Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Workforce Development Education (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Michael Miller

Committee Member

Kit Kacirek

Second Committee Member

Adam Morris


Health and environmental sciences, Education, Academic success, Credentialing, Dental hygiene, Licensure, National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, Southern Regional Testing Agency Clinical Exam


The purpose for conducting this study was to investigate and describe the relationship between applicant criteria for a dental hygiene program and subsequent outcomes on credentialing exams: the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam and the Southern Regional Testing Agency clinical exam. Because admission criteria play a crucial role in applicant selection, choosing students, that will successfully complete the program as well as the necessary credentialing exams, is a particularly crucial task for admission committees. The study had three elements. First, it investigated the relationship between the variables of age, undergraduate GPA and scores from the Psychological Services Bureau Health Occupations Aptitude Examination (PSB) and successful student performance on the NBDHE and a regional clinical exam, namely the Southern Regional Testing Agency. Second, it investigated the validity of the predictive value of the PSB entrance exam as one of the admission criteria for the selected program. Third, it investigated the strength of the relationship of age, undergraduate GPA, and PSB scores as a predictor of program completion and subsequent success on credentialing licensure exams.

This study analyzed secondary data from an accredited dental hygiene program that awards an Associate's of Applied Science Degree in the mid-south United States. The results revealed a weak, if any, correlation between the candidate selection criteria and the subsequent outcomes on post-graduate credentialing exams. Age was a negative weak correlation, if any, for the dependent variable NBDHE with a Pearson Correlation value of r = -.037 for the NBDHE and r = -.142 for the SRTA clinical exam. Undergraduate GPA revealed a weak relationship to NBDHE scores with a Pearson Correlation of r = .312 and a negative weak relationship, if any, to the SRTA clinical exam scores with a Pearson Correlation of r = -.050. The PSB score was a moderate predictor for NBDHE scores with a Pearson Correlation of r = .364. The PSB score however, was a negative weak predictor of SRTA clinical exam scores with a Pearson Correlation of r = -.134.