Dental Assisting Science I deemed a success

Dental Assisting Science I deemed a success

In response to a shortage of dental assistants in New Hampshire and across the nation, NHTI, Concord’s Community College launched Dental Assisting Science I this fall for New Hampshire high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.

According to Joseph Wholley, who is currently enrolled in the course this semester, Dental Assisting Science 1 allowed him to explore topics that he would not necessarily be able to learn about in high school.

“As a bonus, I have earned college credits that will transfer to other colleges,” he said. “Learning more about our teeth that we have used everyday for our whole life has totally changed my perspective about keeping my teeth clean and healthy, too.”

The course, noted Kelly O’Brien, who teaches it, represents “a great way to start exploring this career field.”  

“You have the benefit of completing the course on your own schedule while still receiving weekly assignments and communication from the instructor,” she said.

The course also underscores “the exciting and rewarding high-demand career” of Dental Assisting itself.

“In addition to assisting the dentist and performing duties around the office, you also interact with patients and ensure that all of their needs are met,” added O’Brien.

The program at NHTI, according to Ashley Buchanan, who graduated in July, builds “a great foundation.”

“It’s given me the knowledge of common dental materials used, procedures performed, anatomy of the oral cavity and dental instruments,” she explained. “This program covers a wide variety of topics and allows you to graduate with an understanding of how the field of dentistry operates and what role you play in the office dynamic.”

Noting NHTI is a CODA-accredited school, Buchanan said such a designation enables her to be one step closer to acquiring her certification. She said it also demonstrates her interest and dedication to her education and career.

“I am thankful for my opportunity to learn at NHTI and to be able to share what I have learned with the patients I see daily,” she said.

Dental Assisting Science I is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire’s eStart program, which offers courses with a tuition of $150 plus the cost of books. Students who complete and pass the course qualify for tuition reimbursement through the Governor’s STEM initiative.

Subjects covered in Dental Assisting Science I include the anatomy of the head with an emphasis on the osteological landmarks and structures of the oral cavity. Both permanent and primary dentitions are covered, including embryonic development and eruption patterns, as well as an introduction to the structure and function of the human body systems in health and disease.

To learn more about the course, or enroll, visit

New E-course Expands Opportunities

New E-course Expands Opportunities

Citing a shortage of dental assistants in New Hampshire and across the nation, Lisa Scott, Dental Assisting Program Coordinator at NHTI, Concord’s Community College, set about to develop an online course in its Dental Assisting Program.

Her efforts have resulted in Dental Assisting Science I, available for the first time this fall for New Hampshire high school juniors and seniors.

“I wanted to create something more accessible to students in the state who would have to drive a long distance to take the course if it wasn’t available online,” she said.

Dental Assisting Science I is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire’s eStart program, which offers courses with a tuition of just $150 plus the cost of books.

Scott said students who complete and pass the course, however, qualify for tuition reimbursement through the Governor’s STEM initiative.

“This is a great opportunity for students who might have an interest in this career pathway, and the cost is very minimal,” she said.

As for the course itself, it is 3-credits, which can be transferred when students are accepted into the dental assisting one-year certificate program, the only one in NH accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Subjects covered in Dental Assisting Science I include the anatomy of the head with an emphasis on the osteological landmarks and structures of the oral cavity. Both the permanent and primary dentitions are covered, including embryonic development and eruption patterns, as well as an introduction to the structure and function of the human body systems in health and disease.

She said the course rhetorically answers several questions.

“Did you know every tooth has a name and a number?” she said. “Ever wonder what those bumps are all over your tongue?

Other questions include: Did you know the oral cavity can give us information about diseases in the rest of the body and did you know teeth were part of the digestive system?

“This course is a great way to explore the dental assisting profession as a career option,” said Scott, who said program graduates are able to perform a variety of duties.

“They are qualified to perform all of the expanded duties that are legal in New Hampshire, such as coronal polishing, exposing dental x-rays, placing sealants, monitoring nitrous oxide and other duties,” she said.

