Home News Northwestern College held first White Coat Ceremony for Dental Assisting Program students

Northwestern College held first White Coat Ceremony for Dental Assisting Program students


[Bridgeview, IL] On Thursday, July 11, Northwestern College (NC) conducted its first “White Coat Ceremony” for its Dental Assisting Program students entering into their third and final quarter of the program. For this first ceremony of its kind at the College, students who had already completed their third quarter were also eligible to participate.

The White Coat Ceremony was established at NC as a rite of passage for its Dental Assisting students, signifying hard work and the start of core lab skills that are necessary to graduate from the program.

Northwestern College’s first Dental Assisting Program honorees.
(Left to Right): Tania Palafox, Mireya Contreras, Samantha Rodriguez, Pondra Neal, Tamara Pattie, Dua Al-Naser, Gabriela Rowe, Christina Mejdrich ,Rania Alkurdi, Vicki Przybylo and Jessica Sanchez.

The small, intimate ceremony was held in Northwestern College’s Auditorium in Bridgeview. It served as an opportunity for the College and its faculty to honor the Dental Assisting students for their hard work and determination. Fourteen (14) students were invited to participate, including: Dua Al-Naser; Rania Alkurdi; Mireya Contreras; Lissette Herrera; Christina Meidrich; Pondra Neal; Tania Plafox; Tamara Pattie; Vicki Przybylo; Samantha Rodriguez; Gabriela Rowe; Veronica Salazar; Jessica Sanchez; and Angelina Vilelia.

Eleven (11) Dental Assisting students attended the event and were the first in the College’s history to participate in a formal ceremony symbolizing professionalism and dedication to the field of Dental Assisting.

The Director of the College’s Dental Assisting Program, Carol Wooten, came up with the White Coat Ceremony idea, and the Dental Assisting faculty as well as the College administration supported it. Director Wooten believed that the initiation of a formal ceremony transitioning the students from lecture classes into strictly lab training would add some excitement to the Program, while simultaneously providing a ceremonial way for the students to look and feel like true professionals.

Wooten explained that in the medical profession, white coats are given to doctors when they begin their internships at hospitals. Similarly, at the end of their second quarter, the Dental Assisting students have completed all of their lecture classes and only have lab classes remaining.

“I thought that a White Coat Ceremony would be a great opportunity to celebrate our students’ achievements,” Wooten said. “We would not only recognize them for their academic accomplishments thus far, but the white coat and formal pinning would symbolize the professionalism of the career path they had chosen.”

The July 2019 White Coat Ceremony began with welcoming remarks made by Dental Assisting Program Director Wooten, followed by a presentation of the history of the profession given by Associate Professor Gladys Nieves. The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of pins, with Director Wooten individually honoring each student by affixing a special pin to their white coat.

Associate Professor Priyanka Tiwari provided the closing remarks, and a reception followed at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Students that successfully complete Northwestern College’s Dental Assisting Program will have earned their Dental Assisting Certificate and can sit for a certification exam with the American Medical Technologist (AMT) to become a registered dental assistant. They will be eligible for employment as dental assistants at private dental practices, dental clinics, or even for federal, state, or local government health agencies.

About Northwestern College:
Northwestern College (NC) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 263-0456, www.hlcommission.org. The college offers focused career-oriented associate degree and certificate programs with flexible schedules and a supportive faculty. Day, evening, weekend, online classes and online programs are available. More information can be found at www.NC.edu or by calling toll-free (888) 205-2283.




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