Congresswoman Robin Kelly Presents Prairie State College with $1 Million Grant for Dental Hygiene Program

March 16, 2023

Congresswoman Kelly and PSC President Dr. Michael AnthonyCongreswoman Kelly and PSC President Dr. Michael Anthony

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill: Congresswoman Robin Kelly delivered a 1 million dollar celebratory check to Prairie State College (PSC) on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, to support the advancement of the dental hygiene program. Allocated by federal community project funding secured by the U.S. Representative, the investment will be used to upgrade technology, create a modern facility, and an efficient network that will improve the teaching and learning experience at PSC.

"When Prairie State College told my office about their need to re-engage students, grow a state-of-the-art dental hygiene program, and invest in a modern network system to allow for uninterrupted learning, we got to work," said Congresswoman Kelly. 

She says that she is particularly excited about the dental hygiene program because, in congress, U.S. Representative Kelly works to pass dental health legislation, increase equity and provide education and patient care. 

"This investment will have a positive impact on the entire region, and I am thrilled that it will create a more efficient and effective learning environment for students and make sure they have the tools they need to succeed in this economy," she said.

Rebecca Buckle, associate professor, clinical coordinator in the dental hygiene program, says the funds will go a long way in advancing the educational experience for PSC students and the quality of care they provide to their patients. 

"With this grant, we will establish a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory and will provide a safe and controlled environment for students to practice their clinical skills," said Buckle. The sim lab will enable our students to gain valued hands-on experience, which will increase their confidence and competence in delivering dental hygiene and assisting services and procedures, including preventative care, restorative and periodontal treatments."

Accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and the American Dental Association, the PSC Dental Hygiene Program is an 82-credit hour (4 semesters and 2 summer sessions) career program leading to an associate in applied science degree. There is currently a waitlist to enroll in the program, and with federal community project funding, more students will be able to enroll. 

"I am so proud of the work we will be able to do here as a result of these funds. This money will go directly to expanding our reach in serving our community and filling the workforce - doubling the number of individuals who will take these courses as a direct result of these funds," said PSC President Dr. Michael Anthony.

The PSC Dental Hygiene Program meets the State of Illinois Board of Dentistry guidelines for dental hygiene education and is the only dental hygiene clinic in south suburban Cook County. For more information about enrolling in the PSC Dental Hygiene or Dental Assisting programs, visit


Prairie State College proudly serves Community College District 515 and is a hub of excellence, offering associate degrees, technical and career certificates, and workforce development and community education programs. Prairie State College is the first Illinois community college to guarantee all credits will transfer to other Illinois colleges and universities, an assurance that has grown through the Illinois Articulation Initiative. We strive to provide opportunities for our students to start near, go far, and thrive. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.