Date of Award

Spring 3-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Rhonda Bishop

Third Advisor

Dr. Steve Bishop


This study was designed to investigate an accredited dental assisting educational program at a Midwest community college. The Bureau of Labor of Statistics (2015) claimed the profession of dental assisting is one of the fastest growing occupation, along with ongoing research that good oral health is linked to overall general health, thereby increasing the need for more dental assistants in the workforce. The aim of this study was to determine if dental assisting students taking courses in a face-to-face traditional format performed differently from students taking courses in a hybrid (a combination of face-to face and online) format. The researcher invited a total of 92 students from cohorts in 2012, 2013, and 2014 to participate. Of the students who elected to participate, 62% were from the traditional cohort, and 39% were from the hybrid cohort. Data collected from a cross-sectional survey focused on the tenets of the theory of Communities of Practice. De-identified data were collected to compare students’ progress between the traditional and hybrid cohorts with retention rates and national examination scores using a t-test for data analysis. The results confirmed no statistically significant performance differences were apparent between the two groups of students. The hybrid delivery format was as effective in educating dental assisting students as the traditional educational format.


Copyright 2016