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Comparing Culinary Schools
At this point you should have made a decision regarding the type of degree that you plan to earn, and if you would like to enroll in a private or a public institute. Since there a large number of culinary colleges in the Knik Fairview area and within the Country, you will want to create a checklist of important qualifiers so that you can start narrowing down your options. Certain obvious qualifications, for example location and cost are an excellent place to begin. But deciding on a school because it is the closest or the least expensive is not the optimal way to decide on your education. There are other considerations, for example reputation and accreditation that you should evaluate also. Therefore, below are some crucial areas that you should investigate for every school as you compare and contrast them and make your ultimate selection.
Accreditation. It's imperative that the cooking program you select has some form of accreditation from either a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, the accrediting organization should be a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged authority, such as the American Culinary Federation (ACF). ACF accredited schools have passed a thorough assessment regarding their curriculum, instructors and facilities. So not only does accreditation help confirm that you will receive quality training, but it can also assist in acquiring a student loan or financial aid which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
Age. Recently established schools frequently have the benefit of possessing modern equipment and facilities. However, they may not have been in operation long enough to earn an accreditation or to establish a reputation. On the other hand, older schools may still be using their original, dated equipment, but have established a long track record 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. Obviously there is some give and take based on the age of the cooking schools. And older, more highly regarded schools usually 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 modern facility with newer equipment.
Job Placement Rates. First, ask what the graduation rates are for the cooking programs you are assessing. Low graduation rates are signs that many students were unhappy with either the colleges or the courses and quit before graduating. They might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to teach the course of study. Request that the schools furnish their job placement rates also. If a college has a high job placement rate, it will help confirm that it has a great or outstanding reputation within the culinary arts field, in addition to a wide network of professional relationships. Be suspicious of any school that will not furnish this information.
Location. The culinary arts college that you attend should be within commuting distance of your Knik Fairview residence, unless you are willing to relocate. You may think about attending school online, but you would still have to travel for your externship program. On the other hand, perhaps you have decided to enroll in a specific culinary college located in another state because of its reputation and courses offered. It would be a wise decision to check out the campus before enrolling, to make certain that you are comfortable with the location and your potential living conditions. Tour the training facilities in person to make sure they are up to date and that the equipment is contemporary. Keep in mind also that a number of schools focus their job placement programs within their local communities, so select a location where you will be happy working.
Class Sizes. The most effective way to learn how to cook is with a lot of personalized training. If the cooking college you enroll in has larger classes, you will probably get limited personal attention from the instructors. The optimal means to evaluate the interaction between teachers and students is to attend a few of the classes. Ask some of the students what their experience has been. Find out if they are happy with the level of attention they receive in class as well as the overall training. Also, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their teaching philosophies are together with their experiences and credentials.
Flexible Class Schedules. There is no point in enrolling in a culinary arts institute if you will be unable to attend the classes. So confirm that the school you pick provides class scheduling that can fit in with your active lifestyle. If you can only attend in the evening or on Saturdays or Sundays near Knik Fairview AK because of your job schedule, make sure that the school you choose offers either weekend or night classes. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the culinary school has a part-time option. Also, find out what the make-up policy is if you must miss a class as a result of family, work or other commitments.
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