Educational Program


California Northstate University (CNU) has received approval from the Dental Hygiene Board of California (DHBC) to offer an RDHAP Continuing Education Program that satisfies the education requirements for the Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice (RDHAP) license in California. Dr. Paul Glassman, founder of the RDHAP Program at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, is the Program Director of this new program. Dr Glassman has 16 years of experience in directing, teaching, and managing an RDHAP Education Program.

Program Organization

CNUs RDHAP Education program is offered as a primarily web-based continuing education program. This course fulfills the DHBC’s requirement for a 150-hour education program needed to apply for the Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice (RDHAP) license in the State of California.

CNU’s RDHAP Education Program is 4 months in length and is offered primarily on-line. The program is offered two times a year, with a spring and a fall session. The first and last days of the course are live events and take place either at the California Northstate University in Elk Grove, CA or through live GoToMeeting sessions.

During the distance education portion of the program, students view presentations, take on-line quizzes, complete other exercises and participate in small learning group on-line discussions using their personal computers. They also have assignments to prepare and submit clinical case reports at the end of each section of the curriculum.

In addition, there are 4-5 live webinars during the interim between the first and last live sessions.


Topics covered in this 4-month program are:

  • dental hygiene technique and theory
  • oral pathology
  • pharmacology
  • sociology, psychology and treatment of special populations, including geriatric, medically compromised, developmentally disabled, pediatric
  • evaluation of dental hygiene status and dental hygiene treatment planning
  • medical histories/terminology
  • dental/medical emergencies
  • business administration and practice management


Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Discuss the laws and regulations that apply to RDHAP licensure and practice
  • Use on-line and other resources to find and apply information about dental implication of patient’s health conditions, medications, and other factors that can impact the provision of dental and dental hygiene care.
  • Gather data, develop a dental hygiene assessment and plan dental hygiene treatment for patients with a variety of medical, physical, psychological and social conditions and across the age spectrum.
  • Make arrangements and deliver dental hygiene services in a variety of community locations.
  • Discuss the variety of situations where an RDHAP can apply the knowledge and scope of work authorized by the RDHAP license.
  • Develop and implement a business plan for an RDHAP practice.


The Fall 2020 session will start with the first live session on August 29, 2020 through GoToWebinar and end with the last live session on December 5, 2020. The Dec 5th session will be held in-person at CNU if possible; however, if in-person gatherings are not feasible at that time, the session will be available through a live GoToWebinar session. In between August 29th and December 5th, there will be a series of recorded and live sessions for viewing online as well as several live events.


To make the RDHAP Education Program as available as possible, CNU plans to offer the first session of the program for $1,500 (50% discount off regular fee). A non-refundable deposit of $500 will be due at the time of registration and the remainder will be due 4 weeks before the start of class.


In order to enroll in the CNU RDHAP Education Program you need to sign up and pay the course fees on the RegPack system which is accessed by the link below:

Click here to register. Begin by creating an account with a username and password.

Who Can Register?

Any dental hygienist can register, take the course, and receive continuing education credits. This continuing education program satisfies part of the requirements, but is separate from, the process for applying for the RDHAP license in California.

The requirements for the RDHAP license include 3 components:

  1. The RDHAP Education Program (which we are offering) – we will issue a certificate of completion
  2. The academic education requirements (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) – determined and verified by the Dental Hygiene Board of California (DHBC)
  3. The number of practice hours – determined and verified by the Dental Hygiene Board of California (DHBC)

CNU’s RDHAP Education Program satisfies requirement #1 above. At the end of the program CNU issues a certificate of completion which can be used to verify the completion of this requirement. Documentation of completion of the other two requirements are submitted directly to DHBC.


  1. The academic education requirements for the RDHAP License includes this requirement language: “The successful completion of 120 semester units or 180 quarter units or a combination thereof shall be considered the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree.”
  2. There is no requirement for the order in which these three components are satisfied. In other words, a dental hygienist could complete the RDHAP Education Program this year even if they have not yet completed the academic education requirements. If they need to take some more classes to complete that requirement they could do so in the future. Some hygienists have completed the RDHAP Education Program and then competed the academic requirements several years later and then applied for and received the RDHAP license at that time.

Further details about the requirements and application process for the RDHAP license are available on the Dental Hygiene Board of California website.

Computer Requirements

This on-line program requires access to the latest version of a Web browser such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome. In addition, there are assignments that need to be submitted in MS Word format so a word processor that can create files in MS Word format is required (i.e. MS Word, Google Dos, Apple Pages). Finally, the program includes Adobe Acrobat files (PDF format) so the ability to open and read PDF files is required.

Contact Information