By Shay Humphrey
The cosmetology program at Northwest offers more than just hairstyles and nails.
Also known as the Ranger Salon, students have a choice to enter a field in cosmetology teacher training, cosmetologist or nail tech. Although admission is extremely competitive, students can gain knowledge to enter their field of choice. Admission to Northwest does not guarantee admission into the cosmetology program. Out of 165 applicants, only 40 students can be accepted for the term. The number of applicants rises every year.
“The cosmetology program is a growing field at Northwest,” Danita Denson, cosmetology instructor, said. “A student has to be extremely dedicated when entering into the cosmetology program. The program teaches our students how to be professional characters, obtain skills to perform services, become team players, as well as getting students ready for the salon.”
The program tuition is around $1,400. First time students must obtain an instructional kit which costs around $900.
The cosmetology program prepares individuals to care for hair, nails and skin with emphasis on hygiene, sanitation, customer relations and salon management. Instructors teach the students to develop student’s practical skills, theoretical knowledge and professional attitudes for success.
“Once a student gets their cosmetology license, they can do just about anything as in teaching or becoming a nail tech as well,” Corine Newsom, cosmetology instructor, said.
Students who are considering teaching cosmetology need 750 clock hours to get a teaching license, which is about three semesters. Upon completion of the training, students are qualified for the Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology Instructor Examination. Students who wish to enter the Cosmetology Instructor Trainee program must hold a current Mississippi license to practice in the field of cosmetology. They must be at least 20 years of age. They must have completed one Mississippi Board of Cosmetology “methods of teaching” seminar and have completed 12 semester hours in college courses approved by the Mississippi Cosmetology Board.
Students who are interested in the nail tech program must complete 350 clock hours. The nail tech program prepares individuals to care for nails with emphasis on hygiene, sanitation, customer relations and salon management. Completion of this course qualifies students for the Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology Manicure Nail Technician examination.
“Our requirements are based upon the state,” Denson said. “Once the state changes, we have to adjust to those changes.”
Although the Ranger Salon helps instruct students, they offer services to the public and other Northwest students on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Prices ranges from $2 through $40, depending on the type of service that an individual would like. Northwest students can get discount prices such as half off or less than half the regular price.
“Our main mission is to make sure students get the information that they need to be professionals and that plays a huge role,” Newson said. “The only thing is, that when you come up short of your semester hours, there is no way of making them up.”
Students in this field are taught how to be successful whether they are independent owners or working under an employer.