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The Aspen Group Oral Care Center for Excellence, Midwestern Career College, and Women Employed Partnering to Jump-Start Careers for Women


Collaboration provides education, externships, and state-of-the-art training to empower low-income women starting dental assisting careers.

The Aspen Group Oral Care Center for Excellence, Midwestern Career College, and Women Employed Partnering to Jump-Start Careers for Women | Image Credit: © The Aspen Group

The Aspen Group Oral Care Center for Excellence, Midwestern Career College, and Women Employed Partnering to Jump-Start Careers for Women | Image Credit: © The Aspen Group

The Aspen Group (TAG), Midwestern Career College (MCC), and Women Employed recently partnered to launch a new initiative for low-income women in the Chicago area. The goal of the initiative is to empower women interested in dentistry by providing training, externship opportunities, and financial assistance.

A Win-Win-Win Collaboration

This collaboration brings together 3 organizations with the shared goal of helping women enter the dental industry. MCC provides thorough dental assistant education to prepare students for working with live patients. Women Employed offers needs-based financial assistance to low-income women interested in the MCC program, covering the costs of tuition, books, uniforms, and even childcare. TAG gives students of the MCC dental assistant program the opportunity to complete their externships in the state-of-the-art Oral Care Center for Excellence (OCC), which provides free, comprehensive care to underserved residents of the Chicago area.

Through this partnership, Chicago-area women can access the education and career opportunities that will set them up for financial independence and success. Graduates will be prepared to work as dental assistants in Chicago and the surrounding communities.

Unique Opportunities

At TAG’s Oral Care Center for Excellence, women participating in this initiative are able to complete their externship hours in a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art facility with digital dentistry labs, 3Shape TRIOS scanning, 3D equipment, and surgical implant operatories. Unlike more traditional externships, training at the OCC prepares dental-assistants-in-training to work at a high level with surgical, implant, digital, and other dentistry techniques and procedures.

This specialized training comes with hands-on, side-by-side mentorship from experienced dental assistants, which helps trainees apply the skills they learned in the MCC classrooms to live patients. Additionally, OCC trainees have the added benefit of learning how to work with the broader dental team and understand workflow efficiencies.

Long-term Benefits

This collaboration aims to increase opportunities for low-income women that can have long-term benefits, along with ripple effects throughout the community. Building up women who might not otherwise have had dental career opportunities helps strengthen the local workforce, increase access to dental care for patients, and relieve staffing shortages.

Entering the dental industry as a dental assistant can be a steppingstone to an entire career trajectory that can help women support themselves and their families while also caring for their communities.

The combination of education, financial assistance, and cutting-edge, specialized training presents a unique opportunity for women to join the workforce. Women interested in jump-starting their careers can apply today at mccollege.edu/dental-assisting.

Last August, The Aspen Group University (TAG U) showed off its impressive new facilities and interactive learning capabilities at an exclusive preview at its headquarters in Chicago.

The primary TAG U campus is located within TAG's headquarters in Chicago’s West Loop. The TAG Oral Care Center for Excellence, another campus of TAG U, is located just a few blocks away, and is a new 25,000 sq. ft. clinic that provides cutting-edge training for Aspen Dental clinicians and comprehensive dental care at no cost to underserved Illinois residents.

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