South Suburban College announces development of Barber College

Pending approval from Illinois Community College Board

information provided by South Suburban College

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (December 24, 2019) – The South Suburban College (SSC) Board of Trustees unanimously approved the establishment of a new Barber College at its December 12 Board Meeting. SSC’s goal is for the Barber College to launch its first class during the Fall 2020 Semester. The program has been submitted to the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) and is pending approval. Construction for a new, fully equipped barbering facility has already begun in a highly visible first-floor location at the college’s main campus in South Holland.

SSC President Dr. Lynette D. Stokes (left) and Matt Beasland, Dean of Adult & Continuing Education, helped kick off construction for a new Barber College at South Suburban College in mid December. (Photo provided)

“We are extremely pleased by the response from the community as we researched several new programs that will be coming to South Suburban College,” said Dr. Lynette D. Stokes, SSC President. “Barbering can be a lucrative career that provides entrepreneurial opportunities. This new educational track will be much more accessible and affordable through our community college than the alternative options available to our constituents.”

Dr. Stokes said the barbering program was established in part by a Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) grant that SSC received through the ICCB, which included funding for several new in-demand programs. The WEI project is designed to create, support, and expand short-term workforce training opportunities in high need areas within SSC District #510. Through expanded access, opportunity, and support services, the project is anticipated to yield impactful outcomes for individuals, families, communities, and local businesses.

WEI provides wrap-around services including comprehensive financial assistance and academic support to participating students within five program areas providing stackable credentials including Nursing and Patient Care Technician (PCT), Basic Nursing Assistance Training Program (BNATP), Community Healthcare Worker (CHW), and Certified Production Technician (CPT) in addition to the barbering program. Students who are not selected to participate in the grant will still benefit from the opportunity to enroll in the following new programs.

About the curriculum

The Barbering curriculum is a 12-month credit program leading to professional certification. SSC will be offering a 50-hour Barber Technician (BT) Certificate and a 65-hour Associate of Applied Science Degree in Barbering track for students seeking a college degree as a part of the program. Both tracks will include preparation and testing for National Barbering Written Licensing Examination, which is essential to applying for licensure in Illinois.

“South Suburban College’s Barbering program will be the only active public Barber School in the state,” added Matt Beasland, Dean of Adult & Continuing Education and administrator over the Barber College. “It will provide our students with quick access to a career credential that can lead to family-sustaining wages.”

Career projections

According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a barber in Illinois is $42,930, or $20.64 per hour, with an increase in demand of 9% by 2026. In the southland area, there are currently 286 new job openings for barbers.

The Barbering program at SSC will offer programming and support at a fraction of the cost to attend area proprietary institutions.

More information about the Barber School and the WEI programs at SSC is available:

About South Suburban College

South Suburban College is a community college located in South Holland, Illinois, serving 21 communities, including parts of the Chicago Southland and northwest Indiana. SSC provides a variety of support services and leadership opportunities to its students in addition to a wide range of academic program options. More information about SSC is available at www.ssc.edu.

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