NWSCC Salon and Spa student KeAndre Cole works on his cutting techniques for his cosmetology course.

MUSCLE SHOALS, ALA. — Students in the Northwest Shoals Community College (NWSCC) Salon and Spa program are learning virtually how valuable skills like flexibility and self-motivation are to their success in the workforce.

NWSCC Salon and Spa student KeAndre Cole has been forced out of his comfort zone in his online cosmetology classes, and he thinks it will help him in the workforce. “I feel like the online format has really forced me to be more creative and stay self-motivated,” said Cole. “My favorite part of the online environment is the freedom of being able to complete my coursework from home. This has been a huge help since I have a full time job.”

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering is now accepting course work delivered through distance learning platforms. This has allowed the NWSCC Salon and Spa Management program instructors to be creative in the way they instruct and assess their students’ techniques and skills. “This experience has been invaluable for our students,” stated NWSCC Salon and Spa Management instructor MeLinda Grissom. “For the first time, our students have gotten a taste of the freedom they will have in the workforce and the self-motivation they will need to be successful.”

In the Salon and Spa program’s online format, students receive daily instructional videos explaining what is expected, video lectures, and Webex class discussions. Students then submit videos or photos of their work. These include before and after appearances of their cuts, colors, and styles. The most vital part of the students’ success in the program is communication. “Students are provided feedback on all their coursework submissions, and we make sure students have all our contact information,” said Grissom.  

NWSCC Salon and Spa instructors work to provide their students with the quality online courses through Quality Matters. Quality Matters is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer-review process that certifies the quality of online courses. Through this process, reviewers provide instructors and instructional design teams with insights and recommendations that increase learner engagement, retention and satisfaction, and, ultimately, learner achievement.

For more information on the Salon and Spa program at NWSCC, contact MeLinda Grissom at melinda.grissom@nwscc.edu.

About Northwest Shoals Community College:

Northwest Shoals Community College (NWSCC) is part of the Alabama Community College System and home to approximately 3,600 students. NWSCC offers over 100 certificate and degree programs and is committed to providing career technical, academic, and lifelong educational opportunities that promote economic growth and enrich the quality of life for the people it serves. For more information about the NWSCC, visit www.nwscc.edu.