Program Spotlight- Award Winning Cosmetology Program

The Arkansas Tech University- Ozark Campus Cosmetology program is one of the highest ranking programs in its field, according to The 2018-2019 rankings distinguished the program, and for excellent reasons.
Instructor Julie Auterson has been leading students to successful careers for years. She could not be any prouder of the impact her students are making in the communities they serve. And it all starts at ATU-Ozark’s campus.
The Cosmetology program is an 18-month process that includes three semesters, one summer course and must total 1500 clock hours. There are currently 18 students in the program, who are split into three sections, reflective of where they are in their training. Although classroom hours are separated depending on the level in the program, “Freshmen to Seniors” are compiled into one section during the shop hours.
Students are taught all concepts in the classroom. Julie shows students step-by-step demonstrations with instructions. The students then move on to working with hair dummies that have various styles, cuts, and types of hair, while Julie monitors their progress. Eventually, the students will work with real-life clients from the Ozark community and the students and employees on campus.
Since fashion trends, new products and the individual wants and needs of a customer drive the Cosmetology industry, it is vital for ATU-Ozark’s program to stay up-to-date with industry standards. So the department, along with other departments on campus are involved with advisory boards, encompassing industry professionals from across the River Valley region. The board meets with Julie on a regular basis to discuss new trends, updated styles, etc. and walk through the shop to ensure the students are learning on the most current tools.
Representatives for various cosmetic dealers and specialists visit campus often relaying information and actually teach students how to use specialized products and tools.
One of the most appealing aspects of the program is the shop environment. Although a teaching “lab”, students experience the feel of a “real world” shop. The ATU-Ozark shop is a laid back environment with every student in the program learning side-by-side, learning a multitude of skills at all levels. While they are focusing on the necessary skills of the program, they are also learning how to handle the “people dynamics” of the job, by working closely with other students simulating future coworkers, and also customer services skills with outside clients who come to ATU-Ozark on a regular basis.
Of the skills, Julie encourages her students to learn a skill, not in her curriculum—the power of social media. She believes students should use social media to show their skill levels to the public, which will ultimately aid in students building a client base once they are working at a shop.
The power of social media is not only affecting advertising efforts but influencing the learning process as well. Julie has noticed since the birth of YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook Watch, her students’ skills are growing exponentially due to the world of tutorials at a push of a button.
The shop is open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, from 9:15 am-3:00 pm. Clients are able to receive hair color, cuts, and styling, along with manicures, pedicures, and facials.
For more information, visit