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Researching Culinary Arts Programs
By now you should have made a decision regarding the type of degree that you plan to attain, and if you want to enroll in a public or private institution. Since there are numerous culinary arts schools in the Douglas area and within the USA, you need to create a checklist of essential qualifiers so that you can start limiting your options. Certain obvious qualifications, for example location and cost are a good place to begin. But choosing a school because it is the nearest or the cheapest is not the best way to decide on your education. There are other considerations, such as accreditation and reputation that you need to review as well. Therefore, below are some crucial areas that you need to investigate for every school as you compare and contrast them and make your final choice.
Accreditation. It's imperative that the culinary program you choose has some type of accreditation from either a regional or a national agency. As aforementioned, the accrediting organization should be a U.S. Department of Education recognized organization, such as the American Culinary Federation (ACF). ACF accredited schools have successfully completed a detailed evaluation relating to their curriculum, teachers and facilities. Therefore not only does accreditation help ensure that you will receive excellent training, but it may also assist in obtaining a student loan or financial aid which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
Age. Recently established schools frequently have the benefit of having modern equipment and facilities. However, they may not have been operating long enough to garner an accreditation or to develop a reputation. Conversely, more established schools may still be using their original, outdated equipment, but have established a long track record of excellence and earned one or more accreditations. Also, the much more a school has been in operation, the more graduates the school can solicit for its job placement program. Certainly there is some give and take based on the age of the culinary schools. And older, more renowned schools typically update their equipment and facilities. The important takeaway is that in the best case scenario, your school of choice will have an outstanding reputation, accreditation and a modern facility with newer equipment.
Job Placement Rates. To begin with, find out what the graduation rates are for the culinary institutions you are evaluating. Lower graduation rates are indicators that a number of students were dissatisfied with either the colleges or the courses and quit before graduating. They can also signify that the teachers were not qualified to teach the curriculum. Ask the schools to furnish their job placement rates as well. If a school has a higher job placement rate, it will help confirm that it has a great or outstanding reputation within the cooking field, as well as a large network of professional associations. Be suspicious of any school that will not provide this information.
Location. The cooking school that you attend must be within driving distance of your Douglas residence, unless you are willing to relocate. You may look into attending classes online, but you would still have to travel for your externship training. Alternatively, maybe you have decided to go to a specific culinary arts institute located in another state because of its prominence and courses offered. It would be a wise decision to visit the campus before enrolling, to make certain that you are comfortable with the location and your future living conditions. Check the training facilities in person to make certain they are up to date and that the equipment is state of the art. Keep in mind also that many schools concentrate 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 training. If the culinary arts institute you enroll in has larger classes, you will probably receive little individual attention from the teachers. The ideal manner in which to assess the communication and interaction between instructors and students is to attend a few of the classes. Ask a couple 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 a couple of the instructors and find out what their teaching styles are together with their experiences and qualifications.
Flexible Class Schedules. There is no point in enrolling in a cooking institute if you will not be able to attend the classes. So confirm that the school you select offers class scheduling that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. If you can only attend at night or on weekends near Douglas AZ because of your job schedule, verify that the school you decide on offers either weekend or evening classes. If you can only attend part-time, check that the culinary arts college has a part-time alternative. Also, check to see what the make-up policy is if you have to miss a class as a result of work, family or other commitments.