NTC Partners with Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation to offer full dental assisting scholarships

This article was originally published in Red Lake Nation News.

Beginning in the fall of 2024, NTC—Bemidji’s Technical College will offer full cost-of-attendance scholarships to qualifying Dental Assisting students in partnership with the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. The partnership will strengthen NTC’s ability to welcome and comprehensively support students who have not traditionally participated in the program, which leads to in-demand and well-paying career opportunities.

The Delta Dental Equity and Education Program will provide full-cost scholarships to as many as 12 students — six who enter the program in Fall 2024 and an additional six who enter in Fall 2025 — as part of a multi-year grant. The program will remove barriers for students aspiring to join this in-demand field while promoting local talent and the Bemidji community’s vitality.

Henoc Preciado, NTC Foundation lead and interim head of staff for the NTC and Bemidji State University Office of the President, said the grant reinforces an already strong collaboration between NTC and the foundation.

"Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation's commitment to supporting education and promoting oral health aligns perfectly with NTC’s values and goals,” Preciado said. “This grant signifies more than just financial support—it signifies a deepening of our partnership and a shared commitment to advancing education and oral health initiatives in our community.”

Stephanie Albert, Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation president, says the partnership will allow the college to welcome new students and increase overall program enrollment.

“We are thrilled to partner with Northwest Technical College to support student achievement while helping to address the workforce shortage in the profession,” Albert said.

Full cost of attendance is commonly used to determine a student’s eligibility for federal and state financial aid, such as grants, loans or other programs. It is NTC’s total estimated expense for one year of attendance, including tuition, supplies, housing, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses. For Fall 2024, the estimated value of the Delta Dental Equity and Education Scholarship is just over $21,500 per student.

Eligible students must identify as a person from an underserved or underrepresented population with demonstrated financial need, plan to live in on-campus housing at Bemidji State University for the academic year and have not previously received scholarships or other funding from the foundation. Once fall courses begin, recipients must also maintain satisfactory academic standing to receive spring-semester funding.

In addition, the grant program also will help NTC establish a mentorship program pairing Dental Assisting students with mentors at partner dental clinics and labs. Students will be assessed by their mentors and evaluations will be shared with NTC.

Terri Bannor, Dental Assisting faculty at NTC, says the mentorship program will provide an environment where working professionals are available to support and answer questions from students at their sites.

“Mentorships will allow the students to use the skills they learn in their courses and labs and become immersed in hands-on experiences in an actual dental office or lab,” she said.

NTC will also emphasize dental assisting as a career by providing recruitment and informational events for at least 70 middle and high school students each year to increase awareness of the profession.

The cost-of-attendance scholarship program continues a strong partnership between NTC and Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. Previously, NTC and the foundation partnered on a scholarship program that supported as many as three qualifying students each semester who are from an underserved or underrepresented population with demonstrated financial need. That program provided $4,000 in academic scholarship funding and $2,500 in student success funds, which a recipient could use for housing, child care or other needs.


About Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation

Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation supports optimal oral and overall health outcomes while advancing social equities by expanding access to dental care and investing in the communities across Minnesota.