Cosmetology Students are as Sharp as Their Shears
The following article was written by Ms. Wilkinson and her photography students Aleson Stanley, Anyanka Smith, Allayna Sylvester, Marneisha Pordos, and Julian Francis. They explored investigative reporting while honing their photography skills through a visit to our Cosmetology program. Enjoy!
North Tech High School offers a wide variety of programs that students would like to experience; one of those programs is Cosmetology, the art and science of the beauty industry. There are certain skills that students in the program need to know in order to get a state license from the Missouri State Board of Cosmetology, which students call boards. The Cosmetology program is in such high demand, that North Tech offers two separate Cosmetology classes. This investigative team was able to spend some time in Ms. Burns Cosmetology program to get information about how it operates and to experience the services that are offered.
Students who enroll in Tech’s Cosmetology program will save an average of $10,000 to $20,000 in tuition costs, supply costs, and licensure costs. Tuition for Cosmetology school can be very expensive. At North Tech, students receive the same instruction and the 1500 required service hours that a student at a cosmetology school would experience. When those students have completed the two-year program at North Tech they will be ready to take the State Board Exam. Once they pass the exam, they will be ready for the workforce.
North Tech offers more than just education and service hours for Cosmetology students. Once enrolled in “Cosmo”, the students receive a free “kit” valued at $500. The kit has a variety of tools and items that students need to practice for their licensure exam. Senior, Aunjae H. described the kit contents as “Combs, blow dryers, and thermals” (items that use heat such as flat irons and curling irons). After seniors complete the course, they are able to keep their kit and use it when they enter the workforce. Ms. Burns filled us in on many of the skills taught every day. “Students learn how to give a haircut, how to color and retouch hair coloring, thermal curling, chemical waves, and how to set up new clients. There are so many things our students get to learn and experience that it is hard just to sum it up in a few sentences,” she said. Cosmetology service days take place on Fridays. The most popular services that are offered are “facials, feed-in braids, and haircuts” according to Ms. Burns and students and staff can schedule appointments. Our class was able to experience first hand a selection of the services offered including manicures, facials, and hair washing. Allayna Sylvester participated as a customer during a service day and elected to have her hair washed. Allayna said, “I enjoyed talking to my stylist Aunjae as she was massaging my scalp. It was calming and relaxing. Also, the water pressure was really nice.” Julian Francis elected to get a manicure, “I had never had a manicure before. It was very nice and surprisingly soothing.” Julian tried something new and it turned out that he liked the experience.
Many of the cosmetology students plan to continue to beautify clients after high school. Some aspire to own their own business or salon. Dariana Griffin says, “After I pass my boards, I plan to go to college for business administration and open up my own salon.” Dariana will save money from tuition costs after she graduates and she can go into a four-year college to earn a business degree. Some students, like Natalie Gordon mentioned, “After Tech I want to get a job at a national chain and then get a certificate to teach cosmetology.” Mrs. Burns said that “if students pass their boards in June, they will have many job opportunities with local chains. The seniors of 2019 were able to get hired at several places: Great Clips, Sport Clips, and Hair Salon for Men.”
North Tech provides their students with many opportunities while in high school. The staff works hard to prepare students for the workforce or college. Cosmetology is just one of many programs offered at North Tech that allows students to experience real-world opportunities. To view the prices of services offered during the Friday service days in Ms. Burns’s program, please click here: Cosmetology Prices.