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Contrasting Culinary Arts Colleges
By now you should have decided on the type of degree that you want to attain, and whether or not you would like to enroll in a private or a public college. Since there are numerous culinary arts programs in the Casa Grande area and across the USA, you must develop a checklist of important qualifications so that you can begin narrowing down your options. Some obvious qualifications, for instance cost and location are an excellent place to start. But selecting a school because it is the nearest or the least expensive is not the ideal way to make a decision regarding your education. There are other factors, for example accreditation and reputation that you need to review as well. Therefore, following are some key areas that you need to research for every school as you compare and contrast them and make your ultimate decision.
Accreditation. It's imperative that the culinary school you select has some form of accreditation from either a local or a national organization. As previously stated, the accrediting authority should be a U.S. Department of Education certified organization, for instance the American Culinary Federation (ACF). ACF accredited schools have passed a thorough review regarding their course of study, instructors and facilities. Therefore not only does accreditation help confirm that you will receive excellent training, but it can also assist in obtaining a student loan or financial assistance which are often 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 cultivate a reputation. On the other hand, more established schools may still be using their original, outdated equipment, but have established a sustained track record of excellence and acquired one or more accreditations. Also, the much more a school has operated, the more graduates the school can solicit for its job assistance program. Certainly there is some give and take dependent on the age of the culinary arts schools. And older, more reputable schools typically update their facilities and equipment. The important takeaway is that in the best case scenario, your chosen school will have an excellent reputation, accreditation and a modern facility with newer equipment.
Job Placement Rates. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the culinary institutes you are evaluating. Low graduation rates are indicators that a number of students were dissatisfied with either the institutes or the training and quit before graduating. They can also suggest that the teachers were not competent to teach the curriculum. Ask the schools to provide their job placement rates also. If a school has a higher job placement rate, it will help confirm that it has a good or exceptional reputation within the culinary arts community, as well as a broad network of professional relationships. Be suspicious of any school that will not provide this information.
Location. The cooking institute that you choose should be within commuting distance of your Casa Grande home, unless you have decided to move. You may look into attending college online, but you would still have to travel for your externship training. Conversely, perhaps you have opted to go to a particular culinary arts college located in another state because of its ranking and programs offered. It would be a good idea to check out the facility before enrolling, to make sure that you are satisfied with the location and your potential living conditions. Check the training facilities in person to make certain they are modern and that the equipment is contemporary. Keep in mind also that a number of schools target their job assistance programs within their regional communities, so choose a location where you will be happy working.
Class Sizes. The ideal way to learn how to cook is with plenty of personalized instruction. If the cooking college you enroll in has bigger classes, you will undoubtedly receive minimal personal attention from the instructors. The optimal means to assess the communication and interaction between instructors and students is to attend some 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 in addition to the entire course of training. Also, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their teaching approaches are together with their histories and qualifications.
Flexible Class Schedules. There is no sense in enrolling in a cooking school if you will not be able to attend the classes. Therefore make certain that the school you pick offers class scheduling that can work with your hectic lifestyle. If you can only attend in the evening or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ due to your job schedule, check that the school you select offers either night or weekend classes. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the culinary arts institute has a part-time alternative. Also, find out what the make-up policy is if you must miss a class as a result of work, family or other obligations.
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