GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Students in Williamson County will be able to graduate high school as licensed cosmetologists through a new program Georgetown ISD started this year.
“We have plenty of students who are very interested in this program,” said Cynthia Pike, director of college, career, and military readiness in the district. “In fact, we have waiting lists for students to get into this program.”
Students will start in the classroom to learn the basics, then move on to mannequins before eventually opening up their new cosmetology lab to friends, family and the general public for haircuts.
The lab at East View High School will be used by both students at that school and at Georgetown High School who will be bused in for classes.
The district wants to name the lab after Gordon Logan, the founder and CEO of Georgetown-based Sport Clips, a barbershop chain with more than 1,800 stores around the U.S. and Canada.
Logan donated much of the equipment the students will be using, including barber chairs and hair-washing stations. In all the company donated $50,000 in equipment and money for supplies.
The chain employs some 18,000 stylists around the country and stores are always hiring. In Texas, more than 300 stylists the company employs got licensed through high school programs, Logan wrote in an op-ed earlier this year.
“They entered their career debt-free and became self-supporting, tax-paying citizens immediately after high school,” he wrote in the piece advocating for more high school cosmetology programs.
The Texas Education Agency considered cutting the more than 200 cosmetology programs across the state last year because of low average salaries recorded in government statistics.
Those numbers don’t tell the whole story, Logan argues, because many stylists work part-time while they’re attending college or raising a family, and many receive tips outside of what’s reported.
The TEA kept cosmetology in the career and technical education (CTE) curriculum for the 2019-2020 school year.
The Georgetown program comes with costs for students; the licensing exam is $25 and students need to supply their own $400 kit to take classes. But thanks to help from the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, funds are available for students who can’t afford the kit.
Georgetown ISD leaders say the classes will provide a pathway both to a career and to a stable income throughout college.
“Providing all options for all students and exposing students to all options is a great way to help them think intentionally about their futures,” Pike said.