How to Choose a Beauty College near Saint Stephens Alabama
Once you have made a decision to become a cosmetologist and enroll in a beauty school near Saint Stephens AL, the task starts to locate and enroll in the right school. It’s imperative that the school you pick not only furnishes the necessary education for the specialty you have decided on, but also readies you for passing the licensing exam. When you begin your preliminary search, you may be rather puzzled about the distinction between beauty schools and cosmetology schools. Well don’t be, because the names are essentially interchangeable and both pertain to the same kind of school. We’ll speak a bit more regarding that in the next segment. If you anticipate commuting to classes you will want to locate a school that is within driving distance of your Saint Stephens residence. Tuition will additionally be an important aspect when evaluating possible schools. Just remember that because a school is the nearest or the cheapest it’s not necessarily the ideal option. There are many other factors that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, such as their reputation and accreditation. We will review what questions you should ask concerning the cosmetology schools you are thinking about later within this article. Before we do, let’s talk a little bit about what cosmetology is, and what types of training programs are available.
Definition of Cosmetology
Cosmetology is a profession that is all about making the human body look more attractive through the application of cosmetics. So naturally it makes sense that numerous cosmetology schools are regarded as beauty schools. Most of us think of makeup when we hear the term cosmetics, but really a cosmetic can be almost anything that enhances the look of a person’s skin, hair or nails. If you want to work as a cosmetologist, the majority of states require that you go through some kind of specialized training and then be licensed. Once licensed, the work settings include not only Saint Stephens AL beauty salons and barber shops, but also such businesses as spas, hotels and resorts. Many cosmetologists, once they have gotten experience and a customer base, open their own shops or salons. Others will begin seeing clients either in their own homes or will go to the client’s residence, or both. Cosmetology college graduates go by many professional names and are employed in a wide range of specializations including:
- Nail Technicians
- Makeup Artists
- Hair Coloring Specialists
- Electrolysis Technicians
As already mentioned, in most states working cosmetologists must be licensed. In a few states there is an exception. Only those conducting more skilled services, for instance hairstylists, are required to be licensed. Other people employed in cosmetology and less skilled, which include shampooers, are not required to get licensed in those states.
Cosmetology Degrees and Certificates
There are basically two pathways available to get cosmetology training and a credential after completion. You can enroll in a certificate (or diploma) course, or you can work toward an Associate’s degree. Certificate programs usually take 12 to 18 months to finish, while an Associate’s degree ordinarily takes about 2 years. If you enroll in a certificate program you will be trained in all of the main areas of cosmetology. Briefer programs are offered if you prefer to concentrate on just one area, such as hair coloring. A degree program will also likely incorporate management and marketing training so that graduates are better prepared to manage a parlor or other Saint Stephens AL business. More advanced degrees are not typical, but Bachelor and Master’s degree programs are offered in such specializations as salon or spa management. Whatever type of training program you go with, it’s important to make sure that it’s recognized by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. Numerous states only recognize schools that are accredited by certain highly regarded agencies, including the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). We will examine the advantages of accreditation for the school you decide on in the upcoming segment.
Online Cosmetologist Programs
Online beauty classes are advantageous for Saint Stephens AL students who are working full-time and have family responsibilities that make it difficult to enroll in a more traditional school. There are numerous online beauty school programs available that can be accessed through a desktop computer or laptop at the student’s convenience. More traditional beauty programs are often fast paced given that many courses are as brief as six or eight months. This means that a significant amount of time is spent in the classroom. With online courses, you are dealing with the same volume of material, but you’re not spending numerous hours away from your home or driving back and forth from classes. However, it’s essential that the training program you pick can provide internship training in nearby salons and parlors to ensure that you also obtain the hands-on training necessary for a comprehensive education. Without the internship part of the training, it’s impossible to obtain the skills needed to work in any facet of the cosmetology industry. So make sure if you decide to enroll in an online school to verify that internship training is provided in your area.
Questions to Ask Cosmetologist Programs
Below is a list of questions that you will want to look into for any cosmetology training school you are considering. As we have previously covered, the location of the school relative to your Saint Stephens AL residence, as well as the expense of tuition, will probably be your first qualifiers. Whether you want to earn a certificate, diploma or a degree will probably be next on your list. But once you have narrowed your school options based on those preliminary qualifications, there are even more factors that you need to research and consider before enrolling in a cosmetology program. Below we have collected several of those supplemental questions that you should ask each school before making a final decision.
Is the Program Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the cosmetology college you choose is accredited. The accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized local or national organization, such as the National Accrediting Commission for Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). Schools accredited by the NACCAS must meet their high standards ensuring a quality curriculum and education. Accreditation may also be important for securing student loans or financial aid, which frequently are not available in 36569 for non- accredited schools. It’s also a requirement for licensing in several states that the training be accredited. And as a final benefit, many Saint Stephens AL employers will not employ recent graduates of non-accredited schools, or might look more favorably upon those with accredited training.
