By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Twenty-six students became the first class of Campbellsville University’s new cosmetology school as the school was dedicated Oct. 22 at the two buildings on Nancy Cox Drive in Campbellsville.
Dr. Michael V. Carter, in his 15th year as president of Campbellsville University, said the school has been six years in the making, and it is a program needed for this area.
Carter said, in south central Kentucky, 27 percent of the high school graduates, aren’t going to college, and the Technology Training Center, under which the cosmetology school operates, has offered over 13,000 persons receive training.
“This is a great area for a cosmetology school,” Carter said. “We are excited to provide new options for south central Kentucky.”
“I think we are the only school in the country that begins their day with a devotion,” Carter said.
Paul Osborne, chair of the buildings and grounds committee of the CU Board of Trustees, said CU brings in over $100 million to the local economy, and the new cosmetology program will add to this amount.
He said the university is very happy to have made this sizeable investment in the local economy.
Carol Sullivan, director of the Technology Training Center, said she put faith in the Lord as the project began and grew.
She and April Higdon, program coordinator, thought if they got one student it would be great, but 56 students applied for the program and 26 were accepted.
“We thank the Lord who provided this vision, and we let His vision provide ours,” she said.
Higdon said the cosmetology school will live out the mission of CU. “It’s a blessing to become a part of a loving institution. It’s great to come to work each day to do what you love and teach these amazing students,” she said.
Five of the students are transfer students from other cosmetology programs. And they like it at CU.
Erin Cox of Campbellsville used to spend $200 a month in gas going to Elizabethtown for schooling. Now, she can walk to classes if she wants.
“April is an inspiration to us,” she said. “She is the best instructor I’ve ever had, and the quality of instruction is much better here.” Higdon is one of two instructors at the school, and there is one in training.
Cox said the curriculum is great at CU, and she appreciates the Christian devotions that “keep us going.”
Carrie Satterly of Campbellsville had studied at CU before. “I like the atmosphere and the teachers,” she said.
She and Cox are mothers, and she said this program allows them to take off on school breaks to be with their children.
They both like the one-on-one attention they receive, and Cox and Lance Allen, also of Campbellsville, plan to go back to CU to get business degrees when they finish their cosmetology studies.
“I couldn’t have made a better choice,” Allen said. He said he has taken some online classes but wasn’t motivated.
“I’m a lot happier,” he said, “and people notice the difference in my attitude.”
“As long as I do hair, I’ll enjoy life. I enjoy what I’m learning,” Allen, who was going to school in Louisville, said. He moved back to Campbellsville to specifically go to CU’s cosmetology school, which allows the students Saturdays and Sundays off and classes from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
Ashley Wilson of Russell Springs, Ky., said she’d always had a life-long dream to be a cosmetologist. She received her teaching degree in May 2013 from CU, but, when she learned CU was beginning a cosmetology school, she decided to begin that dream.
“CU made possible both of my dreams,” she said. After cosmetology school, the students must work six months at a salon. Wilson said she wants to both teach, maybe teaching cosmetology, and also work at a salon.
Jenninfer Bland of Campbellsville received her biology degree with a business degree from CU. She said she struggled through what she wanted to do with her life, but, through a lot of prayers and support, she decided she wanted to do hair and nails.
“I feel God has put me here,” she said.
The students must complete 1,800 clock hours of study, with 300 of those hours being in classroom instruction, before they can work “on the floor.”
Sullivan said the next class begins in February, with ones following in July and October. “We’re very proud and pleased to be here,” Higdon said.
Sullivan said it took six months to have the cosmetology school become accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges [1865 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500], the agency that accredits the entire university to award certificates, associate, bachelors and masters degrees.
Benji Kelly, vice president for development, was the master of ceremonies for the program and led in the dedication and ribbon cutting for the event. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, gave the dedication prayer
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.