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High School Cosmetology with Great Style.

At the Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development, academics and cosmetology make a winning combination.

When cosmetology is taught at the high school level, the academic basics cannot be overlooked. At private cosmetology schools, the program may be only 10 months long, but at the Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development, cosmetology is a two-year program. The course is offered to high school juniors and seniors and must cover all of the high school graduation requirements in addition to the technical training of the cosmetology curriculum.

The Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development is the career and technical education department for 36 affiliated school districts in Ohio and is the largest district of its type in the United States. Cosmetology is offered on four campuses. Since both academics and cosmetology are offered on site, students do not spend time in transit between high school and technical school and therefore have more time to devote to their studies.

As juniors, the cosmetology students take English II, anatomy/chemistry and American studies. As seniors, they study technical communications, algebra II and senior social studies. The cosmetology classes they take include Hair One (cutting, styling, rollers, etc.) and Hair Two (chemical concepts such as coloring, perming and relaxing). They also study facials and skin care as well as manicures. According to Supervisor Barbara Inman, the State Board of Cosmetology has a lot of input into the requirements for the cosmetology program. The junior year is spent learning basic skills, while the senior year covers advanced skills and prepares the students for the licensure exam. However, the teachers for the junior class and the senior class work together as a team to ensure that the curriculum flows smoothly from one level to the next.

Great Oaks recognizes the importance of communication skills in the field, so they provide instruction for the students in how to relate to the clients and how to get along with co-workers. Students are also taught the fundamentals of salon management, including sales, payroll and hiring--since many cosmetologists are self-employed.

Internships with salons in the area also provide training for Great Oaks students. Employers are usually receptive to internships because of the current job demand for cosmetologists. In Ohio, 1,500 hours of instruction is the minimum required for graduation from a cosmetology program, but students are allowed to earn ten percent of those hours by working with a licensed cosmetologist. A student might even be able to do hair styling and cutting for a client--if that client has been informed and gives approval.

The job placement statistics are excellent for their graduates, says Inman, and last year two of their sites won awards from the board of cosmetology.


Some of the Great Oaks cosmetology students have found great success in the industry after graduation.

Amanda Denny had only been working for one year at Identity, an elite salon/spa with several locations, when she received national recognition. She was the color tech for several pages of styles in the "Short Hairstyles" section of a national publication.

Tonya George also received national attention when a client wrote to her company about service that he felt went beyond the call of duty. When the power went out during a tornado at the Great Clips where George was giving the client a haircut, she simply took him to the window and finished the haircut. The story that resulted from this incident appeared in a national publication.

Another graduate of Great Oaks, Teresa Reynolds, is a model and a makeup artist to the stars. She has worked on the sets of movies such as Rainman and Fresh Horses, and has done makeup shoots for celebrities such as Paul McCartney.

Many graduates of the Great Oaks cosmetology program have achieved a high degree of financial success, such as Identity top moneymaker Dan Eberhart. Instructor Bev Davis says, "Many of my students own their own homes at a young age--19 and 20 years old." Teaching these students has provided rewards of a different type for Davis. This becomes clear when she says, "I am very proud to have made a difference in these people's lives."
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Reese, Susan
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2001
Previous Article:The Beauty of Cosmetology.
Next Article:More Than Skin Deep.

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