How MHD Boosts Student Outcomes At Cosmetology & Spa Academy
Ned Halimi of Illinois’s Cosmetology & Spa Academy has been busy. Since we last interviewed him for the MHD blog – back in 2018 – he’s opened 2 new training centres, expanded his teaching team, revisited his curriculum to embed MHD and ensured that every student and tutor has their own MHD licence. Oh yes, and the small matter of weathering the storm of the pandemic!
The outcome of all this change? A huge boost in student confidence and achievement – and record numbers of students completing courses.
MHD Director of Operations Sarah Oglesby caught up with Ned and Melissa Kreutzer, education overseer and director of the academy’s Crystal Lake campus. Read on to find out how more about MHD has supported Cosmetology & Spa Academy through the change.
Cosmetology & Spa Academy now operates out of 4 campuses
With new campuses located at Elgin and Rockford, it’s been a hugely exciting time for Cosmetology & Spa Academy – despite the obvious challenges presented by the pandemic. Neil explains: “One location opened last November and the other opened up in January. Then we got hit with COVID.”
But even before the pandemic struck, it wasn’t plain sailing. Other challenges included recruitment for staff and students, as well as accreditation paperwork delays. As Ned puts it, “things take time here.”
And what about support during this challenging period? “MHD has been tremendous,” says Ned emphatically. “And now that every student and tutor has their own MHD licence, we’re really seeing the impact across everything from motivation and confidence to results.”
MHD forms an integral part of the new curriculum
Ned has been using MHD as a blended online learning platform to bolster the Cosmetology & Spa Academy curriculum since 2018. (You can check out our earlier case study here, if you’re interested.) But now he’s gone a step further and written MHD into the curriculum itself. I ask what prompted him to take this action.
“We just felt that MHD has so much more to offer than any other platform,” enthuses Ned. “And it’s so easy to access. A student could be home, in their car, at the beach.” Ned is also impressed by the content itself and the way it’s set out: “The way it’s broken down, it’s much easier to understand than with other platforms and tutorials.”
MHD’s standardised content has also made life easier when onboarding new teachers and trainers. “Consistency wise, it’s the best you can have,” explains Ned. “And it’s much easier for teachers to train students.”
I know Ned likes to keep up to date with all the latest technological developments in the industry. So I ask him how MHD compares with other platforms on the market: “We love MHD,” he begins. “There are many other platforms out there, but they’re more traditional in the way they educate. MHD makes it easier for students to move forward when compared with other platforms.”
And during lockdown MHD has come into its own
Cosmetology & Spa Academy had to shut down its campuses for around 3 months as part of lockdown restrictions. But thanks to MHD it continued to train students during this time, using our tutorials via Zoom.
Melissa gave me a few details about how Cosmetology & Spa Academy used the platform during this time: “As a class, students would watch a video and then the teacher would go through the demonstration. The students all had mannequins and supplies at home. They would then practise whatever they learned.” MHD also provided a framework for homework and gave students the chance to practise in their own time.
And the introduction of our reporting functionality – which empowers tutors and managers to see a detailed breakdown of students’ progress through playlist – particularly impressed Melissa: “Being able to track the students via the playlist is huge for us – plus, it’s great to know that we have that data available in case we have to go back into shutdown mode or if we ever need to check anything on the back end.”
Students are challenged, engaged and on course for higher achievement rates
Due to the pandemic, Cosmetology & Spa Academy has had to reduce student numbers to maintain safety. “We care about our students and our classrooms are much smaller now than what we have had in the past,” explains Ned. But since implementing the new curriculum, they’ve noticed that students are far more challenged and engaged with their work. And the dropout rate has reduced dramatically: “We’ve hardly had any early leavers at all.”
I ask Melissa how MHD compares to other platforms she’s experienced. “The videography is particularly good,” she says. “You know, you can see everything the instructor is doing. Whereas some other platforms, you couldn’t really understand the video itself very well.”
Finally, while the first students of the new curriculum won’t graduate until March 2021, Ned and Melissa tell me that they’re on course for a higher achievement rate than in previous years. Amazing work Cosmetology & Spa Academy. We’ll definitely be back to check on students’ progress next year!
Boost outcomes for your students – or yourself – with MHD
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