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PA offers new opportunities for cosmetology and barber students


Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Departments of State and Education announced that they are launching a pilot program to provide additional opportunities for students in cosmetology and barber Career and Technical Center (CTC) programs to earn educational hours and practical experience.

The pilot also will allow CTC educators in these programs the flexibility necessary to assist their students in obtaining all the required education hours prior to their planned graduation date.

“The Department of State is proud to partner with the Department of Education on this pilot to help high school students enrolled in Career and Technical Education programs gain academic, technical and real-world skills,” said Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar. “These programs prepare students for many postsecondary options, including direct entry into skilled careers, apprenticeships and college.”

For students interested in becoming a cosmetologist or barber, Pennsylvania has 72 cosmetology programs and three barber programs within CTCs. To become a licensed cosmetologist or barber, 1,250 hours of instruction are required. CTC students typically complete these hours over a period of three years (grades 10, 11 and 12) with classes that address specific subjects and tasks necessary for the state board examination and entry-level job skills, as well as a high school diploma.

The pilot consists of three major components by which cosmetology and barber CTC students may earn educational credit toward their respective 1,250-hour instruction requirements: (1) up to 650 hours of distance education, including practical skills review; (2) up to 350 hours of internships and job shadowing; and (3) the remainder to come from traditional in-person instruction.

“The opportunity to develop new and innovative pathways for residents of the commonwealth to reach their professional aspirations of becoming cosmetologists and barbers is a goal the department,” said Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega. “I am always encouraged by efforts to grow our technical and education programs in an effort to enhance the trade industries across PA.”

Full details regarding the pilot program may be found on the Department of State’s website.

Pennsylvania is home to more than 1,700 approved career and technical education programs, offered in over 200 schools including 80-plus regional CTCs and more than 140 high schools. The pilot program will remain available to cosmetology and barber CTC students for the remainder of the current school year (2020-21) and next school year (2021-22), subject to further extension by the Departments of State and Education.

More information about professional licensing in Pennsylvania is available on the Department of State’s website.