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Blue Hills Cosmetology Program Prepares Diverse Student Body for a New Career

"The Evening Adult Cosmetology Program at the Blue Hills Regional Technical School held an open house on Wednesday for potential students.

Some people grow up knowing they want to be a hairdresser. Others settle into a cosmetology career after a stint on a different path or college.

However the students arrive at the Evening Adult Cosmetology Program at the Blue Hill Regional Technical School they leave with a certification from the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure, Cosmetology.

The 1,000-hour professional program, which takes approximately 14 months to complete, prepares students for the Board of Cosmetology licensing exam with practical and theoretical coursework. Deborah Lowrance, Continuing Education Director, said in the three years the evening program has been at the school, students have had a 100 percent success rate on the licensing exam.

The class, which currently has seven students, meets Monday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Blue Hills School cosmetology room.

On Wednesday, June 22, the program hosted an open house for potential students. Lowrance hopes to recruit another five or six students. Enrollment can be immediate, and students graduate after logging their hours in the classroom and working with clients.

Aside from client instructor Jen Houle and theory teacher Paula Burns, current and former students were at the open house.

Kristen Morgan, a current student who is still working toward her 250 hours of practical work with mannequins before taking clients in the functioning salon, came to the program a year after graduating high school.

After the Holbrook native graduated from Fontbonne Academy she pondered a career path.

"I’ve always been interested in hair and makeup," said Morgan.

Morgan grew to enjoy the hands-on approach to education at Blue Hills. They class spends Mondays learning theory and the other three days of the week working in the clinic.

Jillian McCullum of Canton transferred to the program after taking classes at a private cosmetology school.

Unlike Morgan and McCullum, Diane Shay was already into a different career before finding cosmetology. After getting laid off from her job in medical billing, Shay was ready for a change.

"I wanted to do something interesting, something fun," said Shay, who now works as a manager at the Hair Cuttery.

During Wednesday’s open house, Shay called her career switch and enrollment in the evening cosmetology program the best thing she’s ever done.

The curriculum of the program, which includes color, cutting, facials, makeup and much more, prepares students for a range of opportunities in the hair and makeup industry.

After gaining a solid book knowledge and practical experience with mannequins, the students in the program work with real clients. The school offers affordable prices for haircuts, colors, manicures, facials and a bevy of other services. For an appointment, call 781-828-5800 ext. 242.

With rolling enrollment and start dates, new students can begin a cosmetology career at anytime. While there is no financial aid for the adult program, Lowrance said there are payment plans.

Anyone interested in touring the program and meeting with the instructors can contact Deborah Lowrance at 781-828-5800 ext. 220."

This article was published first on www.canton.patch.com.