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Golden School Awards: School of the Year Winner

Golden School Awards: School of the Year Winner

AACS is proud to announce the winner of the School of the Year Golden School Award, Aveda Institute Des Moines.

The one major thing that makes up the very best hair and beauty school in the country is to be more than a school to your students and staff. At the Aveda Institute Des Moines, their main initiative for 2021 is to be just that, more than a beauty school. They pride themselves on teaching the highest standards in education, as well as preparing students for the next phase of their life.

In addition to offering the highest quality of hair and beauty education, Aveda Institute Des Moines makes it a priority to teach students the importance of what it means to be a good employee, team member, and contributing member of society. They have made a conscious effort to support and educate students and staff on the importance of mental health. Aveda Institute Des Moines shows up for students in the following ways:

  • Include the entire student body in an employee assistance program giving them and their family members direct access to free counseling services, life coaching, legal, and family support services.
  • Offer monthly wellness Wednesday sessions where all students and staff participate in a variety of wellness activities such as yoga, breathing, meditation, and even playing with the puppies from a local animal shelter.
  • Aveda Institute Des Moines has an empowerment group that meets monthly to journal, discuss topics that support mental health, and interact with folks outside the school through field trips and guest speakers.
  • Daily wellness activities to take a conscious break from learning and work to feed our bodies and minds.
  • All students and staff go through the PATH Elemental Nature program to help determine their best learning styles and personality profiles. This allows staff and students to better interact and understand each other so we can meet people where they are.

The Aveda Institute Des Moines teaches technical skills to prepare the students for the next phase of their lives, but also teaches them vital life skills to ensure they not only are successful in the workplace, but also become contributing members of society. This is prioritized through the following activities:

  • All cosmetology students participate in a free financial services prep class from Dupaco Credit Union. In this class, students learn basic financial lessons around spending vs saving, credit, budgeting, loan repayment, and steps they can take to be set up to be a business owner of the future if they dream to do so.
  • Aveda Institute Des Moines has a career placement coordinator who spends a lot of time preparing each individual student creating a customized resume, practices interview skills, and coordinates the school sponsored mentoring program, giving students first hand experience in the salons of potential employers.
  • During the last phase of their cosmetology program, the experience center manager holds bi-weekly, one on one meetings with students to give them personalized coaching on guest service, retail sales, and ways to build their business. These one on ones are meant to prepare the student for future coaching and development sessions with their salon managers and leaders, as well as to give them important metrics to share in interviews to set them apart from the competition.
  • All of their students spend time with the retail and guest services team by participating in retail concierge shifts to interact with guests and learn valuable retail skills to bring into their professional careers.

Of course FUN is a necessity at a good beauty school and Aveda Institute Des Moines certainly has plenty of it. They bring fun to the day in a variety of ways including:

  • Incentive buttons for students and staff celebrating key metrics in the program such as retail sales, community involvement, student of the month, business student of the month, mentoring, staff anniversaries, and more.
  • Aveda Institute Des Moines partners with the artistic director of their sister salon company to offer an editorial class and photo shoot for all of the esthiology and cosmetology students. These students also receive these images to add to their portfolios.
  • Aveda Institute Des Moines participates in the Aveda Institute Network photo competitions and WINS! In 2020, their education team won first place and most recently, their student’s submission won first place for 2021!
  • They have had several NAHA winners in the past and are excited to submit a stellar entry for the 2021 student category this year. Aveda Institute Des Moines students have been graced this past year with the presence of several global industry professionals to be inspired by and learn from.

An engaged staff is the lifeblood of any great beauty school. They bring fun and support staff in a variety of ways such as:

  • Monthly Friday morning coffee meetings (complete with food) to plan, inform, and celebrate team wins.
  • They host an over the top holiday celebration annually to celebrate the team and reward them for their hard work.
  • Offer anniversary gifts and a comprehensive benefits package.

Owners, Doug and Jana Van Polen, are committed to offering the highest quality in education and experience for their students and staff. Doug has said many times that he would “put up our school next to another any day of the week” and be confident that their school is superior in all they do. Aveda Institute Des Moines strives to live up to that challenge every day.

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