People seeking a job in the cosmetic industry will have a chance to stay in town for training starting this fall.
Bellingham Technical College announced in a news release that it plans to offer a cosmetology degree, with training to take place in a former private school space on 1411 Railroad Ave. It was once home to Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy before becoming the Beauty Institute-Schwarzkoph Professional school. The Beauty Institute abruptly shut down in the spring of 2017 after losing federal financial aid money.
Students interested in the BTC program can attend a free informational session, held 2-3 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. on Aug. 1 in the Haskell Center 108 on the BTC campus. Students can also start the application process by going to btc.edu/applyonline.
BTC has received approval from the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges to run the program, but is awaiting final approval from the Washington Department of Health before the school can start accepting students into the program. It plans on accepting around 60 students for the 2018-19 school year, with 20 new students starting each quarter, according to the news release.
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Once it gets going, the new program will offer hands-on training in cutting and styling hair, basic nail care, tinting, bleaching and cosmetic chemistry. When the Beauty Institute closed, students had to travel as far as Everett to complete the cosmetology certification.
One factor in starting the program is the “incredible” interest by the community to start the program, said Kimberly Perry, president of BTC.
The program is designed to be completed full-time in five academic quarters, including summer. Students who complete the program will be prepared to take the state licensing exams, according to the news release. High school Running Start students can also get a head start in training for a cosmetology career.