One of the most in-demand programs at Fred Eberle Technical Center is also one of its newest — cosmetology. The program, which had a 100% job placement rate last year, teaches students and adults not only the basics of beauty but also the core business principals to help them succeed on their own.
Mary Hull is the cosmetology coordinator at Fred Eberle Technical Center, a relatively new program that is about five years old. Students learn about skin, hair, nails, facials, waxing, tweezing, manicures, pedicures – everything that has to do with cosmetology.
“This program is for adults and high school students, and it is a good fit for anyone wanting to go into cosmetology,” Hull said, adding that it takes about 14 months to complete the 1,890 hours required to graduate. “It is a less expensive option, and we do offer some financial aid opportunities. We also just upgraded and now have online books.”
Hull said cosmetology is unique because it is a growing industry. Spas are popular and places are looking to hire people trained in doing nails and facials.
“Everyone wants to get their hair done, so there is always a need,” Hull said. “Another growing area is folks wanting to have their eyebrows done, and eyelash extensions are becoming very popular.”
The many job opportunities available has made the FETC program among the school’s most popular. Last year, the school actually had to turn away some adults who wanted to enter the program, Hull said.
“It is growing and it is growing fast,” Hull said. “We start taking applications in January and we end in May. Following that, there is an interview process and a test. We generally begin the new program in August.”
Students and adults who complete the program have quickly seen success. Last year, their placement in jobs following graduation was 100 percent.
FETC adult cosmetology student Mindy Hayes said she decided to enroll in the program because of her daughter.
“I started doing her hair and I really enjoyed it,” Hayes said. “I wanted to pursue that further.”
She quickly learned that her real interest lies in an array of services, such as giving perms, coloring hair and doing nails.
“I did not realize that facials were a part of cosmetology,” Hayes said. “I may even do eyelash extensions – who knows what the future holds. There are so many opportunities in this field and so many options.”
Crystal Moss is the cosmetology instructor at FETC.
“The students practice skills at their stations and then we sign off to move up through the program,” Moss explained. “Some of these students, who just began in August, have completed nearly 59 procedures.”
Moss explained that the cosmetology curriculum is about a 50/50 split between book learning and hands-on projects.
“We do chapter work and it goes hand-in-hand with the practical work,” Moss said. “Once they complete their 1,890 hours, they can test for their license.”
Along with all the beauty basics, students in the FETC cosmetology program also learn how to run a business, should they choose that career path.
“They will build their own salon – a small version of what they might like their place to look like – and they interview and learn all they need to know to start and own a business,” Moss said.
FETC cosmetology student Kaylee Halterman entered the program because from a young age, she always competed in pageants.
“Beauty and hair have always been a part of my life,” Halterman said. “In high school, I used to do my friends’ hair and my family’s hair. It was always something I enjoyed, so I thought why not make a career of it?”
Halterman said those considering taking a program at FETC should definitely just go for it.
“I did not do this right out of high school,” she said. “College is not for everybody. I decided to do what I wanted to do, and this will make that possible.”