Dental Assisting program earns re-accreditation

Posted: January 25, 2023

The program was the first vocational-technical dental assisting program in the nation to earn full accreditation through the American Dental Association in 1962.

Tacoma, Wash. — The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) recently reaffirmed accreditation for Bates Technical College’s Dental Assisting program after a thorough site visit.

“Maintaining full CODA accreditation for our program ensures the students are engaging in a program that has met the standards national in scope and represents the minimum skills to become an integral part of a dental team,” said Dental Assisting program instructor Teri Amundsen. “We are extremely proud that our program received full accreditation without reporting requirements.”

The program, which celebrates 60 years of accreditation, was the first vocational-technical dental assisting program in the nation to earn full accreditation through the American Dental Association in 1962.

Students who successfully complete the Dental Assisting program at Bates are also able to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board exam and earn the Certified Dental Assistant credential, making them more competitive in the job market.

Said Amundsen, “Earning the CDA credential shows the student has gained the education and experience to deliver a high standard of care. The demand for dental assistants is extremely high right now, with a faster-than-average growth and a $48,050 annual median wage for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area. This means that our students easily enter the workforce following successful completion of the program.”

Every seven years, CODA representatives formally evaluate administrative and educational aspects of the Dental Assisting program, where faculty produce a comprehensive self-study and representatives conduct an on-site review. The review includes interviews with administrators, students, staff, faculty, and advisory committee members, and verifies information included in the self-study.

Recent Dental Assisting program graduate Scholastic Boonabaana said, “I took a chance on myself, enrolled in the Dental Assisting program, and invested in career growth. My experience at Bates Technical College has been rewarding. With hard work, focus, and my supportive instructors, I graduated with honors, and I am now in a career that I love and where I can flourish.”

In addition to the Dental Assistant program, Bates Technical College also offers degree and certificate programs in multiple health care fields, including administrative medical assistant, biomedical services technician, certified medical assistant, certified nursing assistant, dental assistant, dental laboratory technician, denturist, occupational therapy assistant, phlebotomy and practical nurse.

To learn more about dental assisting and other health care programs, the public is invited to attend an open house on Thursday, Feb. 9, 3-6 p.m. at the Downtown Campus Center for Allied Health Education, 1201 South Yakima Avenue, Tacoma.

To learn more about the college or to enroll, go to or call 253.680.7000.

Snapshot of 1962 article about dental assisting accreditation

About Bates Technical College
Founded in 1940, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in 45+ career education programs. The college serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 7,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to, or call 253.680.7000. Bates Technical College is proudly part of the Washington state community and technical college system.