After two years without a cosmetology program, Lincoln County students of all ages can once again learn the ins and outs of making people beautiful.
The countyâ€™s previous cosmetology program existed for over 20 years, but ended in 2002 in part due to lack of interest.
â€œIt was never closing. It was just a redirection,â€ said Millie Kostner, career and technical education coordinator.
Now through an agreement with both Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) and Gaston Community College (GCC), a new cosmetology school will open fall semester.
CVCC will be offering the classes in cosmetology because GCC does not have the program.
â€œIt would be hard for us to deliver the program without having a cooperative agreement,â€ said Rosalind Welder, dean of the Lincoln Campus of Gaston College.
The cooperative agreement allowed for CVCC to offer the program in GCCâ€™s service area.
â€œThey just worked together to make sure that the citizens would be able to get served,â€ said Superintendent Jim Watson.
The new school building will act as a satellite campus for CVCC. The cosmetology school will be located in Lincolnton on Aspen Street in a former Loweâ€™s Hardware Store.
The program will be open to both high school students and interested adults. All who take the classes will receive college credit for their work.
â€œItâ€™s a straight entry into a career for adults and for students,â€ said Kostner.
Since the high school program ended two years ago, Kostner has been working towards bringing a new cosmetology program to Lincoln County.
Even before the high school program finished, Kostner had considered developing a program that would be open to the entire community.
â€œEvery year I received phone calls from adults who wanted to take the program,â€ said Kostner.
In the fall, the school will have at least 60 students from Lincoln County high schools.
The students may not be able to complete the total 1,200 hours required to receive their state license during their high school career, but theyâ€™ll have a good head start.
As students at the school are learning, they will offer discounted services to the public.
â€œThis particular kind of school serves the community,â€ said Elaine Jenkins, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
Those at CVCC are happy to be working with Lincoln County Schools.
â€œWe are so proud at CVCC to be able to come back to Lincoln County and bring this service,â€ said Retha Chestnut, coordinator of the CVCC cosmetology department.
The administration is also happy with the results of the partnership.
â€œThis worked so well, this might not be the last of the partnerships created,â€ said Jenkins.by Sarah Grano