South Suburban College celebrates first class of Barber College graduates

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Nine graduates of the first SSC Barber College cohort gather to celebrate their achievement. (Photo provided)
Information provided by South Suburban College

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (May 26, 2022) – South Suburban College (SSC) celebrated the first graduating class from its Barber College on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Called, the “Final Punch Out,” the ceremony was attended by students, faculty, administrators, SSC President Dr. Lynette D. Stokes, members of the Board of Trustees, including Chairman Terry R. Wells, as well as Illinois State Representatives Thaddeus Jones (29th District) and William “Will” Davis (30th District). Attendees observed each of the nine-person cohort log their last punch card, noting 1,500 hours of successful completion. Special awards highlights what was a bittersweet moment for everyone involved in pioneering the program.

“It was both an overwhelming and terrific experience,” said Lucas Gunby, SSC Barber College Program Coordinator.

Once an award-winning barber for television shows like “Empire” and “Chicago Fire,” Gunby now teaches the next generation of barbers at SSC. “One of the things that makes SSC’s program so unique is that you can earn a Barber Technician Certificate or an Associate in Applied Science in barbering degree,” he stated, noting that students may transfer in credits from traditional barbering institutions. “Not only that, but if you’ve never attended classes on a college campus, you can enter this program and get the full student experience.”

Eight students were recently awarded certificates from the SSC Barbering Program, many of which have made connections in the field that led to employment opportunities. One student, Shuntai Robinson, earned an AAS degree in barbering. Similar to Gunby, Robinson has an interest in training new students. “I’m looking to expand the knowledge I already received in order to teach others properly. I’m really eager to learn,” she stated. Robinson spoke as the SSC Barber College class valedictorian. She tipped her cap to Gunby and remarked, “He is very knowledgeable about cutting techniques. He can use a comb and clippers without guards. It takes years of experience to get to that level.”

Students complete both clinical and theoretical education in the SSC Barber College. This program is expected to grow tremendously in the near future, according to Gunby, with plans to incorporate a mobile barbering bus to serve the community at various events.

“In 2023, there are plans to add a cosmetology program [and] instructors’ program, so you can come to SSC and we can teach you how to teach these classes. We are doing our best to lead students and give them the key to success,” Gunby said.

For more information about the SSC Barber College, call (708) 596-2000, ext. 2266. South Suburban College is located at 15800 S. State Street in South Holland.

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