What to Ask While Touring a Beauty School
You’ve set your goals and are on your way to enrolling in beauty school! But, with that comes a large investment – both in time and money. Before you commit, it’s important to ask the right questions when you visit potential schools. Covering all your bases will ensure you set yourself up for success!
1. WHAT TYPE OF PROGRAMS ARE OFFERED, AND WHAT ARE THOSE PROGRAM SCHEDULES LIKE?
Beauty school is a big commitment, but not every school offers the same programs, structure, and/or scheduling. Schools might offer a variety of programs in cosmetology, esthetics, barbering, and massage or they might only offer very specific options. Each program will likely vary in terms of hours required, weekly schedule, and overall cost.
Further, the program schedules will likely vary drastically from school-to-school. Some schools will run on a “rotating schedule”, where the program is split into segments and you can enroll at any time. Other schools offer a more structured approach, where you build your skills from the ground up as a team alongside your classmates.
What’s most important is that a beauty school’s program offering works best for you. As you approach schools, have a firm grasp on each of the following: what types of programs you’re most interested in, how flexible your weekly schedule will be, and the time commitment you are able to make to a program. Moreover, be sure to communicate that to the schools you visit, so that together you can decide whether they offer programs that will be a perfect fit.
2. IS THE SCHOOL ACCREDITED?
Accreditation generally means that a school’s integrity and quality of education has been evaluated by an independent agency. Accredited beauty schools have met certain academic and institutional requirements established by an accrediting organization. The “gold standard” of beauty school accreditation is the National Accrediting Commission for Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS); their accreditation authority is recognized by the US Department of Education.
Becoming accredited is a VOLUNTARY process for a school; it is not “required.” However, accreditation is a solid indicator that the school offers objectively high-quality education and serves students well. Additionally, only accredited institutions can offer Federal financial aid.
3. WHAT DOES THE CURRICULUM INCLUDE?
Technique and mastery are everything in the beauty industry. It’s important that your chosen school and program offers both basic training and modern, innovative technique. When touring, ask about the education courses themselves –
- What specialties are covered in the program?
- How often are the courses and programs updated?
- Are new techniques often added to the program?
- How are classrooms structured?
- Do students practice on real-world clients?
- How are students evaluated on their work?
- Is continuing education offered?
Innovation in a beauty schools program is key – you want to make sure when youenter the working world, the techniques you’ve mastered are relevant to the world you’ll be working in.
4. WHAT ARE THE FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE PROGRAM?
A quality education will not come without expense, but the cost should also be comprehensive and fair. Make sure you ask not only about tuition costs, but also what that tuition will include. Find out if all necessary tools (beauty kit, products, technology, printed resources, etc.) will be included in the cost of tuition, or if those will be additional, required expenses. It is also important to inquire about financial aid, and whether the schools accept federal aid or third party scholarships.
5. WHAT POST-GRADUATE PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE IS OFFERED?
Upon graduation, you’ll need to get to work! High-quality beauty schools often have a vast network of salons and spas that value their graduates. Ask each school about their placement rates, employment networks, and networking resources. Enrolling in a school that is respected by the beauty community is one of the best choices you can make!
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