Frustrated by the lack of training available for new dental assistants, Dr. Kami Hoss and his wife and business partner, Dr. Nazli Keri, decided to start a dental assisting school that would give students thorough knowledge and experience using current dental technologies and equipment. They founded Howard Healthcare Academy in partnership with The Super Dentist so students could learn from working dentists and dental assistants to earn their dental assistant certificate in just 10 months. With hands-on, practical training, Howard offers certification as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA), Registered Dental Assistant – Extended Function (RDAEF) and Orthodontic Assistant Permit, plus compliance and continuing education classes. “Students can be confident that the certifications they receive from Howard Healthcare Academy are recognized throughout the State of California,” said Dr. Kami Hoss, co-founder of Howard Academy.
The faculty at Howard includes co-founding Super Dentist Nazli Keri, D.D.S., and Kami Hoss, D.D.S., M.S. Lorena S. Meza, the Program Director of Howard Academy, is a Registered Dental Assistant, and a member of the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA). She is also a Subject Matter Expert for the Dental Board of California reviewing curriculum for the new dental schools that apply for board approval, as well as conducting audits for the schools once their curriculum is approved. “I want to make sure the dental profession has well-trained dental assistants doing their tasks correctly, honestly, and ethically,” Lorena said. “One of my favorite parts of teaching si hearing the stories about how my students got their first dental assisting jobs and were finally able to move out of their parents’ homes and buy their first cars.”
Most Howard students come from across San Diego County. In December 2018, Brightwood College (formerly Kaplan College) in San Diego suddenly closed its doors, leaving its dental assisting program students stranded. The Howard team immediately reached out to help students – some of whom were at the end of their program – navigate their options, including offering discounts and scholarship opportunities. About 85% of those students ended up enrolling at Howard.
Each student has the opportunity to interview with The Super Dentists, developing interview skills as another tool for securing employment. The team attends career fairs and host job shadowing events to educate highs school and college-age students about careers in dentistry.
Howard Healthcare Academy practices this mission: having graduates trained to walk into a dental office feeling confident and having the dental knowledge and skills necessary to be an immediate asset to their new employers’ dental practice.
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