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Contrasting Culinary Institutes
By now you should have decided on the type of degree that you wish to attain, and if you would like to enroll in a private or a public college. Since there are numerous culinary institutions in the Anthem area and within the United States, you need to develop a checklist of important qualifications so that you can start narrowing your choices. A few obvious qualifiers, including location and cost are a good place to start. But deciding on a school because it is the closest or the cheapest is not the ideal way to make a decision regarding your education. There are other considerations, such as reputation and accreditation that you need to assess also. So following are some critical areas that you should research for every school as you compare them and make your ultimate decision.
Accreditation. It's very important that the culinary institute you select has some type of accreditation from either a regional or a national agency. As mentioned previously, the accrediting authority should be a U.S. Department of Education recognized agency, for instance the American Culinary Federation (ACF). ACF accredited schools have successfully completed a thorough evaluation relating to their curriculum, instructors and facilities. So not only does accreditation help confirm that you will receive quality training, but it may also assist in securing a student loan or financial assistance which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools.
Age. Recently established schools generally have the advantage of possessing modern equipment and facilities. However, they may not have been operating long enough to garner an accreditation or to develop a reputation. Conversely, older schools may still be using their original, outdated equipment, but have established a sustained history of success and obtained one or more accreditations. Also, the much more a school has been in operation, the more alumni the school can solicit for its job assistance program. Certainly there is some give and take based on the age of the culinary arts schools. And older, more renowned schools commonly modernize their facilities and equipment. The valuable lesson is that in the best case scenario, your selected school will have an outstanding reputation, accreditation and a state-of-the-art facility with newer equipment.
Job Placement Rates. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the cooking schools you are examining. Low graduation rates are indications that many students were dissatisfied with either the colleges or the programs and quit before graduating. They can also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to teach the course of study. Request that the schools furnish their job placement rates also. If a school has a higher job placement rate, it will help validate that it has a good or excellent reputation within the cooking community, as well as a large network of professional relationships. Be suspicious of any school that will not provide this information.
Location. The culinary arts institute that you attend must be within commuting distance of your Anthem home, unless you can move. You may consider attending school online, but you would still have to travel for your externship program. Alternatively, perhaps you have opted to enroll in a specific culinary arts institute located in a different state due to its reputation and courses offered. It would be a good idea to check out the facility before enrolling, to make sure that you are satisfied with the area and your future living conditions. Check the training facilities in person to make sure they are up to date and that the equipment is contemporary. Consider also that a number of schools concentrate their job assistance programs within their local communities, so pick a location where you will be happy working.
Class Sizes. The best method to learn how to cook is with lots of one-on-one training. If the cooking school you enroll in has large classes, you will undoubtedly get limited personal attention from the teachers. The best manner in which to assess the interaction and communication between instructors and students is to attend several of the classes. Ask some of the students what their experience has been. Ascertain if they are pleased with the amount of attention they get in class as well as the entire course of training. Also, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their teaching styles are along with their backgrounds and credentials.
Flexible Class Schedules. There is no point in enrolling in a culinary arts program if you will be unable to attend the classes. Therefore confirm that the school you pick provides class scheduling that can work with your hectic lifestyle. If you can only attend at night or on Saturdays or Sundays near Anthem AZ due to your job schedule, make certain that the school you choose offers either weekend or evening classes. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the cooking program has a part-time offering. Also, check to see what the make-up policy is if you need to miss a class due to work, family or other commitments.
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