Skip to main content MCC Crescent Shape Search RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram chevron pointing down

Program Overview

Campus(s): MCC-Penn Valley, Health Science Institute
Program Coordinator: Hema Udupa, 816.604.4237
Application deadline: Feb 15th

Dear DA Program applicants in Fall of 2020 and Spring of 2021 for program start Summer 2021

There is a great deal of uncertainty right now in health care and the community. We continue to believe that becoming a dental assistant is an excellent decision and will bring many years of very rewarding work. As the government, local health care agencies and the MCC administration continue to wrestle with decisions regarding the best plans moving forward the DA program will be making some adjustments to this year's application process.

The application deadline for the program will still be Feb 15th, 2021. Applications can be mailed to the address on the application form:

MCC Dental Assisting Program
Health Science Institute, MCC-Penn Valley
3444 Broadway Kansas City, MO 64111-2764

Completed application packets can also be emailed to the Allied Health Division to or

  1. Mailed applications need to be posted marked Feb 15th or earlier.
  2. Applicants must email or to schedule a time to meet with the Dental Assisting Program Coordinator for application review process prior to Feb 15th to assure students understand the requirements and rigor of the full time day program.
  3. Complete a Dental Assisting in-class or in-lab observation via zoom. Observations must be within the past six months of the application deadline. Observation opportunities are available during normal class hours 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. via zoom due to COVID-19. To secure a date and time for an observation contact Mrs. Terry McDaniel or Dr.Udupa.

    Note: On the day of your scheduled observation, please log in 5 minutes early and wait for the instructor to set up the in-class/in-lab observation. You will be emailed the observation form and course/lab details that you will be observing prior to the day of the observation. At the completion of the observation, complete the observation form and email it immediately to the instructor. This form must be submitted with the program application.
  4. An Interview will be scheduled for qualified applicants with Dental Assisting Program Coordinator and faculties after Feb 15th. Interview details will be corresponded via email with the qualified applicants.
  5. We are excited to announce that ACCUPLACER placement remote testing via Zoom is now available. If you have a student interested in taking the placement test, please have them email the MCC-Penn Valley Testing Center @ or call 816.604.1000 to schedule a testing appointment. Please see attached flyer for more details. If you do not have an ACT, Compass or ACCUPLACER score that is less than 3 years-old for the reading comprehension section, you should sign up to take this prior to March 15th.
  6. Be sure to include a valid email address in your application so we can send an Zoom invite. If you have not used Zoom, it is a free app that can be downloaded to your home computer or phone. If you do not have access to a device (computer or phone) that allows video conferencing please indicate that on your application.
  7. Be aware there are models that show a resurgence of this virus that could cause "stay at home" orders again this Spring. The faculty works hard to prevent significant disruption of learning, but since this is a "hands on" profession there is the possibility of course disruption and incompletes.

If you have additional questions about the application process please email the DA Program Coordinator Dr. Hema Udupa at

Thank you and stay safe.
The Penn Valley DA Faculty.

Dental assistants play an integral role in the flow and efficiency of dental care. Dental assistants not only help the dentist during dental procedures but they also prep the patient, sterilize and disinfect instruments, set up instrument trays, prepare materials during procedures and support office management.

Personal Qualities

Characteristics of a successful dental assistant include but are not limited to; take and follow direction under stressful situations, multitask with attention to detail and organization, work collaboratively as part of a team, stable temperament, responsible and caring.

Essential Functions

Manual dexterity, bilateral control & quick response to direction

Students can choose between a one year certificate and a 2 year associate of applied science degree (A.A.S). You will build your skill through extensive lab and hands-on training at community clinics, private practices and the UMKC School of Dentistry.

Students will be prepared to enter the workforce as a trained dental assistant and certified expanded-function dental assistant and will be eligible to take the national certifying examination given by the Dental Assisting National Board. Learn more about the job of the Expanded Function Dental Assistant and its requirements in the state of Missouri and Kansas.

Degree(s) and/or Certificate(s) Offered

Professional Certification/Licensure

Students will sit for the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) as part of the program.  The Infection Control (ICE) and Radiation Health Safety (RHS) examinations are taken at the end of the fall semester and the General Chairside (GC) examination is taken the end of the spring semester. Successful completion of this examination allows program graduates to use the professional credentials CDA, Certified Dental Assistant.

Program Accreditation

The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation [and has been granted status of "approval without reporting requirements." The Commission is specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at 312.440.4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission's web address is

Program Accreditation Complaint Procedure

The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to a program's compliance with the accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for treatment received by patients or individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion, or dismissal of faculty, staff or students.

A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission's policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678 or by calling 800.621.8099 extension 4653.

CODA Third Party Comments

The Dental Assisting program continually strives to provide quality education through program evaluation and improvement. As part of this process, the Commission on Dental Accreditation will be visiting Metropolitan Community college-Penn Valley in May of 2020 to evaluate the program. The third-party comment request allows third-parties to make comments and recommendations about the program as they relate to the Commission's standards.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation requests that parties interested in making comments concerning the Metropolitan Community college-Penn Valley Dental Assisting program send comments no later than sixty (60) days prior to the program's site visit. All comments must relate to accreditation standards for the discipline and required accreditation policies. View additional information.

Program Admission

Additional steps are required for acceptance into this program beyond the standard MCC admissions application.  This is a three semester program that begins in June and accepts approximately 18 students per class. 


  1. Complete all required prerequisite courses
  2. Download the program Application/Admission Packet and follow the directions carefully.  Be sure to note all of the program requirements.
  3. Apply for financial aid.  The federal financial aid application (FAFSA) is also available online.

Program Acceptance

You will be contacted within two weeks of the application deadline to let you know if you were accepted into the program.  Students accepted into the program will work directly with the program coordinator to determine next steps.  A mandatory orientation will be held for the students accepted into the program prior to the start of the program in the month of April. Students not accepted into the program should contact the Student Advising Department or the Health Science Institute to determine next steps.