At a Glance
Students in the cosmetology program at Fayette County Career and Technical Institute (FCCTI) adopt a theme for the annual Open House to help engage and recruit prospective students.
Each year FCCTI cosmetology students select a theme around which to plan the annual Open House. The process sparks the students’ excitement for the Open House, and it motivates them to highlight the benefits of enrolling in the cosmetology program. To select a theme, students first suggest and then vote on ideas. Once a theme is adopted, the students incorporate its elements into their costume decorations and hairstyles. They use items found at FCCTI and thrift stores.
For the 2018-2019 school year, the students selected a Wizard of Oz theme because of the values and messages it teaches. For example, the scarecrow’s search for a brain encourages thinking. The students likened the lion’s search for courage to the courage required of students to enroll in FCCTI, choose a program area and focus on achieving their career goals. The students viewed the idea of “over the rainbow” as encouragement for students to “dream big” in the field of cosmetology because it entails a lot of art, creativity and imagination. (To view pictures from the event, click here.) In past years, themes included Disney characters and Halloween.
Open Houses are held in the fall and spring of each school year. Cosmetology students are not required to go to the event, but they are encouraged to do so because it provides them an opportunity to show off their skill set and creativity. The students begin planning for Open House a couple weeks in advance. They practice hairstyles and decide on final looks, costumes and decorations. On the day before the event students decorate the room, and on the day of, they get into costume and complete the hair and make-up of others. During the Open House, students are set up in their prepared areas and are available to greet guests and answer any questions they may have about the program.
The cosmetology instructors believe the themed Open House helps to recruit students because it is creative and memorable. They also find that the current cosmetology students benefit from preparing for the themed event because it affords them the opportunity to use their cosmetology skills in an imaginative and meaningful way.
Fayette County Career and Technical Institute
Cheryl Olson, Cosmetology Instructor