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TCAT to offer cosmetology
TCAT cosmo.jpg
Kristy Hale, a seasoned veteran in the hair care industry since 1998, is the instructor for Tennessee College of Applied Technology's new cosmetology program, which starts in January.

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology campus in McMinnville is looking to get all dolled up.

The college is offering a new full-time cosmetology program in January with registration currently under way.

“This is a great program because it’s an entrepreneurial endeavor that produces a liveable wage,” said TCAT McMinnville interim president Nathan Garrett. “It gives people a chance to start their own business in their community and small businesses are the backbone of economic growth.”

Longtime cosmetologist Kristy Hale, a 22-year industry veteran, is the course instructor. She said students can finish the course in 15 months and expect to make around $20,000 a year starting out. However, Hale said annual income can climb over $100,000 as hair stylists build their clientele.

“This career can be so much more than standing behind a chair,” said Hale.

When the course begins in January, classes will be held Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A room that had been mainly used for storage was transformed into a state-of-the art training facility with work stations for 20 students and also pedicure stations.

“We had the talent,” said Garrett, while motioning toward Hale, “and we had the space. So at that point it became incumbent on our leadership to make it happen.”

Garrett said the pandemic has “thrown off everyone’s equilibrium,” but he added, “now is the perfect time to get a new skill set.”

Enrollment at TCAT McMinnville has shown residents are indeed receptive to learning a new skill. Garrett said enrollment is up 9.6% from the fall of 2019 to the fall of 2020. He said the new cosmetology class, coupled with a new nursing class, should boost enrollment even further.

The cosmetology program had only been part-time and offered at nights at Coffee County Central High School. The Tennessee Board of Regents approved expanding the program to full-time in September and relocating it to the McMinnville campus.

Class begins Jan. 3, 2021. 

More information about the program and how to apply can be found on the TCAT McMinnville website: or by calling (931) 473-5587. You can also use your smartphone to scan the code included in this story to direct you to the website.