According to Scott, who is also a Certified Dental Assistant and Dental Hygienist, the course serves as a gateway to what she describes as “an exciting and rewarding career.”

“As a healthcare provider, dental assistants help patients with good oral health and overall health, and it is a career I have very much enjoyed,” she said.

To learn more about the course, or enroll, contact Scott at or Kelly O’Brien at

Program information is also available at

NCC goes “ALL” in

NCC goes “ALL” in

For adult learners who want to earn an associate degree in 20 months or certificate in 10 months, the Accelerated Lifelong Learning Program (ALL) at Nashua Community College (NCC) may be for you.

Developed by Samantha Belcourt, CTE and Continuing Education Coordinator, ALL is scheduled to launch in fall 2020 with the following programs:  

  • Business Administration AS: Management
  • Business Administration AS: Small Business Entrepreneurship
  • Psychology AA
  • Data Analytics Certificate (10 month program)

While the program lays out a fast-track, Belcourt said ALL’s cohort-structured schedule provides a pathway to success for committed students.

“The structured schedule is designed for adults to plan ahead of time and know what to expect for class time and homework,” she said. “It combines online, evening and weekend education to complement a 9 to 5 work schedule. Adult learners can still work while they engage in a full-time college schedule.”

Belcourt said she was inspired by a similar program that helps adult learners in California.

“I learned about it this past fall at a conference with Complete College of America,” she explained. “That program [in California] has had a huge success in this accelerated style. I think many people are looking for this type of fast-paced credential to get them where they want to be.”

With increased economic stressors on individuals and businesses since the health crisis began, Belcourt said that “it’s a good time to have the option of an accelerated degree and certificate pathway.”

“A lot of companies have now laid off employees, and people are not sure yet about their education goals,” she added. “I am hoping people will find this program helpful while unemployed to gain more credentials.”

As for who makes for an ideal candidate for the program, Belcourt cited “motivated students looking to get ahead fast.”

“It’s good for someone who has started some college in the past and wants to return and get their degree at an accelerated pace,” she said. “ALL is also good for high school students who are comfortable with an accelerated pace…For students with the ultimate goal of a bachelor’s degree, ALL also creates a pathway to the Granite State College accelerated bachelor program.”

To learn more about ALL, visit

NHLRA Launches Relief Fund

NHLRA Launches Relief Fund

In partnership with the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association Education Foundation, the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association (NHLRA) recently launched the New Hampshire Hospitality Employee Relief Fund (NNHERF).

The purpose of NNHERF, according to NHLRA’s Amie Pariseau, is to support employees of the hospitality industry who have been impacted by COVID-19.

“We have raised more than $140,000 through the generous donations of the public and our industry and community partners,” she said. “We’ve received donations as small as $25 to as large as $20,000.”

Pariseau cited other fundraising efforts, which include NH Brewing Virtual Beer Fest (May 2), Best of NH (June 18), Gratuity Pale Ale (NH Breweries collaboration) and a NH Liquor Commission Raffle.

“It’s been a wonderful effort by many different groups and people,” she added.

As for how the money is distributed, Pariseau said there are several eligibility requirements. Applicants must: 1) Hold or have held a position in the beverage, food service, or hospitality industry within the last 60 days (from March 16) and 2) Can provide proof of employment within the last 60 days (from March 16).

“Funding is given on a first come, first serve basis to those who complete the application and its requirements as well as meet all eligibility,” she said. “We’re diligently working to provide $250 to as many applicants as possible until the funds are depleted.”

To date, NHLRA has awarded $126,000 to 504 hospitality industry employees.Hospitality industry employees can apply for funding at

In looking ahead, Pariseau said the NHLRA is “laser-focused” on supporting, advocating, and providing the most up to date information to their members.

“Whether that be through the NHHERF, answering phone calls to provide answers or a kind listening ear, advocating for state and federal funding,updating our COVID-19 resources webpage and sending weekly,sometimes daily, emails,” she added.

Pariseau said NHLRA President/CEO Mike Somers is also on the Governor’s Economic Re-Opening Task Force.

