Putting aside the obvious, 2020 has been an important year for the International Institute of Cosmetology. Sure, it did not go exactly as we had planned, but as we reflect back on the year that was; there are many things we can be proud. So let us look at the IIC year in review, as well as some changes that occurred in the beauty industry in CT in 2020:
New Esthetics Class and License:
2020 started with a new license that had been discussed and debated in the State of CT for many years, bringing CT in sync with all of the other states. In anticipation of this license, IIC invested significant time any energy throughout the latter half of 2019 to receive approval for the 600-hour program, including a site visit from the State of CT Office of Higher Education and approval through our accreditor NACCAS. We enrolled our first Esthetics students in February 2020 and our first graduates obtained their Esthetics license in December 2020 and are set to embark on their exciting new careers in the skin care industry!
Though a bit sooner than anticipated, IIC has long considered a transition to some form of distance learning in order to meet the needs of today’s students. Due to an Executive Order, and with approvals from CT OHE and NACCAS, all IIC students migrated to distance learning for a little less than three months beginning in March 2020. We were quite proud of how our instructors and students adapted to the changes as we continued to deliver quality instruction to our students.
Back to campus in the New Normal:
Beginning in early June 2020, we began gradually to return our students, instructors and staff to our two campuses in Wethersfield and Plainville. The looks of the two campuses had changed a bit, but fortunately, much remained the same. We all wore masks, there were social distancing signs throughout the student salons, and disinfectant as far as the eye could see! However, under the masks remained a series of smiles. Students who did not know when or how long their cosmetology school life would last did see their final clock-out, and their career as a hairdresser begin. Life at IIC seemed to be getting back to normal.
A return to a new form of the New Normal:
In anticipation of a surge in Covid-19 cases in the State of CT following Thanksgiving, IIC made the decision in coordination with the State of CT and NACCAS to move to a hybrid form of learning for the last five-weeks of the year. The key goal of this was to reduce the number of people in either building at any one time. Drawing on our experiences from the spring, the hybrid learning proved tremendously successful, in large thanks to our amazing students and instructors. We kept everyone safe with no disruption in students’ schedules. This also allowed us to look to the future and see what 2021 would hold.
For many professionals in the beauty industry, as well as many who do not yet know much about the industry, taking a short course is the way to go. There were a multitude of short courses that were slated to be unveiled at IIC in 2020 that were regretfully cancelled due to Covid-19. We were able to hold a one-day review class for professionals who had graduated from a cosmetology program but had never sat for their professional board examination. This course will be offered again in the future, so look for its availability on our website. We also anticipate bringing the previously tabled makeup courses, such as the course that focuses on high school/amateur theater programs, back to the schedule in 2021.
In addition to the Esthetics license in the State of CT, additional changes in the beauty industry have been introduced, and IIC intends to keep pace. In November, IIC submitted to the State of CT OHE applications for new programs, including the 1000-hour Barber, 100-hour Nail Technician, and 50-hour Eyelash Technician programs. All three programs, if approved by the State of CT OHE, will then be submitted (as required) to NACCAS for its accreditation. Most importantly, once approved, all of these programs will lead directly to licensure in the State of CT!
There has been a lot of talk over the past couple of weeks about “Good riddance to 2020,” and rightfully so. However, there is also a lot that we can be proud of at IIC for what was accomplished in 2020. We do look forward to building upon our proud tradition in 2021, and will continue to share with everyone our thoughts on the beauty industry. Happy New Year!!