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Partnership between USUE Cosmetology, hair salon chain provides students practical work experience



By Kalli Prendergast

When Great Clips opened in Price in 2015, Associate Professor of Cosmetology Debbie Prichard and local owners created a connection. They believed this partnership would benefit the local Great Clips and the program at Utah State University Eastern. “They needed us and we needed them,” Prichard said.  
Great Clips donates equipment, training supplies and stylebooks every year to USU Eastern’s program. Last year Great Clips worked hard to create a mentorship program in its salon to give students hands-on experience. Once the mentorship program in place, USU Eastern students would spend two days at Great Clips “working” in the business. This allowed the cosmetology students to see life post-school. They would cut hair alongside professionals, learning the tools of the trade in the real world. 
This also allowed for potential job opportunities, Prichard said. Great Clips will hire students to work throughout the year, and when they move home for summer, Great Clips transfers them to a location near their home.  
“They’re not just going to beauty school, they’re going to college as well,” she said. These students maintain school-credit hours, along with spending five days a week, seven hours a day in the cosmetology classroom learning, practicing and working hard to graduate with the necessary hours to complete the program. These students also maintain extracurricular activates such as student athletes, student ambassadors and student tutors.   
Great Clips managers noticed the effort and the drive the students had for the cosmetology program.  The managers believed the best way to help the students is to provide financial help to assist in helping them pay for their schooling.  
They made available scholarships in the amount of $500 for cosmetology students to apply for. An application process was put into place that included writing an essay as to why they would benefit from the scholarship, what their future looks like and their goals.  
Employees of Great Clips decided the winners and selected four students from the community to present the scholarships to: Tia Mondragon, Tommy Pacheco, Megan Campbell and Shannon Theobald. 
This was the first time in Great Clips history, a local owner reached out and made a scholarship providing back to the town and local University. 
Prichard said the students were grateful for the scholarships and the connection that USU Eastern and the local owners established. This bond benefits them now, during school as well as post-school job opportunities.

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