“He is helping to work on strategies and plans to reopen the hospitality industry safely and effectively for employers, employees, and customers alike,” she said. “NHLRA is committed to getting this state working again.

For more information about NHLRA, visit

A Deeper Look at the Granite State Association of FFA

A Deeper Look at the Granite State Association of FFA

On April 2, large crowds are expected at the Omni Mount Washington Resort for the 90th annual convention of the Granite State Association of FFA, an event that serves multiple purposes.

“It is the culmination of the FFA year for our students, a chance for them to come together and test their skills against others with similar interests and abilities,” said Executive Director Maria VanderWoude.  

At the convention, students will also be recognized for their work throughout the year in both agriculture and FFA. Prior to the convention, applications are submitted for judging in more than 40 skill areas, including everything from various leadership areas to veterinary science, specialty animal production, wildlife management, agricultural mechanics, vegetable production, floriculture and others 

“We also award scholarships and recognize students for things like community service, personal growth and outstanding leadership,” said VanderWoude. 

Five general sessions are held at the convention, which are run by student state officers.

“Awards are given, guests speak and the energy is high,” she said. 

In addition to competitions and awards, the convention features leadership development workshops and a careers symposium in which folks from industry come in to talk with students.

“Last year, both Commissioner Jasper and Commissioner Edelblut were in attendance, so hopefully they’ll both be back this year,” VanderWoude said.  

The convention also features a chance for students to unwind.

“Social activities in the evenings give teens a chance to put away their phones and interact with their peers,” she said.

According toVanderWoude, one of the things she likes best about the FFA convention is that it is run by students.  

“No adult is on stage unless invited there by the FFA members,” she said.

As for FFA itself, it officially morphed in 1988 from “The Future Farmers of America” to “The National FFA Organization” to reflect the science, technology and business of agriculture. Today, FFA currently serves about 500 students in 12 schools across NH.

“I want folks to understand that FFA is primarily a leadership development organization,” said VanderWoude. “Students must be enrolled in agricultural education classes in order to join FFA, but agriculture is a very wide field with over 300 careers.”

Most schools in NH, she noted, focus on small animal science, horticulture and natural resources along with a variety of other topics.

“FFA is a fantastic vehicle for developing leaders,” she said.

For VanderWoude, the convention best captures the essence of FFA.

“There is so much positive energy and excitement at the convention,” she said. “Each session opens with the state officers running on stage, usually through a human tunnel made by their peers in the audience. The energy is high and the atmosphere is wholesome and accepting. It restores one’s faith in youth.”

To learn more about the convention or Granite State Association of FFA, visit

Workforce shortage Sparks Creative Recruitment Strategies

Workforce shortage Sparks Creative Recruitment Strategies

MFLike many states, New Hampshire is experiencing difficulty filling available jobs in what are broadly referred to as ‘the trades,’ which has one business owner “thinking outside the box.”

“Rather than posting jobs on job boards, which really doesn’t work anymore, I am turning to the community for their help,” said Al Lawrence, owner of Artisan Electrical Contractors in Madbury, NH.

For anyone that makes a referral of a licensed electrician to Artisan Electric, even if it does not lead to a hire, Lawrence said they will send the person a Dunkin gift card. The incentive does not stop there, however.

“If we do hire someone, we will offer two tickets to the Pats and Dolphins game on December 29 or the opportunity to select a local nonprofit and have us donate $500 in your name,” he added.

For Lawrence, though, the recruitment campaign is not a gimmick.

“We are offering more than a job,” he said. “We are promoting an organizational culture, our care and concern for the community. I’d like to think that we are making a positive difference in the community. We want people who share in our values.”

Founded in 1989, Artisan Electric serves residential, commercial and industrial consumers.

“The workforce shortage in this state is real, which is why we need to be proactive in our recruitment,” added Lawrence. “I think our value proposition is that we offer not just a job, but a career and stability with room for growth. I believe the communities we serve can help us find the right fit.”

To learn more about Artisan Electric, or to refer a licensed electrician, visit