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February 15, 2013

First Blended Learning Hairstylist Dual Credit in Canada kicks off in Alberta

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With the launch of a Hairstylist Trade pre-employment apprenticeship program, two post-secondary schools are putting students first. With this initiative, Olds College and Red Deer College, through the Campus Alberta Central partnership, working with Chinooks Edge School Division, have developed this one of a kind opportunity for Alberta Students. The newest dual credit program brings together new funding partners, business professionals and a full roster of eager students for this program.

“There has been a great deal of interest in this program and we were pleased to see it fill so quickly,” said Jean Madill, Executive Director of Campus Alberta Central, which is funding the pilot program. “Our mandate is to provide opportunities for adult learners throughout the Central Alberta region. We wanted to support the efforts to bring in this new opportunity for students to learn a trade, to determine if it is a viable program to offer to adult learners. Judging from the response so far, I would say the investment is a success.”

Above-average growth is predicted in the hairstyling trade in the coming years, making job prospects attractive for graduates. Once they have completed the program, which utilizes a blend of online and hands-on training over two semesters, graduates will receive CTS credits through their high school and pre-employment trade credits through Olds College.

“I really believe in the dual credit model in order to encourage young people to explore the trades,” said Dan Daley, Dean of Olds College’s School of Trades. “We have been providing dual credit opportunities very successfully in carpentry and welding. But we needed to determine how we could balance the male-dominated trades, and many people worked hard to create this opportunity for students. The plan is for the program to act as a pilot that we can develop into a full apprenticeship program, to include adult learners and continue to meet the needs in our communities. It’s important for people to know the trades provide an option for a very successful career.”

The class involves 12 high school students from Sundre, Bowden, Olds, Didsbury and both Innisfail and Olds Career High Schools. It will be housed in the cosmetology lab at the Community Learning Campus in Olds. This is an innovative, blended learning, dual credit opportunity, kicking off on February 14, that can break new ground for learners across Alberta.

“This course will be so good for my career and it is such a great opportunity to take it right through the school,” said Cassie Pashko, a grade 12 student at Sundre High School. “I’ve been taking hairstyling courses at high school since grade 10, so this new program will take my training that much farther. I’ve always been interested in this, and like most other students, I used to cut my Barbie Doll’s hair when I was a kid. I cut my parents’ hair now and even style my horse’s hair! It’s just what I’m happy to do, so I feel very fortunate to be able to make hairstyling my career.”

Organizers were pleased to hire an experienced local professional to instruct the program. Lee Cenaiko has been a hairstylist for 25 years and is an established local business owner. She also has a background in computer science, which will support the online portion of the new course.

“Stats show we are running short of stylists, and there’s a definite need for qualified people to provide quality work,” said Cenaiko. “The potential career options for these students are amazing, and it is much broader than cutting hair. They may choose to become platform stylists, competition artists or product line representatives. It’s a trade that lets you travel the world and, with the exceptional facilities available at the CLC, this is like a major opportunity just waiting to happen. This is an exciting time for everyone involved!”

Having Olds College, Red Deer College, and Chinooks Edge School Division work together through Campus Alberta Central and the Community Learning Campus, drives program efficiencies and meets local learner demands, everyone wins but most importantly, the student gets a very unique opportunity to advance their workplace skills while still in High School.

Click here to read the original release.

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