Whittier Tech Updates Cosmetology Programs to Best Align with State Guidelines and Licensing

Whittier Tech Cosmetology students are taught a variety of beauty techniques, including nail care. (Courtesy photograph.)

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School is adapting its cosmetology programs to meet the state’s revised curriculum framework and adding new learning materials.

Superintendent Maureen Lynch said the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education this past fall updated expectations for what students should know and be able to do at the end of each year. It aligns with requirements to achieve Massachusetts Cosmetology Licensure.

The number of hours of instruction required by the frameworks exceeds the minimum 1,000 hours of practice required for the licensure, and is intended to provide adequate instructional time to meet the educational needs of students.

Whittier Tech’s Cosmetology Shop recently ordered 12 textured mannequin heads so that students can practice wet and dry hair techniques. The shop plans to order additional supplies to align with the updated frameworks.

Students earn hours by practicing at the Whittier Tech Cosmetology Salon, which is supervised by Senior Cosmetology Instructor Nancy Calverley. The salon offers a variety of beauty services to the public, including hairstyling, haircutting, hair coloring, nail care and more. All services are performed by senior students hoping to earn their Massachusetts Cosmetology Licensure by graduation.

Senior Ana Barrera of Haverhill reflected on her time at the salon, saying, “I’ve worked with seven or eight clients so far. Every week I try to work with one or two more clients. My goal after graduation is to be licensed and work in a salon while attending college for business to one day own my own salon.”

A salon client also chimed in. “I’ve been a client at the Whittier Tech Salon since 1985. I trust that the instructors will check the work and make sure that I walk out feeling and looking my best,” said Marie Ciaramitas, of Haverhill. “I keep coming back because I love the convenience and the experience for students.”

The salon is temporarily closed, but normally operates on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m.-noon. When the salon reopens, the public will be able to make an appointment by calling 978-373-4101, ext. 348, or emailing [email protected].

English Teacher Dr. Monica Marino worked with the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators to help develop local updates. She met with a group of cosmetology teachers at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School who are already working to connect key academic content, such as English Language Arts, with the knowledge and skills necessary for certain career paths. Additionally, Sophomore Cosmetology Instructor Nella Haginicolas recently attended a full day of training at Blackstone Valley Technical High School that included lessons on wet and dry hair techniques, as well as chemicals commonly used in cosmetology.

“At the workshop, I learned different techniques that I wasn’t experienced with. The instructors were very helpful, teaching us the application and how to train students with these skills in the future,” said Haginicolas.

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