January 29, 2009


The NACC Salon Institute – On the Cutting Edge

The ultra-modern Salon Institute operated by Northeast Alabama Community College in Scottsboro has expanded its training and services, all of which are available to the public. There is an air of excitement at one of North Alabama’s most stylish and advanced training centers. Enrollment is on the rise with approximately 90 students currently training in personal development, career building, and the art and science of beautifying and improving the skin, nails, and hair.

“The Salon Institute is on the cutting edge when it comes to up-to-date training, technology, customer service, and a professional and friendly atmosphere,” states Julise Clement, Cosmetology Instructor and Director of the Salon Institute. “We are very proud to be a part of the community in which we serve and so privileged to be a part of this growing program.” Clement notes that the Salon Institute helps fulfill the college’s mission of providing accessible quality educational opportunities, promoting economic growth in the area, and improving the quality of life for the people of Alabama through workforce training.

The Salon Institute has been open for 1½ years. It is located in Suite 500 in the Liberty Square Shopping Center across from the Western Sizzlin’ in Scottsboro. The 5,000 square feet facility is state of the art. “Dr. David Campbell (NACC President), Dr. Joe Burke (Vice President/Dean of Instruction), Larry Guffey (Dean of Administrative Services), and Mike Kennamer (Director of Workforce Development) had the foresight to add this program at the right time and at the right place,” said Clement.

In addition to Clement, Regina Gilliland is a full-time instructor of Cosmetology and Color Specialist. As a means of providing the latest in product knowledge and for professional development, “We also invite specialists in from Redkin, CHI, Mizanti, Dermalogica, Tammy Taylor, OPI, and others to do classes,” said Clement.

New at the Institute being offered is a separate certificate in Nail Technology. Instructor Lori Mathews teaches manicuring, pedicuring, acrylics, gel, fiberglass nails, nail art and advanced nail techniques. Upon completion, the student should be able to perform the skills necessary to obtain a license and job.

“Plans are to increase the number of classes in Esthetics and Massage therapy in the near future with the addition of new equipment for advanced techniques training,” added Clement.

A successful dual enrollment program in cosmetology is already in place for Jackson County high school students through the Earnest Pruett Center for Technology.

“Mrs. Clement and her staff do an outstanding job in teaching students and managing the Salon Institute,” Dr. Campbell said. “Mrs. Clement is a very experienced and talented Instructor, and her skills in interior design really show at the Salon Institute. We welcome anyone to stop by and tour the facility and of course it is open to customers for service. Mrs. Clement worked closely with the building owner, Mr. D. I. Pruett, in the design and layout of the interior of the building, and I think the results of those efforts are very evident.”

Current students are eager to share their experiences at The Salon Institute. Alyssa Headrick of Sherwood, Tennessee grew up around a salon environment and knew it was for her. “I have had a great experience here at The Salon Institute,” she said. “I have learned how to manage a salon as well as haircutting, texture services, color, esthetics and nails. It has been worth the drive. It is a great school and I love the environment, the teachers, and the facility."

Recent graduate Ashley Deering of Fort Payne is thankful for “all the clientele. All the manikins in the world cannot prepare you like a real client can. I now feel confident and prepared.” She explains that the Salon Institute is like working in a real salon, with new techniques being learned that are used in salons today. “We study and practice to prepare for the Licensure Board Examination, and we leave confident in ourselves and our work, ready for today's workforce."

Becky Williams Thompson of Bridgeport agrees that the program puts the student in a real salon atmosphere. “Working on a real person puts everything in perspective,” she offered. “And, our facility is like one in a big city. We use the best of everything. I know that I am getting the right tools that I need to be successful and I have a job waiting for me when I get out of school. I will always be thankful for this experience."

"I was so surprised when I saw how much chemistry and biology we had to learn,” said Crystal Jones, fourth semester student. “I had no idea we would have to learn to analyze the hair, skin and nails, and learn their disorders and irregularities. I have truly learned so much more than I ever thought possible.”

Hannah Smith, fourth semester student, said, “Everyone loves it here. The clients are always telling us how nice everyone is and how well trained we are. The facility is beautiful and we are lucky to have such a place in Scottsboro."

It is projected that job opportunities in the cosmetology field will grow at a slightly faster rate than the average of all occupations through the year 2016 according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition. “And, according to recent national news reports, the salon industry has not experienced a down turn in this economy,” said Clement. “People are still getting their hair and nails done – that is one thing that appears not to have changed.” Cosmetology as a field is both a skill and an art and the Salon Institute stresses creative as well as specific skills training.

“We encourage you to come by and see what all is going on at The Salon Institute,” said Clement. “With this type of facility and all that we have to offer how could you not want to check us out? I think you will be pleasantly surprised!”

Currently, the Salon Institute is beautifully decorated for Valentine’s Day. Between now and Valentine’s Day, Salon Gift Cards with special gift wrapping and chocolate kisses may be purchased.

The Salon Institute hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 8 am until 3 pm, and Thursday from 8 am until 8 pm.

For an appointment or for more information about
The NACC Salon Institute, call 259-1512 or e-mail

(Above right)
Greeting you to the Salon Institute are seated, Elyse Griffin and Regina Williams, NACC students, and standing, Cosmetology Instructor and Director of the Salon Institute, Julise Clement.

(Right) Elyse Griffin demonstrates a facial technique.

(Below) Classroom photo at the Salon Institute. Approximately 90 students currently are enrolled in Cosmetology.

(Article written by and photos taken by Debra A. Barrentine, Director of Promotions and Marketing at NACC.)