AACS is proud to announce the winner of the Placement Golden School Award, Avenue Five Institute.
Avenue Five Institute proudly champions the idea that institutional success is based on the success of the graduates. This fundamental belief is the cornerstone of their identity, it guides them in their operations, while shaping the curriculum, and overarching purpose. The placement strategy is focused on 3 principles:
- Inspiration 2.Preparation 3. Support
By better managing placement outcomes, Avenue Five Institute can further inspire students to pursue greatness. By getting students to think about success from day one, it makes placing much easier post-graduation. Before students ever enroll, Avenue Five Institute make them a promise (and it is written on the wall of our admissions office):
Avenue Five Institute stands by this promise with each and every student, inspiring them to set high standards and reach for their goals. Since instructors are often the first people to leave a lasting impression on students, instructors are asked to start each day in the classroom by writing an inspirational quote on the board. The favorite quotes from each week get distributed via social media.
Providing a high-quality education is critical to prepare students for placement. Avenue Five Institute teaches students that “90% of their success will be determined by their personal skills, not their technical skills.” So, in addition to technical training, Avenue Five Institute offers a standalone business training curriculum that is focused on helping students embrace change, understand retail, build a successful business, and consistently wow their customers. This training consists of 5 principals:
- Embracing Change
- Complete Retail Experience
- Customer Wow
- Build Your Business
- The Salon & Spa Professional
As a result of this program, students are more hireable and Avenue Five Institute has seen noteworthy improvements in placement success. They also work with students to create a professional portfolio while they are in school and emphasize the importance of capturing images of their work from day one.
Avenue Five Institute’s advisory board consists of employers from various industry specialties, whom they maintain good relationships with. As a result, Avenue Five Institute works with them annually to refine training programs so students are prepared for the current work environment.
Avenue Five Institute supports their students long after they land their first job, as well as before. When students first approach graduation, the program directors arrange field trips to a variety of local employers, ranging from large chain salons to small boutiques. Students get the chance to tour facilities, ask questions, and meet with the salon owners and management. Due to COVID, there were no field trips in 2020, but they hope to return soon!
Additionally, local employers are often invited to join weekly school-wide assemblies to speak directly to students about job opportunities. In addition to the physical job board, the student services manager utilizes Avenue Five Institute Mobile App to push job notifications to students in real time. Facebook is also a common channel for job opportunities to be distributed and Avenue Five has a private, invite-only, Alumni Facebook Page for communications about industry happenings and job opportunities.
Electronic Placement Verification
Even before the pandemic, student placement required more than just helping graduates find a job. State and Federal regulators require detailed documentation to verify placement outcomes. Oftentimes, acquiring this documentation can be burdensome for both the graduate and the school. In 2020, this became even more challenging due to social distancing and COVID-19.
In 2020, the placement services department debuted a convenient new way for students to confirm their employment status by using a digital signature solution from ZOHO Sign. This affordable, convenient, and secure technology allows students to certify their placement records and provide employer information with just a few keystrokes. Feedback from graduates indicate that this tool is a huge success!
For students that don’t like to be contacted by phone or email, Avenue Five Institute also introduced a bulk text messaging service. This allows students to engage directly with the placement department to provide information via SMS.
By following their placement principles of inspiration, preparation, and support, Avenue Five Institute has been able to achieve incredible and ongoing placement success, even during the pandemic. Amazingly, today it appears as though there are currently more jobs available to students than there are students to fill them!