Building S Exterior

Two Allan Hancock College programs that can be completed in less than one year offer students creative career paths with minimal cost. The cosmetology and manicuring programs are both offered through a contracted-training partnership at the Institute of Beauty Culture in Santa Maria. Classes begin September 15.

“Cost savings are the real benefit to the program,” said Holly Costello, cosmetology coordinator at Allan Hancock College. “If you were to pay for this program as a private student, the cost would be over $7,000, but Hancock students get a highly reduced cost. Also, if they are eligible, they can take advantage of the Board of Governors (BOG) fee waiver.”

Through Hancock’s program, the registration fees for the manicuring program are $295 with an $845 kit purchase requirement, while the fees for the cosmetology class are $1,180 with an $809 kit purchase requirement.

Perhaps even more significant are the career opportunities the program makes available to students in a relatively short amount of time. The cosmetology program requires 1,600 hours of training and takes only 42 weeks to complete, while the manicuring program requires 400 hours of training and takes only 11 weeks to complete. Classes begin every six to seven weeks throughout the year. All training is hands-on and attendance is mandatory. By the end of each program, students are well prepared to take the California State Board of Cosmetology licensure examination. With a state license in cosmetology they are qualified to work in beauty salons or own and operate their own.

“It really gives people the opportunity to do something creative,” said Shelby Elkins, manager and lead instructor at the Institute of Beauty Culture. “It’s a way to turn a creative outlet into a wonderful career and a good income.”

Elkins, who has worked in the industry for over 45 years including 10 years teaching in Santa Maria, emphasized that while the program is just a start, it can open students up to a variety of careers that are not just behind chairs. “Whether it be sales, color specialists, entertainment stylists, you name it, a world of opportunities opens up to our students,” she said. “And they start with this knowledge here.”

Careers available through the cosmetology and manicurist programs include hairdressers, barbers, nail technicians, manicurists, skin care specialists, aroma therapists, massage therapists, makeup artists and much more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that beginning cosmetologists can earn anywhere from $26,000 to around $70,000 depending on experience and industry.

According to Elkins, the teaching philosophy at the Institute of Beauty Culture goes hand in hand with Hancock’s “Start here. Go anywhere.” motto. “There are so many opportunities everywhere for our students,” she said. “The more you’re willing to open yourself up and continue learning after the program, the more opportunities you’ll find for success.”

Students interested in the cosmetology or manicuring programs through Allan Hancock College can apply for admissions online at Before registering for a program, first-time Hancock students need to take the START placement test in basic skills. If applicable, students can contact the financial aid department by visiting aid or calling (805) 922-6966 ext. 3216 to apply for the BOG waiver.

Once registered at Hancock, students can then contact the beauty school for an orientation by calling (805) 349-0200. The beauty college will put them on a waiting list for the next available class. The week before classes start, the beauty school will give the CRN number needed to register online.

For more information about the cosmetology or manicuring programs available through Allan Hancock College contact Holly Costello, cosmetology coordinator at (805) 922-6966 ext. 3045.