Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Michele L. Darby

Committee Member

Deanne Shuman

Committee Member

Gayle McCombs

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.D46 T36 2002


The purposes of this descriptive study was to validate a list of managerial competencies that may guide administrative/management curricula within master of science in dental hygiene programs nationwide, and compile strategies for the development and implementation of the administrative and managerial competencies for future dental hygiene program administrators. Of the entire population of directors and chairpersons from accredited and accreditation eligible dental hygiene programs nationwide (N=262), 10 were randomly selected and used in a pilot survey. After establishing validity and test-retest reliability, a self-designed instrument, the Managerial and Administrative Competencies for Dental Hygiene Program Administrators Questionnaire, was mailed to the remaining 252 dental hygiene program administrators in the fall 2001 academic semester. This instrument asked participants to provide information concerning personal demographics, educational background, highest education level, academic preparation and experiences, the highest degree in dental hygiene offered at the college or university, extent of agreement on management and administrative competencies, and their recommendations on the implementation of administrative and managerial competencies for future dental hygiene program administrators. Frequencies, percentages, and means were used for data analysis.

Based on a response rate of 64.3% (n=162) results indicated that 96.91 % of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the human skill, conceptual skill, and technical skills competencies were important for program administrators. The three highest rated competencies within each domain were: "maintains confidentiality of others", "maintains professional dental hygiene standards of practice", and ''plans and participates in budget development, implementation, and monitoring". Only 3.1 % of the program administrators rated neither agree nor disagree with some of the competencies. The three lowest rated competencies were: ''understands healthcare economics and its application to human resource planning", ''promotes research and other areas of scholarship", and ''utilizes current technology". The majority believed that the competencies were achievable via coursework, mentoring, use of internships, educational programs at American Dental Education Association or online symposiums. A smaller percentage (10%) of the program directors made comments regarding the importance of collaboration and agreement on the competencies among the master of science in dental hygiene programs, and pre-graduation evaluation of competencies. Implementation of competencies within a master of science in dental hygiene program may help prepare future dental hygiene program administrators for their positions, and empower aspiring managers, administrators, and leaders in dental hygiene education to strengthen the future of the profession.


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