Education Feature: Students gear up for classes

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Amber Rosales, 22, registered Wednesday for cosmetology classes at Clovis Community College. This will be Rosales’ first semester attending CCC.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Amber Rosales worked 30-hour weeks to support her two children after dropping out of high school.

But the 22-year-old is taking steps to change her life’s direction.

“Working minimum wage jobs wasn’t enough,” she said.

Rosales, who received her general equivalency diploma, registered Wednesday for her first semester at Clovis Community College where she will be working toward an associate’s degree in cosmetology.

“I’ve always known that I was going to study cosmetology,” she said.

She is also adding her knowledge to a hobby that earns her money on the side.

“I make beaded jewelry,” she said holding up an earring she made. “I’m going to learn how to make gold jewelry and setting stones.”

Classes at CCC start Monday, and about 2,500 people have already registered, according to vice president for institutional effectiveness David Caffey.

But that number can change a week after school starts.

“There’s really not much you can say until you get to a benchmark point such as … the 12-day census date,” he said.

Full-time equivalency, which is the number of total credit hours divided by a full-time load, is at 1,200 students this year. Caffey said that number could increase once late registration is completed. Equivalency for last year was 1,606, according to Caffey.

Marketing and communications director Lisa Spencer said cosmetology is a popular course at the college.

“It’s always full,” she said. “I think there’s a certain aptitude toward cosmetology, that it is a very lucrative career choice, because there’s several different segments that you could go into.”

Students can also earn cosmetology licenses from the college, something Rosales said she plans to do.

College administrators are looking into adding a new program in the cosmetology course.

“It’s called an aesthetician program,” Spencer said. “It’s something to where they will be able to give facials and work more with the skin.”

The allied health courses are also popular, Caffey said. There are 126 students enrolled this year, which is 26 more than last year.

“Nursing is just pretty much pedal to the metal all the time, because the state of New Mexico and probably also the state of Texas are very much in need of nurses,” Caffey said.

Two computer classes have also been added this year. These are four-week computer networking classes that meet once a week, according to Spencer.

“There seems to be a big demand, just nationwide, for four- to eight-week courses,” she said.

Monday – Classes begin
Aug. 31 – Last day to register and add/drop classes
Sept. 4 – Last day for full refunds
Sept. 9 – Last day for half refunds
Sept. 28 – Graduation application deadline