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PCC’s Coffee Creek School of Cosmetology graduation underscores the excitement of ‘commencement season’

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Cosmetology program graduates at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility show their excitement.

Cosmetology program graduates at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility show their excitement.

It’s “that time of year”: springtime and the season of graduation and academic completion ceremonies at Portland Community College.

Completion ceremonies celebrate the accomplishments of graduating students who have participated in a variety of projects and roles throughout the academic year. They also serve as an opportunity to honor the commitment and support of faculty and staff. Collectively, these festivities generally precede the college-wide commencement ceremony, which this year takes place on Friday, June 10 at the Memorial Coliseum.

Of the many completion ceremonies so far, one of the most sentimental has been PCC’s School of Cosmetology’s graduation at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility for women.

Held earlier this spring, the ceremony celebrated the achievements of 11 inmates who graduated with certification from the Oregon Health Authority’s Health Licensing Office in Hair Design, Nail Technology, and Esthetics. The cosmetology program is supported by PCC’s Workforce Development division, which offers classroom instruction and hands-on training.

Students learn about hair care including cutting and designing, coloring, giving permanents, applying relaxers and weaving. Skin care is also part of the educational program, and students learn how to give facials and apply make-up. Finally, they learn how to give manicures and pedicures, and apply artificial nails.

The ceremony featured a fashion show with the graduates, their speeches and remarks from Marc Goldberg, associate vice president of PCC’s Workforce Development division, William Rooker of The Perfect Look, and Tammy Kennedy, trainer for the cosmetology program at the correctional facility.

Cosmetology graduates Lucretia Karle (left) and Fivea Sharipoff (right) celebrate their accomplishments.

Cosmetology graduates Lucretia Karle (left) and Fivea Sharipoff (right) celebrate their accomplishments.

“I am so proud of these women and the time and effort they’ve put into this program, which is 2,300 hours or approximately two years,” said Kennedy.

“Our goal for these women is that they gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become employed immediately after release. As such, we’ve partnered with several industry professionals as a means to ensure that the training they receive is current and up to today’s standards.

“The program also requires a high degree of accountability and integrity,” said Kennedy, values and attributes that will help these women long term both professionally and personally.

Research indicates that adults in custody who participate in correctional education programs have a lower rate of recidivism and are more likely to obtain employment upon release from incarceration.

Coffee Creek is Oregon’s only prison for women. Managed by the Oregon Department of Corrections, the minimum and medium security correctional facility opened in 2001 and has the capacity for 1,685 inmates.

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x by Max Macias 6 years ago

This is wonderful!

Thank you for sharing this story.

People who are incarcerated need a chance once they get–and this program looks like it can help.

Thank you!

x by Max Macias 6 years ago

I meant once they “get out.”

Thanks again,


x by melanie 6 years ago

These women work very hard to be able to get in and stay in this program.being in coffee creek is not easy.And to give up free time with family and friends visiting .Or to choose this program over something you could do with your children so you can provide them a future when you get home is a great sacrifice.Good luck girls show the world what your made of!!!!