In mid-May ISTC Cosmetology graduate Elizabeth Nunez contacted instructor Anne Gantt with exciting news – she had just passed the second or ”practical” part of the Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering cosmetologist licensure exam.
Gantt said cosmetology students learn a wide range of skills, from the chemistry involved in hair care to the techniques for managing a salon. “The board requires a minimum of 1,500 school clock hours to be eligible to sit for the exam,” said Gantt. “Our program is longer, we want to be sure everyone has the skills needed to succeed.” Like other colleges, ISTC works to ensure that success is by offering an entire class dedicated to preparing for the state board exams.
ISTC president Annette Funderburk commended the board for allowing Gantt to postpone submitting the required record of completion after her graduates had been released from incarceration. “Often our graduates have more than 120 days left to serve after completing their program. Students like Elizabeth would not be able to complete their certification and enter the workforce in a timely manner without the consideration of the Cosmetology board.”
Nunez passed the written portion of the exam in November, 2018. A single mother of two, she balanced work and parenting while keeping her skills sharp for the second part of the test. Asked about plans for the future, Nunez said she is enjoying her job at a sports-themed shop designed to appeal to men. “I’ve discovered I like cutting men’s hair – who knows, maybe someday I’ll become a barber.”
The J. F. Ingram State Technical College Foundation underwrote the cost of Nunez’ certification testing through a grant from the Central Alabama Community Foundation. Dr. Brannon Lentz, foundation liaison, said the grant funds provide tools and other assistance to ISTC graduates preparing to enter the workforce.