he was pleased, but not surprised, by the exceptional accreditation report.

"All you have to do is look at the quality of the students who are admitted to the program, the commitment and professionalism of the faculty who deliver the program, and the 97 percent pass rate on the last four licensure exams to see that this is literally one of the best programs in the country," Zander said.

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