The Colorado Northwestern Community College Cosmetology program has always been good but with new program director Erica Dreckman, the program is on its way to being even better.
Dreckman came to run the program nearly four months ago, leaving a teaching position in Fort Collins to do so.
And although Dreckman said the program was good before she got there, she has some changes in mind to help improve the program, including a change in curriculum.
Currently using the Milady curriculum, Dreckman said she’s in the process of making a switch to Pivot Point, a curriculum she believes caters to her students better than Milady.
“Cosmetologists are very visual people,” Dreckman said. “Pivot Point plays to that. It’s a change for the better.”
Dreckman said she is also bringing in classes her students may not necessarily find a need for in Craig, but if they go elsewhere they may, such as ethnic hair straightening.
Dreckman said the move was a good change for her, and said she feels like she fits in to the Craig community.
Her students agree.
Stephanie Peterson, a student in the yearlong cosmetology program, said the college hiring Dreckman was probably the best decision it has made.
“She’s wonderful,” Peterson said. “We appreciate everything she does for us. She’s really hands on and has a lot of good and interesting ways to teach.”
Dreckman speaks highly of her students as well.
“The students hearts are really in it up here,” Dreckman said. “They’re very respectful of the industry.”
A yearlong program, Colorado requires students have 60 credits of hands on experience, the equivalent of 1800 hours.
Students in the program get the hours by working with clients from the community at the college’s salon.
Since they’re students, appointments are cheaper but may take a little longer, Dreckman said. Dreckman said instructors are on hand at all times to help students, but also said her students are as good as any stylist out there.
The salon offers hair and nail services, as well as massage and skin treatments.
Currently open for appointments from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 4 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dreckman said she is looking to move to being open Saturdays in the summer.
Dreckman said the program has room for 26, and the school is working on marketing to help inform community members of their presence and enroll students.
“I think it’s a good program,” Peterson said. “I come from Yampa every day, so it has to be good for me to spend that much time coming over and doing it. I’m not going to waste my time on a program that’s not beneficial.”
Dreckman said she has a mix of students, ranging from high school students participating in concurrent enrollment to students starting their second careers.
Thanking the community, Dreckman said the program wouldn’t be possible without it.
“I can’t even stress the amount of support we get from the community. We wouldn’t be able to make it without them,” Dreckman said.
As for connecting with the community and students, Peterson said Dreckman has no problem doing so.
“There’s something about her that really connects with everyone there,” Peterson said.
Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org