Many are now considering the career towards Culinary Arts or becoming a professional chef which has graduated from an accredited cooking school. Since there is a big clamor for the culinary arts course, many related schools are coming out for everyone to avail of. You need to narrow down your choice of criteria to be able to find the right school for you. Becoming a professional chef is one of the most promising profession under trades and careers education.
Following your Criteria
In the hopes to land on a good culinary school, you should at least formulate the criteria with the following ideas:
Do you want your school to be close to your home or you wanted to venture out into the excitement of a new environment?
Is the school you wanted to pursue accredited?
Is the tuition fee within your budget range?
Knowing how to prioritize items for the criteria and other related factors will help you decide easier on which school is the right one for you.
Considering the Location of the School
When the location of the school is evaluated, always think of the possibilities that may happen. If you are considering studying in a nearby school, yes you may not expend so much on travel, lodging, and the like but your career opportunities later on will tend to be more confined. Whereas when you consider studying in a school within the city which is far away from home, you will really spend for travel, board, and lodging, and more. However, when you weigh things in the near future, being in the city means more opportunities and the possibility of high class establishment externships which may land you big breaks.
The Importance of School Accreditation
Make sure that the culinary school you are eyeing at should be accredited or approved by the largest accrediting institution for culinary arts which is the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission or ACFFAC. This accrediting body gives them the right to evaluate the culinary school according to its formulated standards because it is duly recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Take note of regional accreditations as well because this will form as your basis for course transfers to other schools of varying locations.
Considering Internships or Externships
Your school selection should also depend on the ability of the school to find you reputable establishments for your internships or externships. Remember that if you get to work in prestigious hotels, this internship or externship of yours will reap good results when the time comes for you to look for real employment soon.
Consider the Certificates or Degrees Offered by Your School
There are basically two culinary arts schools, the community colleges, and the private institutions. Of the two, the community colleges generally offer inexpensive tuition fees because they offer associate degrees in culinary arts. The associate degree will normally complete 2 years of culinary arts studies earning you a certification when you graduate.
If you desire of a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you can count on the private institutions to provide you with these curricula. However, the private schools entail more expensive tuition fees. This higher amount will earn you of better inclusions for enrichment.
There are also public programs that offer much lesser costs to avail because they are fully supported by the state government. Private schools are always highly recognized yet so hard to keep up because of the underlying fees involved.
Considering Faculty Size, Class Size, and Faculty Qualifications
Culinary arts is something that should be demonstrated all the time so expect that your faculty and class sizes should conform to this fact. Ideally a class size of 15 students to one instructor is being followed, but a smaller class is even more appealing.
Instructors should be regarded as proficient and have the necessary experience to be able to teach the course to his students efficiently. His experience may be coming from him being a master chef or baker. Moreover, they should have the necessary credentials to be able to teach culinary arts like a Bachelor’s Degree in the said course and should be duly certified by the American Culinary Federation.
Considering the Tuition Fees
One major consideration that you should look into when searching for the right culinary art school is the tuition fee. The tuition fee should of course conform within your budget. Take note that this course is not at all inexpensive. In fact, culinary arts are considered one of the most costly course that still encourage a lot of aspirants to enroll.
Community Colleges demand an estimated $10,000 yearly as tuition fees from the culinary arts course. This is already a lot considering that community colleges demand the lowest tuition fees from its students. Most of the students obtain a two-year Culinary Arts Associate Degree when enrolled in related courses from community colleges.
You can always look into other options to cut costs like scholarship programs being offered by the learning institution you wish to enroll. You can also ask about the school loans which may either be funded by private lending institutions or the government to find out which loan scheme gives out the lowest interest and goals within your financial reach.
Private schools on the other hand may demand for higher tuition fees, and yet offer scholarship programs or tuition fee assistance. The only problem that gets in the way is that private schools are known not to accept other funding services. Its either you conform to their funding policies, or provide for your tuition fee outright.
The Duration of the Culinary Arts Program
There are various culinary arts programs to choose from ranging from weeks, months, to even years. You will earn a certification from the school for the culinary arts program you have enrolled for those who are enrolled for less than a year. Certifications in culinary arts generally land you entry-level positions in your desired workplaces. On the other hand, if you are enrolled in a 4-year culinary arts program, it will earn you a Baccalaureate Degree in culinary arts of which you are exposed to a more detailed curriculum and results to extensive and better job opportunities in the near future.
Considering the School’s Recognition
Also consider the cooking school’s which belong to the higher ranks as the culinary arts schools are usually ranked according to the students’ or alumni’s performance working in big industries.
Prestigious awards given to culinary schools is also important in leading you to the right school that will hone your skills and offer you better employment opportunities when you graduate.
Moreover, look into the number of years these culinary schools have been existing. This just goes to show the trust that the alumni share with the respective school which will all translate into better chances in job applications later.
Considering School Security
Your security should also be considered when you plan of enrolling in a culinary arts school. Safety concerns stem from the location of the school, its accessibility to nearby police stations, hospitals, and similar establishments, the facilities of the school, the security service system, and more.
Considering School Resources
Try to look into the facilities that the school of your choice is offering. The culinary arts is a course that should at least have a complete set of tools and equipment needed to get things done in the kitchen. Community colleges may not be that modernized when it comes to kitchen facilities, but remember that not all working establishments which you will apply for later on have modernized and complete set of kitchen facilities as well.
These are mainly the criteria or checklist in guiding you to the right cooking school which you think will do you good and will bring you a better future in culinary arts.