The Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to eliminate the dental assistant program. The board's decision was prompted by a steady decline in the program's enrollment in recent years, said Maureen Ramer, dean of occupational education at the community college at 3600 Workman Mill Road, near Whittier.
Only 22 dental assistant students graduated this summer, about half the number who completed the one-year program several years ago, Ramer said. Another factor in the board's decision was the recent retirement of the program's two instructors. Because the program was not offered this fall, no students will be displaced by the board's decision last week, Ramer said.
The program, which originally took two years to complete, began in 1967 and had more than 300 graduates. Trustees did leave the possibility open to restart the program if there is enough demand among students in the future, Ramer said.