At the beginning of last week, students attending the Barbering and Cosmetology program at Salt Lake Community College were informed that they have only the next two years to complete the program and graduate because the college is canceling the program.
Cosmetology student Chrissy Jacobson, who will be graduating next spring, found out about the college’s decision to cancel the program last week through an announcement from her instructor.
“We [the students] feel bad for the teachers and our clients, some of who have been coming here since the program opened,” says Jacobson.
According to SLCC’s director of public relations Joy Tlou, fiscal and workforce problems are a couple of reasons for closing the program. He said that the college regularly reviews how programs are doing when determining whether or not to cancel one. The Barbering and Cosmetology program generated about $780,000 in income, but had about $1.5 million in expenses – a loss of about $700,000.
Despite the financial losses of the program, students feel as though much is being lost with the cancellation of the program.
“I don’t think canceling the program is a good idea,” says Kayla Jones, who will be graduating next semester. “Why would they cancel a program with a waiting list?”
With the planned removal of the Administration Building on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus where the program is currently housed, SLCC would be faced with the added expense of retrofitting, renting a space or coming up with some other solution to continue the program. According to Tlou, the minimum cost of such a solution would be about $1.2 million.
The other reason for closing the program involves state regulations for barbering and cosmetology.
“You don’t need a degree to go into that work,” Tlou said, noting that when determining a person’s qualifications, the state looks at the number of hours worked and the quality of a person’s skill set in the business.
There are about 200 students currently enrolled in the SLCC program and because it won’t be canceled for another two years, Tlou said that students currently in the program won’t be affected much by the decision.
Some of the students in the program thought that they would be able to take more than two years to graduate, however.
“I am very unhappy about this,” said Cindy Lodder, who is in her second semester of the program. “I don’t know when I’ll graduate yet. I thought that I would have three or four years to graduate. That is why I came here.”