San Jac Certified: Stylist on the fast track to success

08.27.2015 | By Rob Vanya

College training served as a career accelerator for San Jac Certified cosmetology graduate Roberta Garcia, shown applying makeup to client Amy Henley at the Helloo Beautiful Me salon. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.


‘There’s more to cosmetology than brush, curl, and lipstick’


San Jacinto College cosmetology graduate Roberta Garcia has come a long way as a business owner in a relatively short time.

Garcia earned an associate degree in cosmetology from San Jacinto College in 2008 and shortly thereafter began to work as an operator at Arturo’s Hair Design in Kingwood. She now owns her own salon in Humble, Helloo Beautiful Me. She purchased the salon from a previous owner four years ago, and is expanding staff and services thanks to steady growth. She says her college education served as a career accelerator. “I have always loved to do stylist work, and people say I have a natural knack for it,” she commented. “Natural talent is important, but professional training is essential in order to succeed in the business world. I’ve learned that cosmetology is more than just brush, curl, and lipstick. It entails communication and customer service skills, chemistry, human anatomy, sanitation, and other areas. At San Jacinto College I learned from real professionals who are experts in their fields. The education from such a respected program has been invaluable.”

Garcia’s salon provides complete hair styling services, as well as makeup and wax services. The San Jac Certified business owner also conducts classes for all ages that feature hair styling and makeup tutorials, as well as lessons that deal with cosmetology products.

Garcia believes there are certain keys to success in the competitive cosmetology field. “First, you need a genuine love for people,” she said. “You must build strong friendships with clients. I try to make clients feel like when they visit the shop, they are coming home to their best friend. Secondly, college education is important, because people trust and respect knowledge and formal training. Thirdly, continual learning is just as important in order to keep up with current products, and industry trends and developments.”

San Jacinto College offers a one-year cosmetology operators program, an associate degree, and several specialty courses in cosmetology. The Cosmetology Operator Certificate of Technology includes 12 courses based on the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation curriculum for the cosmetology exam. The courses use the Milady method, and students earn 1,500 contact hours.

For students looking to gain additional skills or to specialize, San Jacinto College also offers a two-semester aesthetics program at the North Campus, a two-semester nail technician course at the Central Campus, and a one-semester eyelash-extension course at all three campuses at different times throughout the year.

Classes are available at all three San Jacinto College campuses, including some night classes. The associate degree requires an additional year and academic coursework, and is designed for those interested in management or owning their own business.

“If you come to us full time, in a year you will be able to earn your cosmetology operator’s license and then you will always have a way to make a living,” commented Mary Lindsay, department chair of the San Jacinto College South Campus cosmetology and industrial technology. “We have salons on all our campuses that offer a daily schedule of beauty options for our students to get hands-on training and to boost their confidence.”

San Jacinto College provides quality cosmetology training at an affordable cost, according to Judy Hendley, consumer services department chair at the San Jacinto College North Campus. “Students registering in private beauty schools for cosmetology are paying up to $18,500 for tuition,” she said. “San Jacinto College offers the same training for $2,394 for in-district students, plus they earn transferable college credit, in case a student wants to go beyond a one-year certificate to earn a cosmetology associate degree. All Texas cosmetology schools must teach the state-required curriculum in order for students to be eligible to take the state cosmetology operator examination. San Jacinto College offers a great education at a great price.”

For more information about cosmetology courses and degree plans at San Jacinto College, please visit


About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.