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Cosmetology Program Permanently Closes

After a lengthy and thorough review process, Seattle Vocational Institute’s (SVI) cosmetology program is slated to be shut down today, marking the end of the spring quarter.

Liliana Orbulescu is just one of four students graduating from the program this Tuesday. “We’re the last who made it through and it’s going to be sad to see everybody go knowing that a lot of people can benefit from it,” Orbulescu said. She said the last two quarters have been challenging, yet rewarding. “Because there were only four of us we got the handle of how a real salon would actually work because we were double booked, triple booked, and we would come in early and stay late to help our clients,” she added.

The announcement of the school’s closure, made at the April Board of Trustees meeting, came after the program experienced declining enrolment and suffered from a low student to faculty ratio. In an email shared with faculty and staff following the board meeting, President Sheila Lange wrote that, “several serious challenges have made continuing the program untenable, despite the best efforts of its dedicated faculty, staff, students, and Technical Advisory Committee members.”

The program viability process is one of several strategies that supports enrollment management and the responsible use of instructional resources. Other challenges that became clear after the viability process were low and declining competition rates and inadequate facility conditions and equipment. Lange also noted that the income earnings for graduates are below living wage, yet another factor that that prompted the program’s closure. “Our goal is to provide educational pathways for in-demand and living-wage careers our community needs,” Lange wrote, adding that she believes this move is in the college’s best interest.

After the program closes, the salon space will be leased out. Moving forward, Lange said the administration will continue to conduct these program viability processes districtwide to ensure resources are used efficiently. If you are interested in studying cosmetology or are looking for schools with comparable prices and services, SVI suggests the following:

Clover Park Technical College
Lakewood Campus
4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499

Evergreen Beauty College
Renton Campus
1222 Bronson Way N, Renton, WA 98057

Bellevue Campus
14045 NE 20th St Suite B, Bellevue, WA 98007

Everett Campus
802 SE Everett Mall Way, Everett, WA 98208

Gary Manuel Aveda Institute
1514 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Gene Juarez Academy
Mountlake Terrace campus
6007 A 244th St SW, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043

Federal Way campus
2222 South 314th St, Federal Way, WA 98003

Tint (Inside Macy’s downtown)
300 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy
18336 Aurora Ave N #103, Shoreline, WA 98133

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