Curl up and dye


Cosmetology program
has high success rates

By Kelsey HeatleyManaging editor

The cosmetology program at Del Mar College offers students hands-on experience in areas such as skin care, haircutting and chemical treatments.

Since fall 2010, the program has had a perfect passing rate on the PSI Licensure certification written exam that is required by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Sandra L. Garcia, an associate professor, said the passing rate has been good throughout the years.

“In 2013 the passing rate for the written exam was 94.6 percent, and it was 96.4 percent for the practical,” said Garcia, who has been teaching cosmetology at Del Mar for 21 years.

“I could say that I was born and raised at Del Mar. I trained at Del Mar for my operator’s license, then came back and trained for my instructor’s license,” Garcia said.

Along with the testing, students have to complete 1,500 clock hours and 42 semester hours from the program.

“Students perform facials, manicures, waxing, haircuts, conditioning treatments and much more,” Garcia said.

According to Garcia, the program can have one man and 24 women each semester. Phillip Bettiga, a 23-year-old cosmetology major, does not find being a male in the program challenging.

“I find it to be more of an advantage. It’s way easier to stand out being a male in a industry idealized as prominently female,” Bettiga said.

According to Bettiga a good amount of time in class is spent learning the regulations and laws states put forward for governing how the cosmetology industry is run.

“There are client days in which we treat the class as a salon and invite friends, family members, and really anyone who is willing to help us get some experience. The tests in class are molded to get us ready for what were going to experience at the state board exam,” Bettiga said.

According to Garcia, the program at Del Mar has an internship with salons in the area participating.

“Students will work in a salon after school and weekends. This will help students get familiar with salon settings and gain knowledge,” Garcia said.

Cosmotology2The hardest part about being in the cosmetology program for Bettiga is time management.

“I’m sure everyone can relate that it’s hard to balance work, school, home life and somehow manage to squeeze in time to rest. However, it does make it easy to get up and go to school when you are pursuing something you are passionate about,” Bettiga said.

The most difficult thing task for Bettiga is getting over the nervousness.

“Our work is always at the center of attention. It can be unnerving having someone watch every more while you’re giving them a manicure,” Bettiga said.

For Garcia the most challenging part of teaching is learning each type of learning style for each student; however, seeing the success is gratifying.

“Seeing the students’ reactions when they completely understand a lesson, or when clients give the students a compliment for a job well done and they tip the students is always rewarding, Garcia said.

Bettiga said he hopes to graduate in December and one day have his own salon.

“I’d recommend the Del Mar cosmetology program over any other because of the experiences shared with me as well as the equal amount of praise that comes from students who attended the program. Anyone thinking about it should just be prepared to put in a lot of hard work,” Bettiga said.

For more information on the cosmetology program visit

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