Many university programs give their students the opportunity to get hands-on experience by of­fering services to other students, staff, and the public. Since these services provide a learning experience and often take longer than they would elsewhere, costs are typically at a re­duced rate. This way, both the students in the program and those using the services benefit.

Some programs at VIU that offer services to the public include Automotive, Dental, Hair­dressing, and the Spa Institute.

VIU’s Automotive Shop will work on ve­hicles that fit into their current curriculum. If your vehicle is in need of immediate attention, it is suggested that you bring it to a different automotive shop. VIU students do not perform auto-body repairs. Students’ work is always inspected by an instructor to ensure it has been done correctly, and all safety-related work includes a road test, so the quality of service is equal to what you would receive at any other automotive shop. This on-campus service benefits students who may be low on money, and can be convenient if your appoint­ment is during your classes.

Students from the Dental Assistant and Dental Hygiene programs work together at VIU’s Dental Clinic to provide basic dental services. Services include head and neck ex­aminations; oral health assessments and indi­vidualized care planning; radiographs; dental education related to gum disease and cavities, and how to clean your teeth; removal of tartar, plaque, and stains; polishing; fluoride appli­cations; preventive sealants; tooth sensitivity treatments; mouth guards; nutritional analy­sis; and pain control. A screening is required, in order to become a client. Limited screenings are provided throughout the school year; how­ever, there is one week in February reserved exclusively for screenings. Appointments at the campus clinic may take longer than typical dentist appointments, and may require more than one visit, but the money saved makes up for time lost. For those who don’t have dental benefits, this is the place to go. It only costs $35 for adults and $20 for children. The clinic is closed during June, July, and August, as well as on statutory holidays.

As part of the Hairdressing program at VIU, there is a hair salon on campus that operates year-round. The students work hands-on in the salon with the supervision and guidance of their teachers. They provide all hair services, including cuts, styles, treatments, perms, co­louring, and lightening. The pricing at VIU’s salon is significantly cheaper than other sa­lons, but appointment lengths are limited to allow for lunch time. There’s also a reduced price for senior customers. In addition to hair services, the salon also sells hair products.

The VIU Spa Institute is located in Parks­ville. Similarly to the VIU hair salon, services are performed by students with supervision from certified licensed instructors. Services offered include manicures and pedicures, wax­ing, eyebrow shaping, lash and brow tinting, facials, back treatments, massages, make-up applications, and salt glow treatments. The pricing is affordable for a student budget, and the spa only uses professional products on their clients.

Services offered by the Automotive, Dental, Hairdressing, and Spa programs at VIU are available to students as well as the public at reduced rates, and the quality is professional. By using these services on campus, not only are you saving yourself money for the same result, but you are helping students with their practices.