Cosmetology program offers training and real-world experience for today’s graduates
Two Cosmetology program students who will walk across the stage as graduates this December are males. They have learned from instructors who share their real-world experience, had the opportunity to work in a salon at Southwest Tech, and developed an appreciation for the commitment it takes to be great in the variety of skills required.
Richard Ammon, Hedgesville, WV
Isaac Salinas, Galena, IL
In your own words, what does a Barber/Cosmetologist do?
We are both going into barbering. It teaches us a lot not only about skills but about working with the community and building a strong work ethic. Working in a salon setting is built into the program. The campus salon, Creative Elements, is open to the public, not just the school. You get real experience.
How did you end up at Southwest Tech?
Salinas: I had a friend that was in the program last year. She works where I am going to work. I came a couple of times, I talked with Barb McCormick, and I really liked her.
Ammon: I checked out a couple of schools, in Mary
land, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. What I liked about Southwest Tech was that there were other programs offered here. It felt like a more diverse college experience.
It was more affordable than other schools, so that really helped; plus, it’s ranked #1 in the state and #11 in the country. It makes me feel really good about my choice.
What do you wish people knew about this program?
You don’t have to be a female to be in the program. That’s what a lot of people think of when they hear about the cosmetology program. You don’t have to just be a female hairdresser. There’s a lot of opportunity for males in the industry. You can be a hair dresser, or you can be a barber – they different, but also the same in many ways. They have the same core principles.
Tell me a little about your experience at Southwest Tech.
We are both on student senate. It’s cool to see how students can be involved and the way that the school operates. The school definitely listens to the student’s opinions and acts accordingly. We also went to the Midwest Show in Chicago. It was crazy. There was so much going on. It was an eye-opening experience.
When will you graduate? December 16, 2016
Ammon and Salinas both hope to use the hands-on skills and business experience they’ve gained at Southwest Tech to eventually open their own barbershops.