Kelly Donovan


This study focused on the instructional competency needs of new dental hygiene educators. The purpose of this qualitative and phenomenological study was twofold: (a) to explore the lived experiences and perceptions of 14 dental hygiene educators who have transitioned from clinical practice into the California Community College education system to further understand preparation experiences and instructional competence as related to knowledge, dispositions and skills and (b) to explore what recommendations dental hygiene educators might offer to better support new professors in developing instructional competence as related to knowledge, dispositions, and skills. The researcher collected data by conducting semi-structured interviews. Several key themes emerged in the qualitative data including, a lack of supportive structures for new faculty, a lack of established pedagogical practices, a lack of staff development, the need for a formal orientation and mentorship programs, the need for pedagogical training for faculty, and standardization of best practices. Findings from this research study supported several conclusions about the instructional competency needs for new dental hygiene educators in California, including: a formal program to support the transition of dental hygiene clinicians to become dental hygiene educators does not exist and has left educators under prepared to make a successful transition; developing instructional competency as a dental hygiene educator requires formal professional development and ongoing support that is currently lacking; new dental hygiene educators need supportive collaboration from fellow colleagues in order to increase consistency, communication, inclusion and calibration; and new dental hygiene educators would benefit from a formal orientation and mentorship program in teaching methodologies. Study outcomes recommend the following for support for new dental hygiene educators: dental hygiene departments should expand ways to increase communication between adjunct and full-time faculty, technology training for new and existing faculty should be increased; the new dental hygiene educator should have additional education in teaching methodologies; new dental hygiene faculty should experience a formal orientation upon employment, and a formal mentorship programs should be implemented into dental hygiene programs. Broader recommendations include a three-part instructional competency model for new dental hygiene faculty to include a formal orientation prior to employment, teaching methodology training for faculty, and a formal mentorship program.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership, administration, and policy; Dental auxiliary personnel -- California -- Training of; Teachers -- California -- Training of

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Purrington, Linda;