A New Beauty Associate Degree Program Adds on to Skills Learned in Cosmetology School

The skills taught at cosmetology school are the foundation of many great careers in beauty, whether as a hairstylist, aesthetician, or nail tech. With a license and talent, so many doors can open up to a beauty professional who wants to help clients achieve certain looks and results. But getting a cosmetology license in the U.S. typically doesn’t require the student to take any business, marketing, and communications courses despite how relevant those skills are in many areas of the industry.

To fill in these gaps, Rolfs Global, an Arizona-based company with several salons, has enlisted the support of L’Oréal USA’s Professional Products Division to help develop a special program at Mesa Community College to prepare beauty pros “for a wide range of career opportunities that meet and exceed the ever-evolving expectations of 21st-century customers and markets.” Available both on-campus and online, the Associate in Applied Science in Beauty and Wellness degree program promises expert guest lecturers, opportunities for apprenticeships, and an industry-oriented curriculum.

It’s that curriculum — with courses like Owning & Operating a Small Business and Marketing & Social Networking — that sets the Associate in Applied Science in Beauty and Wellness degree apart from a cosmetology license. Instead of the ins-and-outs of performing specific beauty treatments, “courses will teach students skills in finance, marketing leadership, ethics, communication, and evidence-based decision-making,” according to a press release sent to Allure. Not only is the degree supplemental to a cosmetology license, that cosmetology license earns students up to 30 credits toward the associate’s degree, which can be completed in as little as two semesters.

From there, students have the option to continue this path by applying to Arizona State University, where they can transfer all of their AAS credits to be applied toward a Bachelor of Applied Science in Health, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation (requiring an additional 60 credits).

“This is the right time for this program, and I hope that other institutions of higher learning across the United States will embrace this pioneering model, which will create new opportunities for professionals within this critically important sector of the economy,” David Greenberg, group president of L’Oréal USA’s Professional Products Division, said in a statement, applauding Rolfs CEO Francis Tesmer for her contribution to the program’s development. “Supporting a collegiate degree that enables individuals with a passion for beauty to pursue a career within and beyond the salon – studying business management, entrepreneurship, digital marketing, wellness, ethics and more – symbolizes L’Oréal’s long-standing commitment to the industry, helping to pave the way for the next generation of beauty innovators and hairdressing talents.”

The program is available globally. Those interested in applying may do so on the Mesa Community College website.

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