Nailing it: COA resumes manicure program


College of The Albemarle student Melanny Gutierrez (left) gives Ann Jones a manicure during Gutierrez’s manicuring class at COA in Elizabeth City on Tuesday. COA recently resumed its certificate program in manicuring after a decade-long hiatus.


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

College of The Albemarle is again offering students a certificate in manicuring after a decade-long hiatus.

Sheila McCoy, COA’s manicuring instructor, said Tuesday that the program just started again in January after last being offered 10 years ago.

“So we’re excited to bring it back,” she said.

As part of the program, manicure and pedicure services are being offered to the public two days a week when the course is in session. Services are performed by students under the supervision of an instructor.

The services, which started June 20, are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays through July 25. The shop at COA opens at 9:30 a.m. and service cut-off times are 1 p.m. for manicures, 12:30 p.m. for pedicures. noon for mani-pedi combinations, and 11:30 a.m. for artificial nail enhancements.

Seven members of the public took advantage of the services June 20 and another seven showed up on Tuesday.

Cayla Butler was one of the students who had a customer on Tuesday. She was pleased with how it went and says she’s enjoyed the class so far.

“I have always wanted to do nails,” Butler said.

The course covers all kinds of designs and techniques.

“We do nail art and all that,” Butler said.

Butler said she enjoys bright colors and interesting designs and likes to have her own nails looking good.

“We sit here and do our own, too,” she said.

McCoy explained that after students complete 300 hours of classroom and lab instruction they are eligible to take the state certification exam.

Some of the students enrolled in the course own their own business and want to expand the services they offer. Some are already employed at a salon that wants to expand its offerings. Still others are planning to take a job in a salon.

“It’s really a combination, which is good,” McCoy said.

McCoy said the college has reached out to local salons to promote the course, and some of the salons are actively recruiting students to come work for them.

She said the college is trying to get the word out that the manicuring program is back.

“It’s a great program and it’s a needed trade,” McCoy said. “As a salon owner, and hearing from other salon owners, we think it’s great because there’s definitely a need.”

Kevin Pharm, owner and operator of Studio Nails on Ehringhaus Street, agreed that trained employees are needed.

“I think there is a high demand for it,” Pharm said.

Pharm said he doesn’t view the services offered at COA as competition with his business. He said he’s glad students are learning the manicuring trade and hopes they also understand that the job requires a lot of hard work.

Butler said she has a friend in Edenton who owns a salon and she might go to work there after she completes the course.

“I haven’t decided yet,” she said.

The current semester for COA students runs Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., through July 30.

The cost for students to take the manicuring course is $180, plus the cost of a textbook and a kit. Students may register online at www.albemarle.edu or call 335-0821 ext. 2250.