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Mandatory Orientation for Cosmetology

The next mandatory cosmetology orientation for Fall 2024 will take place on:

Monday, July 8th

11:00 a.m. 

COA – Elizabeth City, Room FC121A

Program Overview

College of The Albemarle’s (COA) Cosmetology program, available at COA – Elizabeth City, offers practical instruction in a simulated salon environment and will teach you the theory, scientific and artistic principles, and hands-on skills needed for success in the cosmetology industry.

Degree Options

  • Diploma: 3 Semesters/48 Credit Hours

What You’ll Study

The Cosmetology curriculum is designed to provide competency-based knowledge, scientific/artistic principles, and hands-on fundamentals associated with the cosmetology industry. The curriculum provides a simulated salon environment which enables you to develop manipulative skills. Course work includes instruction in all phases of professional imaging, hair design, chemical processes, skin care, nail care, multi-cultural practices, business/computer principles, product knowledge and other selected topics.

Core Classes

  • Professional imaging
  • Hair design
  • Chemical processes
  • Skin and nail care
  • Multi-cultural practices
  • Business principles
  • Computer skills
  • Product knowledge

Program Details

  • Learn how to apply
  • A mandatory orientation will be held prior to registration and students must attend orientation before being registered
  • COM 101 or PSY 101 must be taken as a co-requisite of COS 111 and COS 112 when entering the Cosmetology program (unless it’s been taken previously or an approved course substitution has been taken previously)
  • Social Security card
  • State-issued photo identification
  • Pens/pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Black Sharpie™ marker
  • Notebook
  • Plastic/Rubbermaid containers
  • Ziplock bags (quart, gallon and extra large sizes)
  • Extra color brushes
  • Extra clips
  • Extra combs
  • Folder/binder
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First aid kit
  • Access to a laptop or tablet for use at school and/or home

Estimated Cost of Supplies and Textbooks

$1,200 – 1,300

On the first day of class, please bring:

  • Pens
  • Folder/binder
  • Books
  • Kit

Cosmetology students’ uniform consists of:

  • Black uniform style top
  • Black uniform style pant
  • Black socks or black stockings
  • Black apron (included in kit purchased from COA bookstore)
  • COA identification badge with protective plastic cover (attached on the top of black apron)
  • Black shoes must meet the following requirements:
    • Closed toe and enclosed back
    • Solid black color (no other color on shoes or socks is acceptable)
    • Athletic or clinic-style shoe
    • Back heel support of at least one inch
  • Black lab jacket is optional (if you’re cold natured this is a good investment as visible shirts cannot be worn under your uniform)

The nature of the Cosmetology profession demands punctuality, dedication and dependability. These professional ethics are obtained by participation in daily classes and lab activities. To ensure that you learn the skills necessary for Cosmetology and progress within the Cosmetology curriculum, attendance is mandatory. Excused absences require appropriate documentation and are as follows:

  • Required court appearance for enrolled student
  • Required military service

The Program Coordinator reserves the right to verify submitted documentation. Although these are excused absences, this doesn’t mean you’d be granted the clock hours for the time missed. It means that you’d be allowed an “Incomplete” in the course enrolled in at that time (if unable to complete all necessary clock hours for that course).

The North Carolina State Board of Cosmetic Arts states that 1500 clock hours must be met in order for a student to qualify for licensure as a cosmetologist. The Cosmetology program is structured so that you’ll receive the necessary clock hours each of the three semesters to complete 1500 clock hours.

  • A student is only allowed to miss so many of the total clock hours per theory or salon/clinic courses during the semester in order to make the hours up at the end of the semester during exam week
  • The maximum time that can be missed in the Cosmetology Concepts/theory classes for the semester is seven class hours for COS 111/113AA (first semester) and COS 113AB/115 (second semester)
  • The maximum time that can be missed in the Salon/lab classes for the semester is 33 class hours for COS 112/COS114AA (first semester) and COS 114AB/COS 116 (second semester)
  • The maximum time that can be missed for COS 117 are two hours and COS 118 are 21 hours

For example: Exceeding the allowable amount of clock hours in COS 111 will result in withdrawal from COS 112 and any other subsequent COS courses enrolled in for the semester.

In order to meet these time requirements you’re responsible for tracking and being constantly aware of your hours. Failure to accrue the proper number of hours for each course will result in non-completion of the program. Hours will be provided to each student on a monthly basis by the Cosmetology department.


The majority of licensed cosmetologists work in salons, providing services such as:

  • Shampooing
  • Cutting
  • Coloring
  • Texturizing
  • Hair styling
  • Manicuring
  • Pedicuring
  • Scalp and facial treatments
  • Makeup analysis

Other opportunities for cosmetologists include roles as:

  • Salon owners
  • Sales representatives
  • Image and fashion consultants
  • Instructors and educators
  • Examiners for state licensing boards

All states require cosmetologists to be licensed in the state in which they work. After graduation, you’ll be able to take the State Board of Cosmetic Arts examination, and will be issued a license upon passing.

Curriculum Guide

Cosmetology Diploma Curriculum Guide (PDF)