• February 17, 2020

OC creates barber crossover program - Odessa American: Odessa College

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OC creates barber crossover program

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Posted: Sunday, January 5, 2020 4:30 am

Partly because of demand for hot shaves, razor cuts and all the designs that can be created with them, Odessa College has opened a Barber Crossover School.

Cheree Shepardson, cosmetology department chair, said the barber school hasn’t been offered before, but the demand has been strong. Classes began in July 2019.

“We have the barber crossover right now, which is you have to have your cosmetology license and then the barber crossover is a 300-hour program. Basically, we’re teaching the shave. We’re adding to men’s cutting and grooming for that 300-hour program,” Shepardson said.

“Our advisory committee has been asking for it for eight years, that I know of …,” she added.

Eighteen of the 25 available spots are filled and two students have graduated and are now licensed.

“Because of having to have their cosmetology license, they’re already working in the shop,” Shepardson said. “This is so they can use a straight blade with no guard.”

Shepardson said students who are graduating right now are already asking if they can enroll in the barber crossover program. She tells them they are welcome to come back after they have their cosmetology license.

“The only difference between cosmetology and barbering is that straight blade with no guard. When you look at the curriculum, that’s really the only difference,” she said.

Shepardson said cosmetology students learn hair, make-up, nails, hair extensions, eyelash extensions and nail extensions among other skills.

“We’ve got a really high pass rate and they’re really successful,” she added.

Shepardson said there is a local private barber school, but OC can make it more affordable.

“I think some of our cosmetology people are a little hesitant on men’s cutting, some of the tighter fades so it gives them a little more one-on-one instruction because it is a smaller class …,” Shepardson said.

Students use balloons initially to get the angle for shaving. “There’s not a lot of people that do the traditional hot shave anymore in the barber shop and so I think with the barber crossover … we’re going to bring back the traditional hot shave,” she said.

OC Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Frank Rich said hot shaves are becoming an upper-end trend.

Shepardson said it could easily be a weekly or monthly treat.

She added that there are a lot of barbers coming to the Permian Basin from other parts of Texas because they’ve found they can make more money here.

“… You just have to put in the hours, especially with cutting. You have your tools, but once you pay for your tools the service relatively is costing you time so you’re paying for time and skill level,” Shepardson said.

The barber crossover program is an evening course. They will offer it during the day during the summer.

Barbering still has to be separated from cosmetology, under state laws and regulations, she said.

Students offer a variety of styling and cutting services to the public from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Barber crossover students provide services to clients from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Louis Gonzales, associate dean of continuing education, said the barber crossover program is currently being offered through continuing education, but at some point they would like to make it a credit program.

“… Continuing Education allows us to meet the immediate demand, then it gives us time also to see what the program is going to look like long term and if we can bring it into a credit program,” Gonzales said.

To become a credit course, Rich said it also has to go through the accreditation process from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Donna Kilgore, an instructor in the barber crossover program and cosmetology, said the barber crossover is another chance for more students to be trained.

Kilgore said she has been an instructor at OC for seven years and has been doing hair for about 17 years.

“I think the night program helps out a lot since there’s a lot of people who work during the day. It gives them an opportunity to come in and go to school and maybe change their field and not have to be out there in the hot sun. Now they can come in and actually be in the air conditioning. It’s a lucrative business,” she said.

Odessa, TX

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