Cosmetology School – Fact and Myth – School Category + Accreditation + Quality

Objective:

This article is a summary of highly level information about key elements of cosmetology school, a higher educational institute. The objective is to synthesize all cosmetology school information and share a more complete set knowledge to enable our community to determine his/her school need, especially beauty school or cosmetology school.

The key elements to be addressed here are:

  1. Cosmetology School (Technical, Vocational and Trade) Vs General Education College
    • Cosmetology School Certification vs General Educational Degree
  2. Choosing School – School Evaluation
    • Quality of Education
  3. Accreditation Myth and Fact

A more important aspect is this is a collection of multiple source information summaries; NOT single person perspective.

Motivation:

School is an important aspect of life and having a big impact in both the short term and long term need (survival needs for many) of an individual. School or cosmetology school  matters are often questioned and answered in bit and piece, incomplete and in distributed fashion;  therefore it is important for a community to have most complete set of knowledge, as unbiased as possible,  short, simplified, summarized and easy to get a jump start in cosmetology school determination.

Cosmetology School vs. General Education College

The comparison of higher school starts with definition and determination of school comparison variable or items to use to compare the school with. The comparison variables include:

  1. School category (Technical, Vocational or Trade Vs General Education)
  2. Certification type (Certification Vs Degree)
  3. Cost
    • Educational cost total
    • Cost Aid:
      1. Educational aid qualification
      2. Educational loan
  • Educational payment plan
  • Time
    1. Study time
    2. Time of life
  • Time of work
  1. Return on investment
    • Job Finding or Job Placement
    • Average salary

Higher School Category

According to Webster, higher education/school means education or school that is beyond secondary level education; also means above high school/12 grade or equivalent diploma such as GED (Webster, 2017). This indicates a requirement to have proof high school or equivalent at the enrollment time of higher educational institute like cosmetology school.

Higher education is broken down into 5 categories (US Gov Financial Aid, 2017):

  • Career, technical, trade or vocational courses/program
  • General Education – Associate Degree – 2 years
  • General Education – Bachelor’s degree – 4 Years
  • General Education – Master’s Degree – 6 years
  • General Education – Doctorate Degree – 8+ years

Based on the list above, education is literally broken down into 2 buckets or groups:

  • General education
    • Regulated by Board of Education – a government agency (independent board and commission)
  • Career education (or trade, vocational, technical education)
    • Regulated by different board and commission based on area of trade, technical, vocation or career education
      1. Cosmetology Education – regulated by Board of Hairdressers and Cosmetologists (KYGov-Cosmetology, 2017)
      2. Barber Education – regulated by Board of Barbering (KYGov-Barber, 2017)
      3. Massage Therapy – regulated by Board of Licensure for Massage Therapy (KYGov-MassageTherapy, 2017)

Cosmetology School – Career, Technical, Trade or Vocational School

Cosmetology School is a career, technical, trade or vocational school because it regulated, and defined with the following characteristic by the US government as below (US Gov Financial Aid, 2017):

  • Trade school – focus in developing skill of a specific trade (buy or sell a good or product)
  • Technical school – focus in the application of license in an occupation
  • Vocational school – focus in the hands-on application of a specific skills to do specific job
  • Career school – focus in hands-on training, and short educational period (usually LESS THAN 2 years)
  • Certification or license granted at completion of training
  • Public or private – majorly for-profit privately owned

Cosmetology School Vs General Education – Differences

The key difference between cosmetology school (career, technical, trade or vocational school) vs. general education school are:

