Conestoga’s state-of-the-art esthetics lab opened at the Kitchener - Doon campus in 2021 to give students an authentic space to learn essential esthetician skills. Inside the pristine space, students in the two-year diploma program hone their skills in nail care, body treatments and customer service.
Lorri Sauvé, chair of human services in the School of Community Services, in the college's esthetics lab.
The Esthetician program combines theoretical and practical experience to prepare graduates to work in a variety of settings or run their own salon, delivering treatments that include waxing, manicure, pedicure, facial treatments and other skin-care procedures.
“We’re trying to give that atmosphere of a spa,” said Lorri Sauvé, chair of human services in the School of Community Services. “I always feel good when I come in here.”
The lab is equipped with specialized stations like those found in a salon where the students practise their craft, starting with the foundations in the first year and building to an advanced level in the second. They also have supervised placements in local spas.
Instructors take pride in helping their students develop exceptional techniques, and graduates are in demand and getting hired because they have superior skills. The amount of hands-on learning time increases as students move through the program. By graduation, they’ll have logged an impressive 588 hours of practical learning.
“We work really hard on getting them all that lab experience with experts,” Sauvé said.
The esthetician program started out as continuing education in a borrowed classroom. Now with the new learning space, it’s growing quickly to reach about 400 students currently enrolled.
The first class graduated in June. Employment opportunities include spas, salons, health centres, retail beauty counters and working with dermatologists and other medical skin professionals.
Professionalism is a big focus in the program to prepare students for employment. White lab coats and name badges are worn by the students, who are required to have a tidy appearance.
Course work is practised on fellow students, but Conestoga employees also have the opportunity to help the estheticians in training. “Models” are needed when the students complete their practical exams.
This year, walk-in esthetician services began to be offered at the lab on Fridays by the second-year students. Employees can enjoy manicures, pedicures, facials and other body treatments for free with no reservation required.
Conestoga’s School of Community Services is a leader in translating students’ passions for working with people and making a difference in community into successful careers in human services and community safety.
Learn more about the Esthetician two-year diploma program.