If anyone has ever attended the dental assisting program at Olympia College Burr Ridge, Im sure they would agree that this program is a total joke. First off, when I sent an inquiry to Olympia College online to get more information regarding the program, they would not give me any information on the phone or through the mail. They insisted that I must meet with an admissions representative to get more information in regards to their Dental Assisting program.
So I set up an appointment and met with an admissions rep. During the meeting the admission rep. stressed the fact that they were an accredited school and how important that was. The admissions rep. also said that although only a diploma was issued at the end of the program, at the completion of the program we would be prepared to take the test for certification. I told the rep. that I would consider attending the school and set up an appointment to meet with a financial aid rep. to see what kind of aid I qualified for.
After I completed all the paperwork for financial aid I again met with my admissions rep. who told me I would start Monday, four days later. I explained to her that I could not start that soon, I had a full time job at the time and also a child who I had to set up child care arrangements with still. She was very upset with that apparently, but we agreed that I would start the following month.
At home I did some research in regards to the qualifications for becoming a certified dental assistant. According to the ADA(American Dental Association) to become a Certified Dental Assistant you would either have to graduate from a school accredited by the ADA, which they were not, or you would have to have worked two years full time in the field.
At orientation I questioned this and was told that the ADA level of certification was a higher level of certification which is why it requires two years experience in the field. I later found that this information was not correct.
So I started the program that following month. It didnt take long to realize that the program was a complete joke. When you pay over $11,000 for seven months of school you would expect that you would be attending an organized school with educated and supportive staff. You would also be expecting the best education especially when the school advertises small classes and lots of one on one time with the instructer.
In the seven months that I attended the school I think the instructer may have showed me 3 or 4 things. Everything that was learned throughout the class was either learned independantly or showed to me by another student who was shown by another student and so on and so forth. Tests were taken weekly on Thursdays and Fridays and the answers to the tests were given the monday before each test, making the program basically fool proof. In fact, there were a handful of students that only showed up to school for maybe an hour or so, and/or came only on test days and still had an "A" average.
At orientation we were told we could not miss more than 20% of the total class time or we would be dropped from the program. Apparently that only applies to some students. Also, the curriculum states that the class is half lecture and half lab. This is also incorrect. If lucky, at the end of the day we may have 30 minutes left for lab, after wasting time playing unnessary games and showing any new students things because the instructer does not want to take the time to do it herself.
Bottom line is I would never recommend this program even to my worst enemy. This program was a complete waste of time and money. How this school got accredited by ANYONE I don't know and Im sure that if accreditation knew how the school was really "actually" ran they would not be in business. The whole experience there was ridiculous and a complete waste of time. In regards to the false information told to myself and over a dozen other student at admissions in regards to the certification, we do plan to take legal action.
Burr Ridge, Illinois