  • Credit Hour
    • Cosmetology School (KYGov-Cosmetology, 2017)
      • Government agency directly regulate, monitor and log actual hours spent at school as credit hours in the government system.
        • VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
          • Cosmetology School DOES NOT certify credit hours, but all hours are controlled, logged and certified by government agency – in this case the Board of Hairdressers and Cosmetologist
          • Government State Board expect the actual hour spent in school as credit hour
            1. Example:
              • 600 hours for Nail Technology program is required by Government State Board of Kentucky – then it means Nail Technology student need to spend literally 600 hours in school
  • General Educational School
    • General educational is relative, NOT EXACT in term of hours spent for studying both in school/class and at home.
  • Certification vs Degree
    • Cosmetology School (KYGov-Cosmetology, 2017)
      • Certification of completion are given to student at completion of all government state board required hours by the school, but this is not official in term of work
      • Certification exam is conducted by government state board, and expect students to pass (theory + practical) before a TRUE certification is given BY THE STATE BOARD, not school
    • General Education School
      • Degree is given to student who complete all require course with required level of grade by the school
    • Cost (TheSimpleDollar, 2017)
      • Cost goes hand and hand with time required for completion of a program
      • Cosmetology School
        • Less than 2 years and significantly a lot less in cost
        • Averagely around $33k and under
        • Roughly around $12/hour
        • Example:
          • Cosmetology Program required 1500 hours by State Board of Cosmetology in Kentucky
            • 1500 hours * $12/hour = $18,000 for tuition only
            • Other expense is around 25% of total tuition cost
              1. 18,000 * .25 = $4,500
            • Total: $22,500 – under $30K for entire cosmetology course of 1,500 hours
      • General Education
        • 4 years degree cost averagely around $120k
          • $120K / 4years = $30k/years
  • Return on Investment
    • Cosmetology Fields (PayScale, 2017, TheSimpleDollar, 2017)
      • Average income for most fields in cosmetology is roughly around $33,000/year
        • Equivalent to $15/hour – go by 40 hours a week and 52 weeks/year
      • General Education (PayScale-General Studies Degree, 2017)
        • Average income for a wide range of fields under general education with 4 year bachelor degree is $36,000-$70,000

Choosing School – School Evaluation

Evaluation of individual need for type of education is in 2 levels (TheSimpleDollar, 2017):

  • Type of school – Trade, Technical, Vocational or Career School Vs General Education College/University
    • Based on the comparison above, general education takes longer, and cost more; then the result is the individual make more money in the end – MORE EDUCATION, MORE MONEY
    • The decision in terms of type of school often fall in two areas:
      1. Affordability in term of monetary cost and time cost
        1. Work
        2. Life
        3. School
      2. Educational Interest
        1. General Education is not everyone
        2. Nor Technical, Vocational, Career or Trade is for everyone
  • Career field
    • Both general education and technical school require an individual to pick a field to be specialized in
    • The determine factor goes back to individual interest of specific field, cost, and return in investment (how much you make after you graduate?)

Quality of School

As part of school evaluation, quality of school is a big bucket on your list to evaluate. Quality of school is defined in term of value of school certification or degree – and that value is relative to general population perspective that are often measure based on a few criteria below:

  • Job market acceptance of certification or degree – especially from a specific school
  • Certification of credit to knowledge or education – especially from a specific school
  • General Education
    • For general education, popularity and highly or well accepted school has effect or impact the quality or value of the degree an individual accomplished
      • Degree become less important once the individual stack up his/her experience – then general population or company often only refer to his/her accomplishment or experience
    • School matters in term of value determination of educational degree
  • Cosmetology school or technical, career, trade or vocational education in general
    • For technical school or cosmetology school specifically, the government state board owns, control, monitor and given credit hours, as well as regulate and conduct examination before a certification is given – therefore, regardless of which school an individual attend, the same level of certification or value of education is achieved.
      • An individual passes the government standard exam – it also means that he/she is qualified as much as anyone else who attends other school and passed the same exam.
    • School DOES NOT MATTER in term of value determination of education certificate – because everyone get the same certification from Government if they pass government state board standard exam

Accreditation Myth and Fact

Fact

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is the recognition that an institution maintains a certain national acceptable standard of quality in education and performance. The standard is studied, established, guided, and compliance monitored by accrediting agencies/bodies (many of them based on type of institute/school and field or type of program/courses) (Gov-Accreditation, 2017). This process applies both to general education college/university and technical/vocation/career/trade school/institute/college.

The accreditation process includes: 1-preparation, 2-application, 3-submission, 4-inspection, 5-accreditation, and 6-monitor (FactWebSite, 2017); it is INTENSIVE in both the application as well as the maintenance of the accreditation. This also means it is COSTLY in time=money for the schools (the cost eventually transfer to higher in cost for student) and RESTRICTIVE in process and procedure for the students.

Cosmetology School Accreditation Agencies

The list of accreditation agencies for cosmetology school or beauty school is limited to less than 5 (BeautySchool, 2017), and the most notable is National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS). NACCAS is an independent accrediting commission and nonprofit organization which originate back to 1969 and account/merge with Cosmetology Accrediting Commission (CAC) in 1981 (NACCAS, 2017).

