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Comparing Cooking Institutes
At this point you should have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, and if you want to enroll in a public or private college. Since there a large number of culinary arts colleges in the Catalina Foothills area and within the Country, you will want to create a checklist of important qualifications so that you can begin limiting your choices. A few obvious qualifications, for example location and cost are an excellent place to start. But choosing 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 criteria, for instance accreditation and reputation that you need to assess as well. Therefore, below are some crucial areas that you will need to investigate for each school as you compare and contrast them and make your final decision.
Accreditation. It's important that the culinary arts school you decide on has some type of accreditation from either a local or a national authority. As aforementioned, the accrediting agency should be a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged authority, for example the American Culinary Federation (ACF). ACF accredited schools have passed a comprehensive assessment relating to their course of study, instructors and facilities. So not only does accreditation help ensure that you will receive excellent training, but it can also help in acquiring a student loan or financial assistance which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
Age. Recently established schools frequently have the advantage of possessing modern facilities and equipment. However, they may not have been in operation long enough to garner an accreditation or to cultivate a reputation. On the other hand, more established schools may still be using their original, dated equipment, but have established a lengthy history of excellence and obtained one or more accreditations. Also, the longer a school has been in business, the more alumni the school can solicit for its job placement program. Certainly there is some give and take dependent on the age of the cooking schools. And older, more renowned schools usually modernize their facilities and equipment. The important takeaway is that in the best case scenario, your selected school will have an outstanding reputation, accreditation and a modern facility with modern equipment.
Job Placement Rates. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the culinary arts programs you are examining. Low graduation rates are signs that a number of students were dissatisfied with either the colleges or the training and dropped out. 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 as well. If a college has a high job placement rate, it will help confirm that it has a great or outstanding reputation within the culinary field, in addition to a large network of professional connections. Be wary of any school that will not furnish this information.
Location. The culinary college that you choose should be within driving distance of your Catalina Foothills home, unless you have decided to move. You may think about attending college online, but you would still have to travel for your externship program. Alternatively, maybe you have decided to go to a particular culinary school located in a different state due to its reputation and programs offered. It would be a good idea to pay a visit to the campus before enrolling, to make sure that you are satisfied with the area and your prospective living conditions. Look over the training facilities in person to make certain they are modern and that the equipment is state of the art. Remember also that a number of schools target their job assistance programs within their local communities, so select a location where you will satisfied working.
Class Sizes. The ideal way to learn how to cook is with plenty of personalized training. If the cooking program you enroll in has large classes, you will most likely get little individual attention from the teachers. The ideal means to evaluate the interaction between instructors and students is to attend a few of the classes. Ask a couple of the students what their experience has been. Find out if they are happy with the amount of attention they get in class as well as the entire course of training. Also, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their teaching approaches are together with their experiences and qualifications.
Flexible Class Schedules. There is no point in enrolling in a culinary arts school if you will be unable to attend the classes. So confirm that the school you decide on has available class scheduling that will accommodate your active lifestyle. If you can only attend in the evening or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ due to your job schedule, make sure that the school you choose offers either weekend or night classes. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the culinary school has a part-time offering. Also, find out what the make-up protocol is if you must miss a class due to work, family or other commitments.