Cuyahoga Falls -- For more than a year, Georgie International Beauty Institute has been educating students on everything involving hair, nails and skin while also providing the community with a student-run salon.
The school, located at 69 Graham Road, provides a number of programs for students interested in cosmetology, esthiology and manicuring. There is also a salon component, which is a student-training area that allows students to practice their skills on clients.
The school officially opened April 1, 2014 and began its first class on April 28. The school was founded by Georgie Herro, a stylist who has a salon in Fairlawn and has traveled around the world honing his craft.
"It was always a dream of his to take his knowledge further," said Samantha Bonsignore, admissions director at the school. "He's from around (Cuyahoga Falls) and decided it was a great place to have the school."
The cosmetology program, which trains students in hair and nails, requires 1,500 hours of study. Full time, this takes 10 to 12 months to complete or 16 to 18 months if studying part time. Students study anatomy of the body, chemistry and properties of hair and nails, hair coloring and cutting, hair styling, permanent waving, relaxers, branding a business and sanitation.
The esthiology program takes 600 hours to complete, designed to take five months. Students study anatomy, chemistry, specialized equipment and treatments, massage, facials, makeup, sanitation and salon operation.
The manicuring program is a 200-hour curriculum requiring two to three months of part-time study. Students learn anatomy, physiology, hand, arm and leg massage, manicuring procedures, artificial nails, specialized equipment, salon operations and sanitation.
The school also offers management programs in each of the different fields. Cosmetology takes 300 hours, esthiology requires 150 hours and manicuring takes 100 hours.
While each program teaches students different topics, they are all set up in a similar format. Students begin learning through demonstrations and lectures in a classroom setting and start practicing on mannequins. Next, they begin practicing their skills on others, eventually working on the clinic floor after passing state requirements. All of this is in preparation to pass their state board exam, which allows them to work in a salon.
According to Sal Bonsignore, artistic director at the school, most students are full time, but there is a mixture of the ages of students. He said they even have some students who are 16 years old, which is the minimum age to enroll.
The programs are open enrollment year-round. The school is private pay and doesn't accept financial aid, but Samantha said it is in candidate status for accreditation which will eventually allow it to accept aid.
Currently, the State Board passing rate for the school's students is 100 percent, with 100 percent finding employment after receiving their license, said Samantha.