What is Accreditation good for?

Accredited schools or schools with accreditation by an acceptable agency have access to government funding, or Financial Aid (US Gov Financial Aid, 2017).

General Education School

For general education school (4 years degree or above), it is especially important to have accreditation for 2 reasons (50States, 2017)

  1. Accreditation ensures the value of student educational accomplishment or degree
    • Refers back to (Quality of School) section above, the school provides degree to student and the quality that include accreditation means a lot to granted degree – as viewed by the public or employment firms
  2. Cost of 4+ years – is often NOT paid in cash most students
    • $100k+ in school cost is often required an aid – and educational aid is almost always come from Federal Financial Aid which include 1) small grant (free money) and 2) majorly loan with low interest rate or interest deferred until student graduation
Cosmetology School

For cosmetology school or other technical, vocational, career or trade school/college, accreditation importance is debatable and not so much a required criteria for 2 reasons (50States, 2017):

  • Accreditation is NOT a measure of value of student educational accomplishment or degree
    • Refers back to (Quality of School) section above, Cosmetology School DOES NOT provide student credit hours NOR grant student certification of accomplishment; GOV STATE BOARD OF COSMETOLOGY DOES. All students receive the same value and qualification from gov state board of cosmetology after he/she pass the certification exam.
  • Cost of less than 2 years
    • $2k – $33k tuition cost, DEPENDS on school tuition chart determines how student go about paying for school
      1. Student may pay cash if the tuition is small enough
      2. Student may pay cash on a payment plan with a school if it is affordable enough
    • Financial Aid give student a 2nd option for paying tuition, but also increase student tuition cost, because Accreditation and Financial Aid has quite a work load of paper work that school has to pay a specialist to do – this cost is added to student tuition

Myth in Cosmetology School (Technical, Vocational, Career or Trade School)

This section addresses the myth or the wrong perception for misconstrued information about cosmetology school or technical, vocational, career and trade schools in general (MassageTherapySchool , 2017).

The following is a list of wrongful, misinformed, untrue, incomplete and misled information:

  • “You cannot be certified in unaccredited technical school”
    • WRONG, a school can only be open when it is approved and certified by the government agency (state board of that specific field). This also means that government state board will ensure you or any student be certified and hand you the certification with highest standard after you pass the state board certification exam
  • “You cannot pass certify exam if you go in unaccredited technical school”
    • WRONG and more specifically mislead – 1st all student go to any school (which are certified by government) will be given credit hours and opportunities to take certification exam provided by government state board.
      • Pass or not pass state board is upon the student study and education of the school
      • When the student evaluate the school, you evaluate the student success or pass exam rate instead of rely on the accreditation
    • “You cannot get your license if you go in unaccredited technical school”
      • WRONG, same answer as (2)
    • “You cannot get quality education in unaccredited technical school”
      • WRONG and more specifically mislead – quality education is often rely on the exam passing rate or student graduation, or student post-school employment rate – NOT SCHOOL ACCREDIATION

Accreditation is the recognition of educational standard compliance; NOT a governing agency nor a regulator of education; especially in cosmetology education or technical/vocational/trade/career education in general. Non-accreditation school can provide same level of quality and education, while also has extra advantage over accreditation school because of restriction of accreditation and financial aid.

Advantage of Staying Non-Accredited (MassageTherapySchool, 2017)

  • Flexibility and Less Cost for school + Different Strategy
    • “Owners of these schools possess a very strong passion for the massage profession and tend to favor quality of education over the financial upside involved in franchising, consolidations or acquisitions”
  • Government Involvement in School – Because of Accreditation – NOT necessarily a good thing
    • “It costs a good amount of money getting to that next level and the process involves a mountain of paper work. Many also despise the fact that the Government’s finger is in it. In essence, these schools feel that more and bigger is not always better, and many of them have proven this statistically through their students’ exam pass rates, job placement rates and just overall success and satisfaction rates.”

You DO NOT need to go to accredited school to get the same education

  • “The choice of school you make should not be based on whether it is accredited or non-accredited, but on your specific situation and whether the school you choose fits your and only your situation best.”
  • “The crux of the matter is that you DO NOT need to go to an accredited school if you want to become a successful licensed specialist”
  • Many non-accredited schools can also deliver the same results and often at a less cost

 

Reference

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *