Dental Hygiene Ready to Make Move to Athens

Following the acquisition of Hiwassee College’s Dental Hygiene program this past spring, TWU is expediting the process of moving the program from Madisonville to Athens.


TWU has completed an agreement to lease the former McSpadden Furniture building on White Street, and renovations are already underway to turn the space into a state-of-the-art location for Wesleyan’s newest program. If all goes as planned, TWU will begin using the facility in January.


The TWU Administration originally planned an approximately two-year process for transitioning the program to Athens. However, with the availability of the White Street space and the ability to renovate quickly, the decision was made to move the roughly 30 dental hygiene students, plus faculty and staff, to the main campus.


“We are pleased to be moving the program from Madisonville to Athens so that our newly adopted dental hygiene program faculty, staff and students will have easy access to the campus amenities,” said TWU President Dr. Harley Knowles.

“Mr. Mitch Miller is overseeing the renovation of the space in the former McSpadden Furniture building, which will accommodate a larger dental clinic, classroom, and student support spaces,” added Dr. Knowles. “The new academic space for the dental hygiene program will be a state-of-the-art training facility for our newest program.”


Not only will the program benefit the TWU campus and students, but it also provides a much-needed service to the Athens community though the Dental Clinic. The Clinic sees a myriad of patients, insured or not, many of whom are from underserved populations. This service allows students to learn through hands-on experience and community members to receive outstanding, personal preventive dental care.


“The dental hygiene students, faculty and staff are excited to move to Athens in January 2020,” said Program Director Randa Colbert. “We look forward to using TWU’s state-of-the-art dental hygiene clinic to provide preventive dental care to our new campus community and the surrounding area.”


The TWU Dental Hygiene program is fully accredited through Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association.


“The Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program fits with the mission and vision of TWU to serve the region by providing relevant programs of study in allied health,” said TWU VP of Academic Affairs Dr. Grant Willhite of the program’s academic strength.


“The TWU Dental Hygiene program is very similar in structure to the TWU-Fort Sanders Nursing program that continues to set the standard of excellence in the Knoxville area for undergraduate nursing preparation. We anticipate that the TWU Dental Hygiene program will likewise set the standard of excellence in the region for dental hygienists,” added Dr. Willhite.