The Value of Cooperative Work Experience

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Takisha Haines

UCC Dental Assisting graduate works local and shares some valuable advice.

Takisha Haines is a 2009 Graduate of the Umpqua Community College Dental Assisting Program and currently works with Dr. Sharp and Dr. Martin at Smiles Dental in Roseburg. A local high school graduate, Takisha had a position as a receptionist before starting her family. After her daughter was born she looked through the want ads and discovered there were always a lot of ads for dental assistants. Taking the initiative to get more out of her work life, she contacted UCC, met with a counselor and learned about the Dental Assisting one-year certificate. Takisha began her Dental Assisting Certificate Program that fall, after completing her prerequisites over the summer. “Having gone pretty smoothly, with the program being clearly laid out and no surprises”, is how Takisha describes her year in the program. She found her instructors and mentors to be accessible and helpful, in and out of the classroom. The small class size of 19 students, and a schedule where students could stay together throughout the year enabled Takisha and her classmates to operate at a very high comfort level. “Being together helped us feel safe asking questions and assisting each other with homework assignments.”

Takisha’s advice for current and future students is to, “Treat your Cooperative Work Experience like an actual job. Don’t call in sick, be on time, and take advantage of the experience offered by the dental office to get all the requirements for your EFDA (Expanded Function Dental Assisting). I’ve been employed for six years at the dental office where I performed my work study”.

This energetic self-starter has since gone on to become a Restorative Functions Dental Assistant. She believes that continuing to challenge herself daily is what keeps her job interesting and rewarding. Takisha envisions her future as a Dental Office Manager or instructor of Dental Assisting Students. Reflecting on her education and career path, Takisha communicates to her children the value of vocational programs and tells them, “You’ll always have a job if you have a trade.”

Photo: Takisha Haines (Top) Credit: UCC Staff

Tamara Loosli - Contact
Associate Professor, Dental Assistant
Phone: 541-440-4710