Barstow Community College Cosmetology Program: Undaunted by COVID-19

“The dedication of the students to the program was awesome!”

   Barstow, CA- It is hard to imagine a more hands-on course of study than that of cosmetology.  These are the women and men training to care for your hair, skin, nails, and overall appearance from day to day.  On March 18th, when COVID19 forced the closing of the college doors, the instructors of the cosmetology department were undaunted.  They set to work immediately to make a plan for online learning for all of their students and then got that plan approved by the California State Cosmetology Board…the only Community College in Southern California to do so. By mid-April they had received their approval back from the state Board and all of their students were in possession of the equipment that they would need to participate in a program of online learning.

In a recent interview, some of the cosmetology instructors were asked about the greatest challenges they faced in converting a hands-on program to an online format?  Andrea Pena said, “For me the biggest challenge was slow Internet connections and older computer equipment owned by some of our students.  It was frustrating sometimes.”  For those students who needed them, the college issued new tablets or hot spots.  For Carole Blake the hardest part was learning how to work with the computers herself.  Caylee Murphy agreed with Ms. Pena, and added that she sometimes found room lighting in the student’s homes made seeing detail difficult; however, all the instructors agreed that these were momentary issues that were easily handled.  “The dedication of our students to the program was awesome,” said Ms. Pena. “There were so many challenges with juggling kids and family challenges and interruptions, but the students stuck to it.

When asked about student response, Mrs.  Greenlee said that the students didn’t give up, and neither did we.”

The cosmetology program has had a benefactor of sorts over the past few years who offered scholarships to students enrolling into the program as a way of honoring their daughter. Prior to her untimely death, she had been a student in the program.  Upon hearing that the on-campus learning had been cancelled for the 2021 Fall semester, they decided not to offer a scholarship.  They were very happy to learn that the program was going to continue and had been approved to do so.  The scholarship was reinstated and will be helping students with the program again this Fall.

Additional Information:

Program graduates find employment in the fields of Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists (Make-up Artists), Manicurists and Pedicurists, and Skincare Specialists. An Undergraduate certificate in Cosmetology may be earned in as little as 72 weeks.

For further information about the Barstow Community College Cosmetology Program or any of the many other Career Certificate and degree programs offered you may visit the BCC website or call 760-252-6799.