Alamance Community College has graduated 13 women in a new pathway that simultaneously teaches the full Cosmetology curriculum and English as a second language.
The Academic and Career Readiness division, in conjunction with the Cosmetology department, held its first graduation on May 22 for the Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) cohort. The ceremony was held at the City Gate Dream Center in east Burlington and observed CDC safety guidelines.
“When we surveyed students in our ESOL [English Speakers of Other Languages] program the vast majority indicated they wanted a program in cosmetology,” said Jennifer Mock, Director of Academic and Career Readiness (ACR). “Many of the students found they were drawn to this field, as well as the idea that they could have their own businesses. The word spread like wildfire and now we will have approximately 60 students by 2023 who are bilingual and be added to the cosmetology field.”
With direction and support from Heather Laws, Cosmetology Department Head, the group of 13 female students took classes five nights a week for two years. Each earned a Certificate in Cosmetology and a Certificate of Completion for the IELCE component.
“These young women persevered through challenging times, with the pressure of learning another language at the same time,” added Mock.
Academic and Career Readiness provided incentives and support to the students in conjunction with a state IELCE grant. The division developed a contextualizad curriculum that included teaching civics and English vocabulary in the Cosmetology field, and offered support that followed students through graduation.
The IELCE component was facilitated by Victoria Rans, coordinator of the ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) program in Academic and Career Readiness.
The ACC Foundation assisted with discounted tuition in the workforce containing education cosmetology sections. Students received mentoring support and meals from Women United of Alamance County, a United Way program.