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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if there are allied dental health education programs within the State of Florida currently using Technical Skills Standards (any non-academic abilities or requirements necessary to perform the job) as part of their applicant counseling and admissions process. In addition, the research was to determine faculty’s knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its impact on the admissions policies and procedures of their programs was examined. The program faculty and administrators representing 27 institutions throughout the State of Florida offering accredited Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, and Dental Lab Technology training programs were surveyed as experts in their field. Analysis of the responses suggests that a majority of those surveyed from the three disciplines agree that there should be published technical skill standards used for program admissions purposes. In addition, although a majority of those surveyed were found to have some knowledge of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) enacted in 1990, approximately 96% responded negatively regarding this federal mandate’s affect on the admissions criteria for their program. As baseline statistical information, the data from this project serves to provide educators and program advisors in Florida allied dental health education programs an opportunity to assess the opinion of their peers and colleagues regarding the current need to establish and adopt uniform, statewide technical skill standards for dissemination to all potential program applicants.

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