A cosmetology school is more than just a place to learn how to cut and style hair.
They are places of learning and growth where a skill that has been mastered over centuries is taught, where futures are built, and lifelong friendships are made.
Cosmetology is a complicated skill that is best taught by a highly trained instructor, someone who has mastered the skill over years of work. Because the facilities are not traditional schools with dorms and football teams, however, cosmetology schools are often buried under a reputation of being wastes of money or scams.
It’s a sad reality that many schools face. It’s even sadder still because there are cosmetology schools out there that have caused this blemish. It is for that reason that there is a national accreditation council that holds schools to a standard to ensure that students can get a quality education. In addition to accreditation, there are many other ways to tell if a school is a good investment, as well as a good fit for you and your future.
But how do you tell if a school is accredited? Or if they have associations that make them viable? The answer is surprisingly easy.
National Accrediting Commision of Career Arts and Sciences
The National Accrediting Commision of Career Arts and Sciences, or NACCAS, is the association that monitors beauty schools and their accreditation. Accreditation is a complicated process that includes additional classes and financial responsibilities in order to complete. In fact, the school can’t even begin the process until after they have been opened for a few years. During that time the school must have shown substantial focus on the standards of NACCAS and be taking steps toward accreditation.
Because of this gap in time between opening and application, there will obviously be some schools that do not have their accreditation. This does not mean that they are bad schools, but doing your due diligence in your interview process to find out if a school is in the application process, or nearing it, can give you a better idea as to if they are still a worthwhile investment.
Beyond the national accreditation, there are endorsements that a school can get that could set them to an even higher standard and ensure that the education you find behind their doors will see you into the career you are pursuing.
We are speaking of brand association.
Many beauty schools operate under a franchise. The Salon Professional Academy, or TSPA, is one such franchise. When a school is part of a franchise, they pay a yearly franchise fee, and in turn have access to training opportunities and education staples while being held to a standard of what the franchise expects. If a school falls below that standard they could lose their franchise association. Franchises exist everywhere. You find them in fast food, car repair garages, and even massage spas. They are built as a kind of gatekeeper, verifying that their locations deliver products and services to a standard that the public has come to expect. By aligning a school with a franchise such as TSPA, it is accomplishing the same thing: a service set to a standard. By choosing a school that operates under a franchise you are getting an additional level of service and expectation, often above the NACCAS standard.
The other type of brand association occurs with a product or salon brand. As you research cosmetology schools you may find that most are associated with a brand, such as Redken. By aligning themselves with a brand, they are often gaining access to additional training and products from the brand. As a Redken Diamond Academy, TSPA Dallas’s instructors participate in exclusive yearly training and products and techniques are shown and distributed to our school before many others. Each brand that endorses a school will have different benefits and opportunities for the salon and it’s students, so make sure to find a brand that fits with you. One thing is clear, however, attending a school that is aligned with a brand will add an additional standard for your school to be held to.
With so many different ways that a school can be aligned and accredited it’s important that you find a school that is right fit for you.
To find out how TSPA Dallas uses its accreditations, franchise and brand affiliations to benefit their students, schedule a tour.