An esthetician focuses on ensuring that she is getting the perfect coat of nail polish on her nail’s client. The client praises her for how perfect her nails are coming out. Meanwhile, in another room, another esthetician applies moisturizer to the face of a client on whom she just finished a facial treatment. She explains to the client proper skin care techniques that will ensure she is reducing the appearance of fine lines. While by all appearances, this is a typical spa setting it is anything but. The scenario is playing itself out at Centennial College’s Censation Esthetics Student spa.

This live lab serves the institution’s Esthetics College program, known simply as Esthetician. It provides students practical training with supervision from qualified faculty members and industry professionals. Students combine the theory from their classes and skills from lab practice as they use the latest industry tools in the clinics. Open to students, faculty, staff, and the public, clients are treated to a spa-like environment, great customer service, and quality treatment, but with a fraction of the cost as students in-training are performing the tasks.

This is just one of the practical aspects of the Esthetician offering, which takes students two years to complete. The program does a lot more than provides them with the skills they need to perform specialized body and skin care treatments following correct procedures and precautions, and supporting client needs (including but not limited to facials, manicures, pedicures, hair removal and make-up applications) and use a range of specialized equipment and products, in compliance with established national, provincial, industry and other related standards, regulations, policies and procedures. Students also learn a host of safety procedures to ensure they are carrying out their duties according to standards and policies; anatomy, physiology and histology to the provision of specialized esthetic treatments and services so that they may explain to their customers the “why” of the experience; business skills that allow them to establish a small esthetic business in a salon or spa environment or function in one; develop customer service strategies that meet and adapt to individual needs and expectations in accordance with professional standards and ethics; and more.

Students receive their training from qualified instructors who have many years of experience in the industry and explore a comprehensive curriculum that incorporates classroom discussions, peer-to-peer interactions and more.

The program’s hands-on approach is also evidenced through the fact that aside from working at the on-campus spa, students enjoy a placement at some of the city’s best spas. This is an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned on-campus to a real world setting.