LEWISTON – The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) is pleased to announce that it will now offer a certificate and an associate degree program in dental assisting as well as the Expanded Functions Dental Assisting (EFDA) curriculum at its UMA Lewiston Center.
This opportunity to expand the dental programs to the UMA Lewiston Center was made possible through multiple funding sources, including a $100,000 grant through the University of Maine System’s Program Innovation Fund, a $50,000 grant from the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation, and a $25,000 grant received from the Libra Foundation.
Until this innovative program, UMA’s Dental Assisting Program and EFDA curriculum have been limited to offering laboratory and preclinical courses on the UMA-Bangor Campus where the UMA Dental Programs are currently located. Establishing a clinic at a UMA center provides an opportunity for place-bound students interested in pursuing a professional program to do so close to home. Immediately upon graduation, these graduates are ready to enter the workforce in their communities.
The portable nature of the clinic allows UMA, over a two-year period, to help meet the dental workforce and community needs of a specific area of Maine before relocating to another UMA Center to do the same. Enrollment for the first cohort of EFDA and Dental Assisting students is now open with classes beginning in January 2021!
“UMA is excited to bring its Dental Assisting Programs to the Lewiston Auburn area,” stated UMA President Rebecca Wyke. “This new rotating dental clinic concept allows us to expand into areas where students can pursue dental careers close to home. This also provides educational opportunities that are beneficial in growing Maine’s workforce.”
“UMA offers the only EFDA program and accredited dental assisting program in the State of Maine. Upon graduating from an accredited dental assisting program, students are immediately eligible to apply to the Maine Board of Dental Practice for a State of Maine Dental Radiographer license and may also take the Dental Assisting National Board exam to become a certified dental assistant,” acknowledged Amanda Willette, UMA assistant professor of dental health. “There is a significant need for credentialed dental assistants throughout Maine, particularly in the Southern and Mid-coast regions. A critical element of improving access to quality dental care is having an adequate workforce to meet the needs of a community,” Willette stated.
There are no fees to apply to UMA for admission and no application fee to complete the Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) form. UMA also offers various scholarships, including the Pine Tree State Pledge and UMA $10K that offer no cost, or low cost, tuition to qualified students.