Major GTI class closing in 2016


Nichole Smith, Reporter

           The Granite Technical Institute (GTI) is closing their cosmetology and barbering program in May 2016, which only leaves Medical Terminology, Animal Science, Biology Agricultural Science, Veterinary Assistant, and Landscaping . It takes away the chance for students to start on their career earlier and makes it considerably harder to pay for. The tuition at the GTI is $160, while comparable programs at Paul Mitchell the School run is $17,625 for the same amount of training.

Despite protest from faculty, students, and the community, Kimmy Smith (real name withheld)said, “I always went to night school because the administration had mentioned there wasn’t enough student’s in night school, and that it might help keep the program open for one more year so juniors can graduate,” the program will come to a close May  2016, as was announced in September 2015. Cyndi Mead said “This program is closing because, private schools haven’t been exactly happy that the GTI offers education at such a discounted rate. They have pushed for years to see us close doors. The GTI is tired of fighting these people because it requires time and money to fight. They decided to give up the fight.”

Students spend their time and money on higher education. In return, they expect to get a high-paying job. According to the May 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ online report, the median pay for cosmetologists in Utah is $10.81. “Many private schools charge between $18,000 and $26,000 for 10 months of full time schooling,” an instructor from GTI said.

At any rate, the decision is final; the building currently housing the program will soon be razed, and the students who remain to complete their 1,600 hours of required experience will be able to get the opportunity to look at many schools while the instructors are currently looking at schools that may be best for students, where they will be able to continue classes, provide affordable services for the community and shave off required hours of experience. Heather (real name withheld)said, “When I found out GTI was closing I was heartbroken, all that went through my head was what school I’d go to now. I searched schools that might be close by where I live and nothing is close to me or they all were too expensive. I finally went to American Beauty to look at the school and see how everything would be if I went there. I got to talk to Monica, one of the instructors, she let me know that they would take $500 off of my tuition because I go to GTI. My tuition now is $14,000 and it’s the cheapest school I could find.”

Worried that the move to a different school will impact their clientele base, many students are eager to finish their hours as soon as possible.  Samantha said, “I had missed mandatory classes at my own high school so I could go to GTI every day to get more hours and more training to graduate with my Cosmetology license.” Students who don’t complete their required hours of experience by May 2016 will have to find a new school.

This is why students need more people willing to get haircuts, colors, perms, facials, manicures, pedicures and waxes, before and after the move. Students are also required to give a number of “old-school” shaves. “ I am not even going to look for anything else right now. My students deserve 100% of my time I owe that to them. I am trying to give them as much education as I can in these last few months. I want them to stand out when they go to their next school. I want the other schools to know how beneficial this course was to these students. I’m so proud of them a lot of students would have given up but most of our students have been here everyday to earn every hour they can before the program closes. That is determination!” Cyndi said.