Programs And Courses

Dental Assistant

Learn more about our one-year Dental Assistant certificate program. Learn how to perform procedures, process radiographs and more!  Immediately sit for the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). 


The clinical application for Fall 2023 using SurveyMonkey will be here Spring 2023.

In response to the ongoing public health issues surrounding the coronavirus certain requirements (shadowing) and deadlines are subject to change. Contact Program Director Rebecca Small,, if you have questions.

What does a dental assistant do?

A dental assistant performs various tasks. They:

  • Assist the dentist with a variety of treatment procedures
  • Take dental radiographs
  • Develop infection control protocol and prepare and sterilize instruments and equipment
  • Help patients feel comfortable before, during and after dental treatment
  • Provide patients with instructions following dental procedures
  • Teach patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies (tooth brushing, flossing and nutritional counseling)
  • Take impressions of patients' teeth for study casts (models of teeth)
  • Schedule appointments, answer the telephone, order supplies and billing


What are the additional expenses of the program?

Download Estimated Expenses (pdf) for a list of estimated expenses.


What degree will I earn? Will I be eligible for credentials?
Upon successful completion you will:

  • Receive a certificate of completion 
  • Immediately sit for the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA).

What are the required courses and what is the suggested schedule? How long does the program take to complete? Where are the clinical classes held?

  • Download the Required Courses listing. It includes a sample schedule (pdf).
  • The complete program is available only at the Harrisburg Campus. HACC offers other required courses at other campuses and sites. 


What are the program clinical admission criteria and how do I apply for clinicals?

  • Admission to HACC does not guarantee admission to the clinical component of the program.  Work closely with your advisor to prepare to apply to the clinical/core component.
  • Download the Admission Criteria, Point System and Essential Qualifications (pdf). (Includes shadowing form)
  • Download the Shadowing Form (pdf)
  • Meet with Rebecca Small, the Program Director. Contact her - - to schedule your appointment.
  • The clinical application for Fall 2023 online using SurveyMonkey will be here spring term 2023. Please check back. 

Is the program accredited?
The Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.  

American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
800-621-8099 or 312-440-4653

Can I advance my education in this field?
This program leads directly to an occupation. 

What is the most current program effectiveness data?

  • Updated March 2, 2017
  • Five-year program completion rate —86%
  • Program performance on national board exams (five-year data 2011-16):
    • Radiation Health Safety —97%
    • Infection Control —83%
    • General Chairside Assisting —97%
  • 2016 national board exam data
    • Radiation Health Safety - 95%
    • Infection Control - 100%
    • General Chairside - 100%

How can I get more information?


Who can I contact for more information?

Please contact an Admissions Counselor, by phone at 800-ABC-HACC, or by email at


Dental Assisting Program Office:
Select Medical Health Education Pavilion (SMHEP), Room 104
HACC - Harrisburg Campus
One HACC Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17110