Splitting Hairs – Expansion of the Cosmetology Program at Shawnee Community College

by Gabriele Farner & Stacy Simpson / Apr 12, 2017

The Shawnee Community College Main Campus is located on 152 acres of rolling hills and woods just a few miles north of the Ohio river and near the scenic Cache River Wetlands. SCC is located 6 miles east of Interstate 57 and 1 mile west of Illinois Rt. 37. The main campus also contains athletic fields, a lake, nature trails, and agriculture test plots. In addition to the main campus, extension centers are located in Anna, Metropolis, and Cairo, Illinois. SCC is geographically the southernmost institution of higher education in the State of Illinois.

As the lack of job security becomes more apparent for the existing and future workforce, many people turn to small business ownership opportunities, which can come in various forms. To foster entrepreneurial aspirations, Shawnee Community College has created Saints Color & Cuts, a student-training studio for hair, nails, and esthetics that creates an opportunity for students to expand their marketability and build stronger small business foundations. If students select the business owners’ pathway, they could potentially own a business in one year or less.

Saints Color & Cuts offers a one-year certificate in Cosmetology and soon will offer a less-than-one-year certificate in Nail Technology. The creation of the Nail Technology lab was made possible by the Pathways to Results (PTR) Year Two: Implementation and Evaluation Partnership grant funded by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) and supported by OCCRL. Through this grant Shawnee Community College was awarded $19,500 for equipment, supplies, curriculum development, and marketing, which we used to develop a program that would expand on the current offerings and support help with student recruitment, retention, and completion.

To this point, the Nail Technician certificate program has been approved by all appropriate required agencies and will begin taking up to ten students in August 2017. This was a great learning opportunity for all faculty and staff involved. One of the major components was building a strong cross-departmental team. Our PTR team was flexible in meeting the schedules of all involved and was willing to educate everyone on why their participation was required for a successful project. In addition, we all became more aware of OSHA compliance regulations, ADA regulations, student accommodations, Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulations (IDFPR), and various other industry requirements.

We are very excited about the future growth of our programs in the Human Services: Personal Care Pathway at Shawnee Community College.