Does the School have a Great Reputation? Every cosmetology school that you are seriously considering should have a good to exceptional reputation within the field. Being accredited is a good beginning. Next, ask the schools for endorsements from their network of employers where they have referred their students. Check that the schools have high job placement rates, attesting that their students are highly regarded. Check rating companies for reviews as well as the school’s accrediting agencies. If you have any contacts with Saint Stephens AL salon owners or managers, or someone working in the industry, ask them if they are acquainted with the schools you are reviewing. They may even be able to suggest others that you had not thought of. Finally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to see if there have been any complaints filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
What’s the School’s Focus? A number of beauty schools offer programs that are expansive in nature, focusing on all facets of cosmetology. Others are more focused, providing training in a specific specialty, such as hairstyling, manicuring or electrolysis. Schools that offer degree programs typically expand into a management and marketing curriculum. So it’s imperative that you decide on a school that focuses on your area of interest. If your intention is to be trained as an esthetician, make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited and well regarded for that program. If your aspiration is to open a hair salon in Saint Stephens AL, then you need to enroll in a degree program that will teach you how to be an owner/operator. Selecting a highly regarded school with a poor program in the specialty you are seeking will not deliver the training you need.
Is Enough Hands-On Training Provided? Learning and mastering cosmetology techniques and abilities requires plenty of practice on volunteers. Check how much live, hands-on training is furnished in the beauty lessons you will be attending. A number of schools have salons on site that make it possible for students to practice their developing skills on volunteers. If a beauty academy furnishes little or no scheduled live training, but instead relies predominantly on using mannequins, it might not be the most effective alternative for cultivating your skills. So look for alternate schools that furnish this type of training.
Does the School Provide Job Assistance? Once a student graduates from a beauty school, it’s important that she or he receives assistance in landing that first job. Job placement programs are an integral part of that process. Schools that furnish help maintain relationships with Saint Stephens AL businesses that are searching for qualified graduates available for hiring. Verify that the programs you are considering have job placement programs and ask which salons and organizations they refer students to. Additionally, find out what their job placement rates are. High rates not only verify that they have extensive networks of employers, but that their programs are highly regarded as well.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Many cosmetology schools provide financial aid or student loan assistance for their students. Check if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department. Talk to a counselor and identify what student loans or grants you may qualify for. If the school belongs to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), it will have scholarships available to students as well. If a school satisfies each of your other qualifications with the exception of expense, do not drop it as an option until you learn what financial help may be available.
Enrolled in Cosmetology School near Saint Stephens AL?
If you have decided to attend Beauty School in the greater Saint Stephens AL area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
St. Stephens, Alabama
St. Stephens is an unincorporated census-designated place in Washington County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population was 495. Located near the Tombigbee River in the southwestern part of the state and 67 miles north of Mobile, it is composed of two distinct sites: Old St. Stephens and New St. Stephens. The Old St. Stephens site lies directly on the river and is no longer inhabited. It was the territorial capital of the Alabama Territory. Now encompassed by the Old St. Stephens Historical Park, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Changes in the territorial capital and transportation resulted in the Old St. Stephens site being bypassed by development. "New" St. Stephens developed two miles inland around a railway station, but adjacent to the old site. It is the location of the post office, Baptist and Methodist churches, and residences. It has one building listed on the National Register and another on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Old St. Stephens was situated on a limestone bluff that the Native Americans called Hobucakintopa, at the fall line along the Tombigbee River where rocky shoals forced the end of navigation for boats traveling north from Mobile, 67 miles to the south. As early as 1772, British surveyor Bernard Romans noted that "sloops and schooners may come up to this rapid; therefore, I judge some considerable settlement will take place." By 1789, with the area back under Spanish control, the governor of Mobile, Juan Vincente Folch, established a fort and outpost here. By 1796 over 190 white inhabitants, mostly settlers from the United States, and their 97 or so slaves were living around the fort. With the Treaty of San Lorenzo, Spain turned the fort over to the United States government on February 5, 1799. It was included in the Mississippi Territory.
Pick the Right Cosmetology Training Program near Saint Stephens AL
Locating and enrolling in the right beauty school is imperative to get the appropriate training to become a licensed cosmetology technician. Make sure to ask all the questions that you require in order to feel certain about your decision. Be sure to consolidate all of the responses you receive from the cosmetology school admissions departments, focus on what matters the most to you, and then use that information to compare schools. A reasonable start in your due diligence process is to make sure that the college and program you choose are accredited and have impressive reputations within the field. If you begin with that base, and answer the additional questions provided in this post, you will be able to reduce your list of schools so that you can make the proper selection. Once you graduate and pass your licensing test, you will be confident that you are ready to start your new career as a professional cosmetologist in Saint Stephens AL.
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