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Contrasting Culinary Institutes
By now you should have decided on the type of degree that you plan to earn, and whether or not you would like to enroll in a public or private college. Since there a large number of cooking schools in the Enterprise area and across the USA, you must create a checklist of essential qualifiers so that you can start narrowing your options. A few obvious qualifiers, for instance cost and location are an excellent place to start. But picking a school because it is the nearest or the most affordable is not the best way to decide on your education. There are other variables, including accreditation and reputation that you need to assess as well. Therefore, following are some critical areas that you should investigate for each school as you compare them and make your final choice.
Accreditation. It's imperative that the cooking college you select has some form of accreditation from either a local or a national agency. As aforementioned, the accrediting organization should be a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged authority, for example the American Culinary Federation (ACF). ACF accredited schools have successfully completed a comprehensive review relating to their curriculum, teachers and facilities. Therefore not only does accreditation help confirm that you will receive exceptional training, but it may also help in acquiring a student loan or financial aid which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
Age. Newer schools generally have the benefit of possessing modern equipment and facilities. However, they may not have been open long enough to acquire an accreditation or to establish a reputation. Conversely, older schools may still be using their original, outdated equipment, but have established a long history of success and received one or more accreditations. Also, the longer a school has been in operation, the more graduates the school can solicit for its job assistance program. Naturally there is some give and take based on the age of the culinary arts schools. And older, more renowned schools commonly update their equipment and facilities. The important takeaway is that in the best case scenario, your selected school will have an exceptional reputation, accreditation and a state-of-the-art facility with modern equipment.
Job Placement Rates. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the culinary arts institutions you are examining. Lower graduation rates are red flags that a number of students were dissatisfied with either the institutes or the programs and quit before graduating. They can also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to teach the course of study. Request that the schools furnish their job placement rates as well. If a college has a higher job placement rate, it will help verify that it has a good or exceptional reputation within the culinary field, as well as a wide network of professional associations. Be wary of any school that will not supply this information.
Location. The culinary arts school that you enroll in must be within commuting distance of your Enterprise home, unless you are able to relocate. You may think about attending college online, but you would still have to travel for your externship training. Conversely, maybe you have decided to go to a particular culinary arts institute located in a different state due to its prominence and programs offered. It would be a wise decision to visit the facility before enrolling, to make certain that you are comfortable with the location and your potential living conditions. Check the training facilities personally to make certain they are up to date and that the equipment is state of the art. Consider also that many schools target their job assistance programs within their local communities, so select a location where you will satisfied working.
Class Sizes. The best way to learn how to cook is with lots of one-on-one instruction. If the culinary arts school you enroll in has larger classes, you will undoubtedly get minimal personal attention from the teachers. The optimal manner in which to assess the interaction and communication between instructors and students is to audit a few of the classes. Ask some of the students what their experience has been. Ascertain if they are satisfied with the level of attention they get in class as well as the overall training. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their teaching styles are along with their histories and qualifications.
Flexible Class Schedules. There is no sense in enrolling in a cooking school if you will be unable to attend the classes. So make sure that the school you choose has available class scheduling that can fit in with your busy lifestyle. If you can only attend at night or on weekends near Enterprise AL because of your work schedule, check that the school you choose offers either night or weekend classes. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the culinary arts institute has a part-time option. Also, find out what the make-up policy is if you must miss a class as a result of work, family or other obligations.