EVIT training prepares alum for dental career path

Pursuing her career in dentistry, Kirsten got her start at EVIT
Posted on 06/01/2022
Pursuing her career in dentistry, Kirsten got her start at EVIT

After Kirsten Carnevale completed the EVIT Dental Assistant program in 2014, she left Arizona for Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania with a $44,000 scholarship and a dream of becoming a dentist. Since then, her college and career goal changed, but her love of dentistry remains.


“With my dental assisting experience, I knew I loved the field of dentistry and I wanted to stay within that scope,” she said. “I explored the idea of becoming a dentist, which ultimately was not meant for me. I decided that pursuing dental hygiene would still allow me to remain in the field, but provided more career versatility.”


Carnevale transferred in 2015 from Robert Morris to the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry and an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. She is currently working as a registered dental hygienist with an additional license to administer local anesthesia.


“Dentistry, and dental hygiene specifically, allows you to create trusted relationships with patients,” Carnevale, 26, said. “I value those bonds I create, and having the ability to educate others on the importance of oral health is a huge passion of mine.”


Dental Assistant is one of over 40 career training programs offered by the East Valley Institute of Technology tuition-free for high school students and tuition-based for adults. EVIT dental students learn instrument recognition and sterilization, radiography and laboratory processes, how to prepare patients for examinations and how to assist with operational procedures. As part of the program, they are required to complete an 80-hour externship.


As a result of her EVIT training, Carnevale said she “entered the field with prior work experience and hands-on dental assisting training, debt-free. I learned all of my base knowledge of dentistry at EVIT and I use it every day.”


Her EVIT training also allowed her to work as a dental assistant while she was in college. “I chose EVIT to explore career options and gain clinical experience to take into the workforce,” she said.


Now, she is enjoying gaining clinical experience as a dental hygienist. “In the future, I would like to obtain a master’s degree in public health or education with an ultimate goal of becoming a dental hygiene educator or instructor,” she said. “I would love to train future dental professionals.”


Carnevale said EVIT is a great resource for preparing students for the workforce.


“It encouraged my passion for dentistry and I truly believe I would not be where I am in my career without the experiences I had there,” she said. “I highly encourage every prospective student to take advantage of the opportunity.”


EVIT students have a 98% high school graduation rate, two out of three go on to college and 94% are in jobs related to their training, college or the military within a year of completing their program.


Enrollment for the 2022-23 school year is underway. In addition to high school programs, EVIT also offers a dozen post-secondary programs for adults. High school and adult students can start the enrollment process at www.evit.com/enroll.


Kirsten’s Career Path:

  • Graduated from Gilbert High School & completed EVIT Dental Assistant program in 2014
  • Worked as a dental assistant during college
  • Earned bachelor’s degree in biology & associate’s degree in dental hygiene at University of Pittsburgh
  • Earned additional license to administer local anesthesia
  • Currently working as a registered dental hygienist
  • Future plans: Obtain master’s degree in public health or education and become a dental hygiene instructor


Get started on a career while in high school:


How to enroll in high school programs at EVIT:

  • Complete and submit application online at www.evit.com/enroll
  • Parents/legal guardians of new students will need an active email account to access and use the online registration system
  • Upload attendance record, discipline record, current unofficial transcripts and proof of immunizations
  • Admissions office will inform students via email once application is approved or if more information is needed
  • EVIT is for all high school students – public, charter, private or home-schooled – who reside in one of 11 East Valley school districts: Apache Junction, Cave Creek, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Higley, J.O. Combs, Mesa, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Tempe
  • More information: Call (480) 461-4108


How to enroll in adult programs at EVIT:

  • Schedule appointment to meet with an advisor by calling (480) 461-4110
  • Complete online application form at www.evit.com/enroll
  • Tuition rates vary by program. Apply for financial aid by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov and using school code 035723
  • Send questions about financial aid to [email protected]
More information: Call (480) 461-4110