Cosmetology program grooms students for success

July 16, 2019

Public Relations

Students looking to be successful in the field of cosmetology often leave school with the skills to do just that, however, it's important for them to build up their entrepreneurial skills as well. At Palo Alto College, the cosmetology program gives students the ability to do just that.

Students not only have the chance to earn a certificate in the program, but also have the opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Science, all at an affordable cost. By earning an associate degree, students will have the opportunity to take the next step and pursue a bachelor's degree.

"By providing the option of obtaining an associate degree, we're giving more value to the field of cosmetology because that hasn't been a viable option in [San Antonio]," said Lydia Hannawi, academic director for the cosmetology program. "There are other community colleges that offer cosmetology, but in San Antonio that didn't exist. We're the first community college in San Antonio that's offering the opportunity to obtain an associate degree."

The cosmetology program provides students with the skills needed to excel in the ever-changing beauty industry by allowing them to study one of two tracks: esthetics (skin) and operator (hair and nails). Students who choose to study esthetics will learn all about the discipline while having the opportunity to perform advanced skin care services. Students who choose the operator track will demonstrate knowledge related to haircutting, as well as hair coloring techniques, highlights, and balayage, among other skills.

Students must also pass the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Cosmetology Licensing Examinations in order to practice in Texas, which will afford them the opportunity to directly enter the workforce when they finish their degree plan.

"It's an excellent option for those individuals that plan to someday have their own business," said Hannawi. "You have to know about business management, business principles, so that when they're out there, they're successful business owners. We want to provide that knowledge to them."

Students in the program are given the opportunity to learn in a way that goes further than a typical classroom. Through hands-on instructions, the Cosmetology Learning Studio serves as an operating salon where patrons can get salon-quality services like hair cuts and styles, manicures, pedicures, and more. It's a win-win for everyone, as the patrons get high-quality service for reduced prices, while students get hands-on experience.

Hannawi said recent cosmetology graduates have already taken their licensing exams, and the results show these opportunities are paying off.

"[The students are] passing with flying colors," said Hannawi. "That speaks to the knowledge and training that they received here in our program and through our labs."

Prospective students interested in pursuing a career in beauty and wellness are encouraged to apply for the upcoming Fall semester. Students can contact the Welcome Center at 210-486-3100 to set up an appointment with an advisor, or visit the cosmetology website for more information.